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On the Doctor Who Finale
Solomon
catvalente
Many things to say about the finale. I thought it had some beautiful moments, and oh, Matt Smith can pull our heartstrings can't he? (sometimes. I really only started liking him with The Lodger, and watching some Tennant era Who last night as an apertif means I am longing for David, who really was so much better in every way.) But...

I am going to put these in list form because it's easier than a long treatise

1. I feel it was much, much too easy for the Doctor to get out of the Pandorica. Come on, all those locks, all those time-keys and crazy bonds on the thing, and all it took was a bleep and a shiny from the screwdriver? I don't mind a little fantasy in there, but the thing is just a magic wand and it makes no sense. Did none of the Evil Alien Brigade think: "Perhaps we should make it impervious to the only tool the Doctor ever carries? No? Too expensive? Johnson out sick this week? Never mind..."

2. I'm still not clear on why Amy's house was "too big" or who made it that way. Can anyone help me out on this? I get that possibly Leadworth was not as exciting a plot point as many of us hoped it would be, but they ragged on about that house endlessly and I still don't get it. What was the purpose of that, and who did it? And I've heard it was just that that was too big a house for Amy and an aunt but I feel that's a bit judgey on the Doctor's part, saying all these cryptic things because in his opinion the house was a bit upclass for Aunt Sharon? Maybe Aunt Sharon had kids who've moved away, or she likes to do a lot of crafty stuff, or she's sunk in a subprime mortgage because she bit off more than she could chew. Dude, he was in the house for like five minutes, so if that's the answer? It's a little dumb and prosaic for how much they built it up.

3. So this new Rory is human Rory and not Plastic Rory, who I liked a lot better than human Rory generally. Seems like a bit of a shit deal for Waiting Rory--but I suppose it's possible that we'll find out next season that he has Waiting Rory's memories or something. Here's hoping there's some interesting PTSD there, or the whole "it'll drive you mad" thing was a little silly.

4. River, River, River. Honestly, I feel that this is a case of bad casting. I don't like Kingston's portrayal of what is essentially Jack with breasts and frizzy hair. She's rather one or two note, and I get no sense of depth of the character from her. I liked the last scene with her saying everything would change--that was the very first time I liked the character. It did pop into my head once more that she's the Doctor, down the timeline. Oh, how I'd love a female Doctor! But still, the my love and sweetie and all that is super annoying, especially having to hear it three times in a row, and dude, "hello sweetie" is a terrible catchphrase. Also, how did she still remember the Doctor and have the Tardis shaped book when there had never even been a Tardis until Amy did her thing? Which wasn't a thing she did? So much as thinking really hard--because if he never existed, why should a blue book make you think of anything in particular? What was it that allowed them to remember?

5. I loved Smith's monologue by her bedside. It was lovely. Much better than Ten's departure and whining.

6. I do feel there's a bit too much handwaving as to this solution. She remembers...and that affects the universe how? Because she had the universe poured into her head. What does that mean? She can manifest anything she remembers, or only lead actors? I am all for the value of a good story, but as with The Lodger, I am at a loss to understand how emotions affect machinery, no matter how powerful the emotions. It just feels a bit lazy to me.

7. I agree with another poster here that it was a bit of a narrative cheat to wink out the earth in the last moments of TPO, and in the last moments of the previouslys, only to have it be not winked out in the POV of the episode, nor addressed. That's not quite fair. The earth was gone, everything was silent. Eye of the storm, yes, but we saw the earth go, and if they weren't going to make a thing of it, they should have ended TPO a split second before it disappeared.

