I. Possibly rhetorical question: why, exactly, are the Doctor Who DVDs such pricey suckers? I got my CSI: Miami DVDs for $30-40 apiece. Best Buy routinely finds ways to sell shows for $20. Yet DW refuses to budge below $60 no matter where I look on the internet. Considering the number of episodes, they had better be *jam packed* with extras.
II. ...ARGH. I can't do it! I cannot get beyond the 75% mark in the "My Immortal" video. I can safely say that it is the greatest Doctor/Rose video ever created (and oh so chock full of spoilers, especially since I think I was only up to 2x1 when I first watched it...bad Self! yet completely worth it), but it is so profoundly heartbreaking that after the first few times I watched it...I get to the beginning of the song's climax and I am completely overwhelmed and have to slap the pause button, which I never actually get around to un-pausing so much as restarting. I don't understand. I thought I killed this song with overplay in 2004, but now it has this whole second (or, well, possibly third, because the song tells a story unto itself even before my end-of-high-school projections onto it) layer of meaning and starts putting lumps in my throat. Yep, I start wavering at the 3 minute mark, and I'm lucky to make it to 3:10 before I'm out.
Also, as I listen to this for the 500th time, it suddenly occurs to me that the version I've had on my computer for years is a much simpler arrangement, just her voice on piano with strings in the background. No synthesizer or drum set or whatever else makes it so much more emphatic in the video, as I believe it was on the radio. Huh. I cannot believe I never realized that.
Hm, I really want to devote an entire essay to the million and two things I love about this video, but I also really want to get in a second post on Strike Day, so I may have to bring this up again later. For now, let's move on to the last thing
III. Episode Reviews 2x5/2x6: "Rise of the Cybermen"/"Age of Steel"
Oh, show, I've missed your wacky theme song. Mostly I've missed seeing the TARDIS whirl through space without being accompanied by the lyrics "There's just too much that time cannot erase."
Actually, up to that point I was still pretty resistant about dipping back into the series. It was almost like a chore; even with 9 episodes of magic left, it didn't seem worth the pending heartbreak. The teaser failed to draw me in. Even the theme song didn't leave me with glow of pleasure I usually get from opening up a new episode. Disappointing. But the second we opened up in the middle of one of the Doctor & Rose's bright, animated conversations, I flew right back into the fold.
God, I love these moments. I rewound about seven times just to bask in the delight of the pair getting completely carried away in telling stories and giggling. Not to mention that I love Rose's inappropriate snickering while the Doctor oh-so-casually tries to pretend he in no way forgot about the latter's existence for half an hour ("Well how long's it been since I could stop [pressing the button]?!" "Ten minutes? ...twenty? Twenty-nine?"). And the TARDIS console explosion, and hand on Rose's arm to check her first, and the poor Doctor's blank, bleak, numb reaction to the last TARDIS in the universe being no more. Almost as much as I love the snippy little exchange upon exiting in what appears to be modern times.
"So, this is London." Yep. "Your city." That's the one! "Just as we left it." Bang on. "And that includes the zeppelins?" Hehehe. Love the long pause as everyone takes that in for a minute, followed by Mickey's "OK, so it's London with a big international zeppelin festival." Perfectly normal, that.
(as an aside: Ooh, is this an explanation for the last line of "Patterns," then? They all look like zeppelins. I was always curious about the significance of that particular noun, but figured it was either artistic license or I'd come across it in due time. And here it is.)
I think what I like best about the Doctor/Rose scenes in this ep is that I haven't seen most of them before, because they're not really the type that go well in videos, nor are they really significant enough to explore in fic, but in the specific context of this episode they're fantastic. I love how Rose is drawn as if hypnotized to the poster of Pete Tyler, eyes distant despite the Doctor's repeated attempts to pound it home that "You can't see him. Not ever." (*snort* Right. Let me know how that works out.) Hands on shoulders! Intense staring! Talking of trust! Rewind, rewind, rewind...
In this same line of thought:
-Doctor lashing out at Mickey for not watching Rose. Didn't we talk about this? Leave the girl for 30 minutes - or 15, with Mickey - and there's an 80% chance she'll get herself in trouble.
-Followed by Mickey's sulking that he only cares about her ( really? Have you STILL not figured that out?)-"You can't become their daughter; that's not the way it works!" Oh, bench scene. Such a gorgeous combination of warning and concern in everything he says, knowing exactly how much it's affecting her but helpless to override it. Love the end of it as Mickey and Rose start wandering off in opposite directions, defiant and apologetic (respectively), while the Doctor sputters ineffectually at them both to stay put. I can't decide if he's more like a frustrated parent or frustrated dog owner right there (I swear, he's dying to just yell "HEEL!"). And there's something profoundly heartbreaking about that as well, even though I can't put my finger on why. As for you, Mickey, whining with your "You can only chase after one of us, it's never going to be me, is it?": a, NO, IT ISN'T. GET OVER IT. b, At least he actually looked like he was struggling with the decision for a minute.
