[Notes: I recreated this entire post from scratch. It took forever. Have the nagging feeling that forgot a thing or two, and also that I lost a lot of well-worded sentences and replaced them with cheap substitutes. Am massively frustrated by this, but at least I finally buckled down and finished something so I'd have a record. I'll thank myself for this later.]
Hey, remember when I bulldozed through The Office and wrote, like, a paragraph on every episode? Those were good times.
I really...swear I did not intend to do a full-blown review for every ep. It just sort of happened, the realization that each cycle only had about 13 installments before it irreparably changed, so I didn't want to burn through them too fast. And writing about my rapidly shifting attitudes seemed like a sensible enough thing to do, because I never quite believe my memory of how damn fast I orient myself in new fandoms, but somehow instead of just pulling out a few scattered thoughts, I turned it into an ordeal.
Meanwhile, as part of the artificial Doctor Who fandom experience, in addition to old recaps I've been belatedly following the reaction posts of dollsome & lemonlye as I reach the same points in my watching. Any of you have nicely tagged Doctor Who posts I could add to my reading list?
'2.1, New Earth
Setting aside the part where Rose kisses Mickey goodbye and gets "I love you" in return, and her distressingly shorter hair, and the way she looks like she's been blasted with the makeup cannon again (heavier on the blush/lipstick this time) - so, pretty much everything about the teaser - that was quite a lot of fun!
"That was our first date."
"We had chips."
Aw, I love them so much. I've decided that every episode should includes moments like the post-teaser scene, with the giddy running hand-in-hand, and the conversations while lying side by side on the (apple) grass, with his coat spread out as a blanket. At the very least, I have enough Video Moments stored in my head to know that there is an ample supply of cute yet to come, so I'm golden (the nice thing about watching music videos, you see, is that even though you spoil yourself on all the best visuals, you can still file them away like promises, and meanwhile you get to be surprised by the context - plus the dialogue is brand new. Well, not this dialogue, since I saw the clip in that Tennant interview, but...you get the idea)
Loved the cat nuns, simultaneously cute and creepy - albeit much more of the latter as the episode wore on - and so very, very misguided at all times. I feel like maybe someone was trying to get their political commentary on, given the nurse's speech about the greater good and how it was okay because they weren't really human, but I was too distracted by the way the rows and rows of humans in pods reminded of the X-Files movie to care.
Chip filled me with revulsion whenever he was on screen, but I highly approve of the return of Lady Cassandra. Okay, maybe I didn't so much approve of the excessive cleavage-baring, or the assault kiss - speaking of which, I hereby order this moment banned from all Ten/Rose videos, because while it makes for very nice freeze-framed iconage, especially with her hands tangled in his hair and all, in practice it's actually less appealing than Sara kissing Grissom goodbye. And the way she licks her lips afterwards is faintly nauseating. (I do highly approve of the dazed expression on his face and the squeaky voice, though)
[Edit, 1 week later: okay, fine, so maybe I've replayed this scene a lot and/or done some squeeing since then. I still don't think it belongs in the videos.]
Otherwise, loved EVERYTHING about Cassandra being in Rose's body, especially complaining about being a chav (except, did her eyes not work in the trampoline body? She should have been perfectly aware of what Rose looked like before jumping into her), then admiring her new form anyway. "It's like living inside a bouncy castle!" The voice & mannerisms are so dead on it's spooky; Billie Piper never ceases to amaze me with these scenes. [And, I might add, since it's taken me a week to convince myself to rewrite this, I've ended up watching those scenes a lot. Every repeat is as delightful as the last.]
But as much as I liked her in that body...I don't even have the words to describe her taking over the Doctor's. Is it possible to be delighted and horrified at the same time? Because I'm pretty sure I was. Or whatever the equivalent of "Heeheehee ewww *giggle* *shudder* Oh, that is so wrong!" is. I mean, I burst out laughing every single time this segment starts, but tell me your skin doesn't crawl when he freaking purrs about how foxy he is, and then taunts Rose about it. And then it's back to funny as he suddenly yelps at the sight of the sick humans and spazz-panics about what to do. I'm convinced there are at least a thousand macros to be made out of his expression at that moment.