8. I've seen a lot of people say that the episode is perfect. I think we all get a little excited right after a finale--people said that about the S4 finale, which I thought was one of the worst things ever to air on television. Perfect is a little much--this was no Blink or The Doctor Dances or even for my money a Parting of the Ways. It was an acceptable conclusion that didn't take many risks. My Faith in Moffat is not been hit by a ray of Pandorica Light and perfectly restored. It was pretty good, but the season was still generally weak, and I would much rather have seen something darker and more interesting with regards to Amy (we discovered nothing in this episode we did not already know about her, it's all chalked up to a vague "special" and not addressed further) and Leadworth and the construct thing--but it was a nice feel-good episode where I didn't really feel much of a threat most of the time. Whereas I was on the edge of my seat in The Pandorica Opens. It certainly doesn't fall flat like so many of RTD's two and three parters, but it sort of fell...crooked, to me. Maybe I'm just still not connecting to Amy as a character, and therefore can't get excited about her specialness, which we are constantly told about but never really shown. (I do like that there will be a trio in the Tardis next season, and I like Rory, though Amy still treats him like crap and brushes him off most of the time, never behaving like someone in love unless she's aimed at the Doctor, even at her wedding to said object of some fairly anemic affection, and not even refraining from rolling her eyes and snapping at him right after he waited 2000 years for her. Amy remains somewhat unpleasant, and the Doctor too, what with telling someone, usually Amy to shut up at least once an episode--my new drinking game. At the same time, some of the fan adoration of Rory and simultaneous hatred of Amy makes me uncomfortable, as it smacks of hating on the girl for speaking out of her place, and loving the boy no matter his faults.) Maybe I just read the Doctor Who LJ community too much, so the backward-traveling Jacket!Doctor wasn't a surprise stroke of genius but something I took for granted all along because we all figured it out with a million screencaps from clever viewers. I just felt that not too much really made actual sense here, from the very first scene of popping the Pandorica like a box of jelly babies to magical memories somehow making everything perfect at the end. Deus ex Amy.

9. The Tardis is, was, and always shall be my favorite character on this show. I never wanted the Doctor to come for me. I wanted the Tardis to show up on my doorstep, glowing blue and beautiful and full of promise.
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Eccleston didn't have messy hair!

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I've never thought about the TARDIS that way...I like the way you think.

Since no-one else said it yet, there's a line from Rory after the Doctor appears at the wedding that implies he does remember being an Auton for 2000 years. Something like "I remember being plastic".

Deus ex Amy

Amusingly, Jacob of TWoP asked on his twitter for someone to summarize this ep, and as part of my reply I had: Amy=God

1. Apparently in Doctor Who, good will always triumph because Evil is dumb. You're right, there really was no reason that all those leagues of baddies shouldn't have been able to protect against the screwdriver.

2. All along I thought Amy's house was too big in the way that The Lodger's house ended up being too big, right up until the Doctor used that line to try to make her see the illogic of living in such a place all alone, which is what I now think it's supposed to mean, even though that does mean there was a whole lot of harping over nothing.

4. I liked River when she first showed up in the Ten era. I thought they got a long rather well. But since she's shown up again... not so much. I didn't think about the Jack comparison, but then, isn't she from the same era and Earth that Jack is from? Maybe they're all just like that then :P

6. I wonder if it's supposed to be a bit meta. Apparently Moffet has said all along that Doctor Who, at least his Doctor Who, is not sci fi but fairy tale. And there's something very Tinkerbell about giving the Doctor life by remembering and believing in him.


The fairy tale thing pisses me off because what he means is DONT QUESTION MY LOGIC IT'S A FAIRY TALE. When fairy tales often have intense narrative logic. Fairy tales are much more than a pretty little girl in a nightdress. FU MOFFAT.


I think River is a lot more sinister than Jack. Which makes her more interesting. That said, a Dalek expecting mercy from one of the Doctor's companions must have missed what Rose Tyler did to them. Stupid Dalek.

All that opening the Pandorica would have needed to make sense would be the Doctor taking the screwdriver and saying "excuse me, I need to make a few upgrades on this to have it able to open the Pandorica. Won't take more than 20 years. Be back in 2 seconds" and then hitting the time - bracelet. Plot fail. But then, the sonic screwdriver has always been a deus-ex-device.

More than Plastic Rory, I wish we'd kept young Amy on. Or changed older Amy so she didn't keep trying to fuck the Doctor every episode. Half the time in front of Rory. I don't want her to be so stupid or callous that she's not seeing what that does to him. That said, I'm pissed at him for having this "Amy on a pedestal" thing going on where she's so important to him that he can't tell her to stop trying to negotiate for sex with another person right in front of him. Rory is the ultimate "Nice Guy".

Yeah, I dislike this about Rory. But I don't buy that any Dalek would beg for mercy. Die in battle, it's fine.

It was a grim coincidence that yesterday I have watched the last David Tennant episode. Right when the others watched the last new season's episode. And I understand perfectly that won't look at the Eleventh for some time, I simply can't. Because there is Ten. I'm afraid Mr Tennant will be the ultimate Doctor for me whatsoever.

I went in to last night's finale having spent most of the day watching the 4th Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith and Harry What-his-face who is going to get punched the next time he calls Sarah "old thing". I'm not sure how it affected how I felt about the finale, but it probably cast it in a more negative light than it might have otherwise...

1) He did say in "The Pandorica Opens" that anyone could open it from the outside... but opening it from the inside would be a completely different matter.

