I am...very slowly sketching out more thoughts for Clockwork Silence (shut up! I only started writing it a year ago!), by which I mean for the first time the section slated for Ryan's drabble isn't completely blank, and then I was struck with a sudden seizure that I wasn't being original.
In other news, it's finally time to climb back aboard the wild ride that is Doctor Who, and my late-to-the-party chattage about it.
To recap, despite the fact that we were just discussing some of this 24 hours ago: Since my last review-type Who post, I've been totally and completely obsessed with Ten and all things Ten/Rose related. Obsessing over The Most Wonderful Series of Oneshots Which No One Will Improve Upon, Ever (seriously, some of them I've read so many times I'm memorizing entire paragraphs); a few videos, the most recent of which has caused me to be unable to stop humming "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" for two days straight; icon-hunting, though I still can't pick a favorite; reading all about these tie-in novels and deciding I REALLY need to read them for myself; and searching YouTube for David Tennant interviews and itty-bitty clips from season 2 episodes because I'm just that impatient (and kind of spoiled from the videos and - to a lesser extent - fic anyway, so, you know, it's not like I could stop myself from finding out the context of The Hug in "The Satan Pit"...)
Going back to season 1 is always kind of difficult to make myself do after I've been playing in Tennant-land, and that's probably why it took me so long to get this post finished. I'm always all, *whine*, "But it's boring..."
Then I started watching it again to re-collect my thoughts, and immediately remembered GOD. NINE IS SO BRILLIANT IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. Can I deny realization of the fact that it's his third-to-last ep? What is wrong with British actors, anyway, this business of dashing off after barely one proper season (or in this case, half of one)? How can you even begin to talk about being done after so little time? ...I'm discovering that have a lot of unresolved issues with British TV. Ignore me when I start raving about them.
So, as I was saying, let's get on with 1x11, "Boom Town"
I wrote a skeletal running-commentary the first time I saw this, but since then I've watched it again and read two additional recaps which have planted thoughts in my head, so I think I'll just write from scratch and include original notes as I see fit.
My very first jotted note: "SQUISHY BLOBBULAR SLITHEEN! Possibly this should not make me as gleeful as it does, especially with the continued really stupid flatulence, but it's old school! Old school as in before Jack. Good times."
Actually, Jack proved significantly easier to ignore in this episode, which probably contributed to my initial love for it, but upon second viewing I have to say that he proved incredibly useful as a comic foil in this opening scene with Mickey (OMG MICKEY *squeals* get to that in a minute). For example,
"Aw, sweet, look at these two...how come I never get any of that?"
"Buy me a drink first."
"You're such hard work!"
"But worth it." (Cheeky grin!)
Cue me rolling on the floor, giggling madly, and replaying approximately 25 times. I really want to hate how smugly confident Jack is in his good looks (yeah, pretty boy, you're handsome...in a plastic surgery kind of way), no matter how jokingly he does so, but it utterly and completely works here. Both of them, their expressions, their tone of voice, it's HYSTERICAL. Actually, let me back up a bit, I love this entire scene, from Mickey's shoving Jack out of the way (awesome), the Doctor's cheerful greeting of "Ricky Boy!", and of course "I don't mind you hanging out with Big Ears here--"
The Doctor is just so hilariously indignant about this. I love indignant!Doctor.
Also, yet more points to Mickey for being totally unimpressed with Jack and then dubbing him cheesy, which is fantastic. As amusing as Jack's reaction to that was, I am going to lift a suggestion from the second recap I read, and start referring to him as The Cheese more often. It fits, yeah, the Doctor and the Cheese?
Favorite part #512 in the first five post-teaser minutes: the exiting of the TARDIS to go exploring, with Rose bouncing around the Doctor like a little puppy. Taking his arm, leaning on his shoulder, and then skipping 'round in front just fills me with unabashed glee. Also, now's as good a time as any to mention how much I love her multicolored scarf, even though I generally think of her fashion sense as zany & eclectic, the merit of which I've not yet made a decision about. And her hair is seriously adorable in braided pigtails. That's one of the few things I'm really not going to like about season 2, because for all my clip-seeking, I've still not got used to the sudden bob. Of course, in my world view longer locks generally suit everyone better, but I much prefer her hair in this style over what comes next.
Let's talk about Mickey now. He's becoming steadily less interesting to me, although it's hard for me to admit that after the feeling of instantaneous love I felt during the first episode, especially now that I've met The Cheese and seen how bad peripheral characters can get. I really do think he's a fantastic character, I just don't have any urge to watch his scenes twice. And even the first time I was watching it, at one point I found myself going "Yeah...I'm really not cool with Mickey the Boyfriend anymore."
I think that point came when he suggested a hotel room. No, in all honesty, I was never sold on their relationship, and now I can't even really see it as sweet. I swear it has nothing at all to do with my adoration of the Doctor's little jealous fits. I'm just...so very tired of them trying to force things.
And yet at the same time I feel really bad for him. Not bad enough to want Rose to stay with him, because I think she outgrew him pretty quickly and they're just not right for each other at all, but bad enough to cringe when she natters on endlessly about all the wonderful things and places the DOCTOR has shown her. Bad enough to whimper when he channels all this hurt and frustration into the revelation that he's dating someone else (recipe for more misery and heartbreak! That's the way, Mickey, eventually do to Trisha what Rose did to you), or when she dashes off without saying goodbye, and the ending killed my soul a little.