The Doctor is always best while filled with indignation and contempt, particularly if it's on Rose's behalf, so it was with quiet glee that I watched the "I'm being very, very calm" speech unfold. Along with temporarily ignoring the pending onslaught of sick zombies to deal with the much more important issue of how Cassandra needs to get out of Rose. The dark glower on "Give her back to me" - EXCELLENT.
Climbing up the ladder, Cassandra bouncing back and forth between the Doctor & Rose was quite possibly the funniest segment of the season to date. I will never not burst into giggles at "Oh, chav-tastic again." And by this point I'm hard-pressed to say whether Piper or Tennant is doing the better Cassandra imitation. They're both so good at it.
And then, of course, there's Cassandra's final exit of Rose's body into Chip's, and the Doctor subsequently having to catch Rose before she faints. Twice. Excellent! And that second time he catches her is suddenly what I want for my icon moment. Even if their faces are somewhat hidden - rather a recurring theme in my icons, I've noticed - they're framed in such a way that it creates an illusion of intimacy as good or better than any of their proper hugs. And I LOVE their little exchange of "Hello." I cannot imagine a more endearing smile than what the Doctor is wearing right there.
And in the end, aside from Cassandra's fitting demise, everybody lives - in a much more satisfying manner than the end of "The Doctor Dances." Where I am totally not making a comment about Captain Jack.
*There's an amusing parallel irony in the way the Doctor seems to have the same propensity for collapsing in unconsciousness as Rose had for getting captured last season.
*Although I am positive this show is no longer aimed at kids, I loved the two tricksy cutaway scenes to avoid actually swearing. Ah, Who. So adorably innocent.
*"These people are dying, and Rose would care." Is that sort of how the references go in season 3, then? They're much more wonderful when Rose is actually more-or-less there.
*The Face of Boe's existence seemed sort of pointless in this episode, other than delighting me as his presence is wont to do, but I'll assume this is going to be a callback point for something in the future.
*Were the colors always this vibrant? All the colors seemed to be exploding off the screen. Very pretty cinematography.
As previously mentioned, I've bounced through my favorite sections of this episode about ten times since I first watched it. After so many repeated viewings, I would like to rescind my comments about the makeup cannon; it's still noticeable, but I've also decided that Rose looks exceptionally pretty in this episode.
cheated happened to bounce through the good segments of "The Runaway Bride," and knowing it will be important later, I would like to underscore just how much I love the faint-and-catch scene.
The more I think about it, the more I think I love this episode to pieces.
Also, I keep trolling LJ via Google to find reaction posts, and I keep ending up on dwrewatch, which is a place of awesomecakes except that it assumes you've seen the whole series and I keep spoiling myself on little things. Must stop it. This is why I need your posts.
2.2, "Tooth and Claw"
More 19th century goodness! Plus werewolves! It is all J.K. Rowling's fault that I love werewolves like some people love vampires. Of course, this would have been a lot more fun if it had actually been a proper werewolf, and not the product of alien activity like everything else. I know that's the point of the show, but sometimes you get nostalgic for a good dose of mythology and folklore. Especially when you've got the wild Scottish highlands to play in.
Speaking of which, until a few days before watching this ep, I was completely unaware that David Tennant was Scottish, and it was quite a jolt hearing his real accent in the interview I saw. Not at all an unpleasant one, though, so it was quite a treat getting to hear him use it for good portions of this episode. (and considering that I put The Stone Rose on order in audiobook for the express purpose of hearing more of this lovely accent...) Giggled hysterically over (and have watched several times since) the whole scene where they first exit the TARDIS. "Oh, I'm...I'm dazed and confused. I've been chasing this wee naked child over hill and over dale. Isn't that right, ya timorous beastie?" = HEE. But I'm getting ahead of myself again.