2) ....yeah. I just... yeah.

3) I quite liked Plastic Rory as well, because he somehow pulled off being more of an actual person than Human Rory did.

4) I too would like a female Doctor. I kept hoping that the "I'm sorry, my love" was directed at the exploding TARDIS she couldn't stop rather than at the Doctor.

5) YES. (I would kind of prefer wee Amy to grown up Amy as a companion, to be honest.)

6) For ONCE, I would like a season finale with minimal handwaviness.

7) More YES.

8) I like Rory sometimes, and I like Amy sometimes, but both of them kind of fall flat to me as companions. Heck, they both seem kind of flat as people. I would like Rory a lot more if he weren't connected to Amy, I think, and I would like Amy a lot more if she actually treated Rory like a person instead of like a "good enough when the Doctor's not here" substitute-thing. But they just... aren't people. I mean, would you have ever guessed that Romans were Amy's favorite subject, or that Pandora's box was one of her favorite stories until it was stated straight-out in TPO? No. It never came up. I suppose it never had a reason to come up, but the problem is that nothing else that might have lent her a vestige of a personality and a past that didn't involve obsessing over the Doctor did either. Ditto for Rory and obsessing about Amy.

Er, end rant.

9) I like this view of the TARDIS. Granted, one could probably have as many adventures inside the TARDIS as one could traveling around with it. I want to check out the library and the wardrobe.

3) I quite liked Plastic Rory as well, because he somehow pulled off being more of an actual person than Human Rory did.

He did! I wonder if it's because when he was plastic, he was at least his own person instead of Amy's pet beau.

I have to say, though the season has been weak so far, I love Amy Pond as a companion. I didn't think anyone would ever replace Martha Jones in my heart, but Amy's come damn close. Aside from general spunk, brains and guts ("Mr. Pond." :D), my reasons are twofold:

First off, she thank GOD does not follow the formula of falling madly in love with the Doctor and pining after him all season. She started to, but then she realized, "Crap, I'm going for something unattainable and that I don't really understand when I actually have what I've always wanted right in front of me. Screw you, Time Lord."

Second of all, in the mercifully brief period in which she WAS lusting after Eleven, she was the only companion with the self-confidence and self-possession to actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. When she jumped him, I just about cheered. I was royally sick of the female companions following after the Doctor and making calf eyes. If Amy was going to lust after him, at least she had the wherewithal to take control of the situation and ACT.

So yeah. This season? Decent. But Amy gets two thumbs up.

I am longing for David, who really was so much better in every way.

I agree with almost everything you've said here, except this - I loved Eccleston as the Doctor, and even in the episodes that were total crap he was wonderful, but Tennant simply never grabbed me at all - 10's too long oh so (allegedly) tragic finale really summed up (for me at least) everything about Tennant's Doctor. OTOH, while I'm not certain Matt Smith is better than Christopher Eccleston, I think 11 is at bare minimum at least as good as (if also very different) from 9, and I hope Matt Smith stays as long as Tom Baker did.

Eccleston is my TOP doctor and no one will ever be as good as him. I don't think Smith is even in the same ballpark. I find the idea that he's as good or better to be bizarre, honestly. Matt Smith is a kid, CE is a massively accomplished actor who can put more feeling into a syllable than Smith can into a whole speech.

But Tennant had a much more emotive face than Smith, and I miss him.

I mostly like this Doctor. Sometimes I don't, but I find I don't blame the Doctor but Moffat for that.
I thought that the whole Amy's house is too big thing meant that there weren't enough people in it, referring to the absence of her parents. I think they were taken into the crack in her wall, but they were kind of vague about that, but I'm pretty sure, which is why if Amy remembered them when the universe restarted they'd come back. As far as Amy being able to bring things back by remembering them when things restarted, I kind of get what they were going for, but I'm still not sure they made it. As far as River giving her the book, I think she could have remembered because all of them remembered in the back of their minds, because they are anomalies having traveled in time. At least I think that's the explanation they were trying to get at.
I loved the first part of the finale, but...I don't think the second half lived up to it. Overall I feel the season was mediocre, and I really find myself blaming it more on Moffat and the writing than on the actors and characters (although I do think Rory is a rather good one)
Also, this is the first time I've liked River. I think it's because she showed some real emotion other than know-it-all smugness, even if it was only momentary.

But the book shouldn't still exist. And Amy's mother, I note on second viewing, refers to the Raggedy Doctor before Amy remembers--AND Amy still has the dolls. None of this makes sense if the Doctor was wiped out of ever existing.