Unlike SOME people (*eyes Television Without Pity), I can't find it in me to fault Rose for the obviously-not-nice way she treats him. This is a common theme in my perception of my fandoms; I have a great big soulmate complex and third parties who are in any way detrimental to that partnership get mowed down in my path (see also: Filippelli, Karen; Dogget, John), because it's all about the endgame. Other people are irrelevant, stops along the way. I don't care that I'm supposed to sympathize with them, or maybe see myself reflected in them. I'm all about the fantasy.
By this point I kind of just want to whack Mickey so that he realizes it's over and moves on - really, she might be my newest girl-crush but I can't believe she's that worth pining over - but even while I'm not faulting Rose, I'm sympathizing with the situation. Dark & Shadow-Brooding Mickey at the end there was depressing, and the tears on her cheeks when she came back to the TARDIS alone broke my heart. For all that she's entranced by her shiny new life - as are we all - there's still love between them there, and even if it's faded and seemingly more a habit of comfort than romantic passion on her end, it's something that's always been there. And now it's not. I feel like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants would have a really appropriate quote to use right here, but my brain is blocked up, so I'll just quote the wise words of my friend on relationship endings: "To put it bluntly, that sucks."
I know I swore off being introspective and meta-y about this show, given that all my knowledge comes from these eleven episodes and I'm ignorant about 30 or so years of pre-Eccleston canon, but...this is normal relationship stuff. I'm good at talking about that.
(also, how beautiful was the Doctor's subtle reaction upon seeing her return? For all that part of him is probably thinking 'good riddance,' it's Rose in pain and he never wants that. And how casually he offers to wait if she wants to go find Mickey...concern in as hands-off a manner as possible, as it should be. After all that fanfic, I feel disillusioned by the fact that there exists a hurting that can't be solved with a hug, though)
Leftover Notes, Because Paragraph Transitions Are Tiring Me
-Team TARDIS is not my friend at all, but I have to admit that the Cheese laying out a complex plan of attack was pretty good. To quote the recap, 'The Doctor watches Jack say these things, and across his face is written the words "Say what, bitch?" Rose is like, "We do plans now?" and Mickey's just trying to remember if he's wearing shoes.'
-"The Doctor's very good at teleports." HEEHEEHEE. THIS NEVER STOPS BEING FUNNY. VER. I could have gone on with about twenty more rounds of watching her disappear and then reappear in the opposite direction, looking confused and infuriated. I recreated this for myself with ample use of the rewind button.
-As the Cheese entertains the group with raucous and possibly raunchy stories in the restaurant, and Rose laughs herself into fits: "I don't even recognize Rose around this idiot." Well, I do, but somehow it grates on my nerves when he makes her laugh. I get that it's very much a part of her personality to react like this, but...I'm jealous. And seriously, his participation in Team TARDIS messes up the Doctor/Rose dynamic. There's no getting around that fact.
-Also, the Cheese got to be the one to pull her to safety after Slitheen released her choke hold. That's a problem for me.
-"Raxacoricofallapatoria!" I do believe Rose's happy squeal and jumping into the Doctor's arms may have made up for The Cheese's inclusion in this episode. Rewind and repeat at will.
-I'm annoyed with the abrupt switch from Deep Dark Music of Doom over the "Bad Wolf" sign to "Nothing at all!" I get that he's not really brushing it aside so much as pretending to brush it aside, but the preceding intensity of his stare renders the rest of it unbearably silly & stupid-sounding.
-TWoP made my head hurt with a lot of deep thoughts on parallels between capital punishment and godhood and whatnot, but really, all I have to say about Creepy Slitheen is that killing her fails to weigh on my conscience because unlike her, we're not attacking innocents, it's direct retribution for the countless number of lives she took. Sheesh. Why is revenge always so hard for people to wrap their brains around? Eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind? Well, A) better the bad people as blind as the good ones then, and B) once you can't see, you stop fighting. ...and even THAT was deeper than I wanted my thoughts to go. Thanks for that, TWoP.
-And just for the record, I didn't believe for one second that she had changed. Well, maybe I felt sympathetic during the part where she didn't kill the pregnant woman, but after that I was anti-Slitheen all the way and grumbling with annoyance about the Doctor's problem of allowing himself to be manipulated all the time.
-Two final points of win: the Doctor catching the poison dart without even looking, and then neutralizing the poison gas with breath spray. That is why Nine is awesome.
Next: You know, I know the Daleks come back and wreak all kinds of horrible havoc, and yet I find myself surprise (and irrationally angered) by this fact anyway. And I'm kind of not ready to fling myself into the abyss of despair that is the 2-part season finale here, because..."The Parting of the Ways" is the one thing I've managed to keep myself largely unspoiled about, and I even though I know the larger arc of what happens, exactly how it goes down and how we get from Nine to Ten is completely foreign to me and I'm a little scared to find out. Because no matter what I tell myself about their being one and the same, not to mention the fact that I like Ten better in theory, I am just...not ready to lose Nine like that!
On the bright side: only two more Jack episodes. I've cheered up immensely upon discovering that he's not around to tarnish any part of season 2. By the time he comes back I might even have missed him. See, see, I can handle The Cheese when I know he comes in limited quantities...I think..