First and foremost, YES! Another icon image revealed! I've been dying to hear the explanation behind Rose's fugly T-shirt and denim jumper that look like they belong on a 6-year-old. Apparently, some misguided part of Rose's mind thought it would work well for the 1970's (false), and at no point before or during their adventure did she have time to change. On that note, I think I feel a little cheated that I didn't get to see her in another elegant 19th century dress. All the pretty black horses in the world can't make up for...well actually, yes, yes they can. *gazes at pretty black horses for a while*
(And I know I skipped right over their opening beginning scene, but aside from being distracted by her hideous outfit, all I could think about was how painful it looked to be bouncing off the TARDIS console and getting thrown to the floor. Although I suppose his eagerness to take her places is a bit cute.)
Um...what else...I don't know if it was watching while sick or what, especially considering that Queen Victoria is my favorite royal figure after Elizabeth I, but I feel like I should have enjoyed this episode much more than I actually did. Blah blah bitchy queen, self-sacrificing men, magic mistletoe,
Torchwood is going to be this season's Bad Wolf, isn't it? Sigh. By the way, fun fact! My initial mental image of Torchwood, long before I started watching Doctor Who, was of a group of people...possibly wielding torches...wandering through the wilderness and battling monsters they encountered. The setting was a little like Robin Hood in my head, I think. After starting my current obsession I did finally buckle and ask Wikipedia to explain to me what it was, and I think my idea was a lot more interesting, but whatever.
So, speaking of Torchwood, I hate the word because I associate it with Captain Jack and "Doomsday," neither of which are pleasant associations. It's nice to see how it started, though, and finding out that it's grounded in history rather than being the product of a futuristic society makes me dislike it slightly less.
You know what I was not amused by? Rose's bet. I was thoroughly sick of it by the second mention; stupid immaturity. And once again I couldn't help but think "History lessons in decorum: she needs them." And it was just pitifully sad when they managed to get themselves exiled in the end.
*Me, watching witless men witlessly attempt to defend their estate: "I'm thinking...you should just give the house to the Shaolin monks."
*Doctor + glasses = a little bit foxy indeed
*The werewolf, such as it was, was really cool - thus confirming that the third Harry Potter movie did the worst job in the history of the world at portraying such a beast. This will be one of many visualizations I use in place of that pathetic memory.
*Love his flipping out and demanding the whereabouts of Rose (you know, at some point, I think he ought to institute a policy whereby if she's out of his sight for more than thirty minutes, he should just assume she's in need of rescuing) - and I love her greeting him with "Where the hell have you been?!"
*Also love: hand-grab-and-run, grabbing her 'round the waist to pull her out of danger, and the random mid-danger hugging.
Next up: damn it, I've been looking forward to moving on and out of the quagmire I've been in for a week, but suddenly I am reluctant as hell to watch 2.3 because I've managed to find out about Sarah Jane Smith, and I...didn't want to know that. I like living in this bubble where I don't have to remember that there were ever any other versions of the Doctor, and where I don't have to think about the companions that came before, in much the same manner you don't want to hear about your boyfriend's exes. It's not pretending they didn't exist, it's just...for whatever reason they didn't last, so I'd rather they be over-and-done with and confined to his memory.
Plus it just reminds me over and over that even if real life hadn't warped the show's direction, it wouldn't be the Doctor and Rose forever, or even for the rest of her life - eventually she'd get too old (if she didn't manage to get killed at some point along the way), and he wouldn't. It quickly becomes massively depressing, and it's usually at this point that I just hit my head against the wall and retreat to the comfort of an AU where they're both human.
In further reasons to feel reluctant, Mickey promises to be there, and he's grown oh-so-tiresome.
Clearly, I am going to go subject myself to it now anyway. *takes a deep breath and plunges in*