I think Matt Smith and Karen Gillian are too inexperienced to carry off these roles, especially KG.

Rory did say "...and I was plastic..." or something in the all coming back scene, so I think he does know what "he" did/went through. With Plastic Rory having been formed from the psychic impression in Amy's head or whatever and Restored Rory being formed the same way, it makes a kind of rubber sense.

I don't know. I like Doctor Who's inconsistent and incomprehensible rules for things. Because science fiction is so often like that (to a less obvious extent) and so often gets a pass for it because it's "science", where fantasy is assumed to be nonsensical and inconsistent and ridiculous because it's "magic".

"Sonic screwdriver" to me says "we don't care and we're having fun".

(That's in regard to rubber rules of space time that allow people to be remembered back. Narrative nitpicks still apply. I had the sense that the Pandorica was designed to open in response to the Doctor's screwdriver because it was a trap for him, but they could have addressed that.)

The episode leaves too many threads unraveled in general, and while I want to hope they they'll be tidily hemmed up in forthcoming episodes and series, I don't know where they'd even begin.

Matt Smith's Doctor feels uncomfortable to me somehow, like a coat two sizes too small. He wears the suit without actually being the suit, if that makes any sense. And then at times he's like a Doctor who really is completely alien.

I was expecting everything to be wrapped up neatly in this episode, and it wasn't. Why did the TARDIS explode in the first place? What is the Silence, exactly? Why is Amy so special? There better be some good answers coming.

About Smith: Some criticism of his Doctor is probably justified, but remember, he's still quite young. I believe he can grow into the role and be a fine Doctor. He reminds me a bit of Peter Davison in that regard--we ragged on him because he wasn't Tom Baker, but we all shed tears when he bought the farm in Caves of Androzani.

I would really like to see Rory stand up to his new wife. Yeah, I know, she's an "alpha female", but dude.

we ragged on him because he wasn't Tom Baker, but we all shed tears when he bought the farm in Caves of Androzani

Yes, a thousand times, yes.

I haven't been a fan of this new Doctor since I first heard who they cast. I had seen Matt Smith a hand full of times before this casting and in none of them did he make me say 'I want to see more of him'. He was incidental to other people I wanted to see pretty much.

Consequently I had no hope for this season. I had hope for Amy, because I really did like Amy at first. She kind of reminded me of a young Donna for some reason or other (and I do love Donna)--mouthy, doesn't let the Doctor run roughshod over doing her thing, etc. But that hope died as the season went on and I saw she was Special and she had a Special Destiny and Time Treated Her Special and the Universe Treated Her Special. Honestly, how many of the Doctors companions can be so cosmically special? I don't remember much of the before 9 years, but were his companions all so special then as well?

I felt as if 'The Big Bang' needed to be split into two parts. I would have liked more explanation about what plastic!Rory (who I liked better as well) was doing--just....guarding things? He looked an awful lot like he was in one piece--how didn't he get hurt somehow? He never once got shot at? Fired at? The fire didn't--I don't know, MELT HIM at all? And all this 'we're a paradox' and that's why it was taking Time so long to catch up--oiy! That can't be the excuse every single time. And saving River seemed entirely unnecessary.

I'm not fond of River. I was kind of interested in "Silence in the Library", just because she was like 'you meet me later in your timeline' and but she didn't seem like a...well like you said. Like Jack (though I feel like Jack has more scruples then her...). But she popped up so often this season and seemed kind of like she had a mental instability issue (maybe from all the vortex jumping?).

I didn't like Rory at first. He was such a pushover and Amy treated him really badly. honestly I didn't expect them to last--or that Amy cared for him enough to cry and not want the world to exist if he wasn't in it. She did brush him off a lot, she treated him more like a kid--'That's nice Rory, let Mommy talk to Daddy now'--and until he was Plastic!Rory he just let it happen. Sure she was the 'Girl Who Waited', but in 2000 years it didn't occur to him to think 'Wait a second. Its always the Doctor she's thinking of. She looks to him for everything. I'm just kind of...there." Though I guess since he was technically a construct of Amy's mind filled with Universe Juice it shouldn't be surprising that he was still so loyal. She sees him as loyal no matter what after all.


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Honestly, if you're a hyperintelligent centuries-old galaxy-saving/destroying badass, I could see becoming really really impatient with the useless nattering of ephemeral upjumped monkeys. I mean, I love my cats but that doesn't mean I want them meowing all the damn time, especially when I'm trying to get some work done, you know?

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