-And the Doctor's impatient "Oh, I don't know, I can't worry about everything!" and then, hilariously, kicking the unresponsive TARDIS in frustration. ("Does that help?" *peevishly* "Yes." "Did that hurt?" "Yes. Ow.") They're actually kind of delightful together when they're not spatting over Rose
-Episode Highlight: Awwww, Rose is so cute, with her self-assured, wheedling smile and chin on shoulder until he gives in and agrees that there's a reason to go see Pete Tyler after all. Nobody can resist Rose! Nobody! Least of all the Doctor.
-Secondary highlight: Rose's eyes glaring daggers at the Doctor for laughing about Rose the Yorkie. Which reminds me - two fic lines explained with one ep! She’s traveled to the farthest reaches of space – seen cats in wimples and a dog who got her name instead. . . You know, I don't think I ever really paid attention to the dog part of that sentence, and then Rose the Yorkie came trotting downstairs and there was this giant "OH!" of comprehension as the line came winging back to me. I love this, having understanding belatedly trickle in. Also, said dog was adorable. :D
As for the Parallel Parents...well, it's a shame that even in parallel universe they're still at one another's throats, but I for one love RIch Bitch Jackie as much as the regular one. She's hysterical, even (or especially?) when she's snarling at Rose for butting into her personal life and insulting her lowly serving-girl profession. As for Pete, I liked the parallel to "Father's Day" where he just starts talking to Rose without any hesitation. I braced myself for a repeat of the horrible flirting, but apparently Parallel Pete is a much more upstanding man. False advertising aside.
Lastly - okay, I will grant you that Parallel Ricky was kind of awesome, and also that Mickey MAY have done the seemingly impossible and broken my heart when he first met his grandmother, especially when he saw the same torn carpet that had been responsible for him losing her in the first place. However, the scenes with the Preachers were mind-numbingly dull, and I found myself skipping the majority of them in the same way I kept hitting the fast-forward button during any and every scene that didn't include the Doctor and/or at least one Tyler. Next!
(And that is why this show cannot - or at least should not - go on forever with endless regenerations. Because the allure isn't in the sci-fi adventures and fighting aliens, it's in the interpersonal and very human relationships with characters we know. The alien adventures happen to be the background and framework, but they cannot stand alone. More people need to agree with me on this.)
-Mickey's shorn hair makes me sad - it only serves to make his eyes pop out even more. He's approaching Chihuahua territory here.
-If we can talk current times for a minute, I hear Torchwood-the-series just produced yet another reason not to watch it, so...you can imagine how I just get more and more irritated with references to the place in these old episodes.
-More talk of the late Time Lords...always so sad. :( Also! Show! I don't care how many times you try to insist that the barrier between the worlds is permanently closed, I don't believe you. "You travel through time in a box. A box that's bigger on the inside! And you expect me to believe that travel between parallel worlds is impossible?" (some people quote Scripture. I quote fanfic.) I'm positive there will always be cracks, and eventually one of them will let the Doctor & Rose find their way back to one another in a permanent manner. I have decreed it.
-And what happened to RTD having all the writing credits, where is he lately? Already off dreaming up ways to bring Rose back next year?
-It fills me with glee that Rose gets snotty and jealous over the mere mention of him talking to "Lucy."
-OH! HOW DID I NOT REALIZE THIS BEFORE NOW?! Despite all the scenes I was skipping, I saw enough of Lumic to keep thinking "Damn, I've seen him in something, but what?" And then I'm reading someone else's recap and there it is - Barty Crouch. Oh. Oh, that is weird. (in a semi-related note, I need to watch "Goblet of Fire" again because it wasn't until about six weeks ago that I was searching IMDB and realized that David Tennant played Barty Crouch, Jr. No, really. I'm sure someone mentioned it at the time, but I never connected the dots before)
-My review seems to have petered out and died after the first half of the episode. Apologies, Future Self. The first part was just that crammed full of goodies. Let's try a fresh start with Part 2, which I couldn't wait even half a minute to start after being completely swept up in the story at the end of RotC. It's weird, even when you know that characters are going to be perfectly fine*, there's something quite terrifying about them being surrounded by a circle of living machines, uninterested in the silly screams of a Doctor about surrender.
-*Well, except for Parallel Jackie, who appears doomed to be deleted in a matter of minutes. I was wondering how they were going to solve the problem of there being two Jackie Tylers by "Doomsday," and I guess killing this one off solves that.
"Age of Steel"
Let's make this short and sweet, Self. Pick out
Voice: *dies laughing*
RS: What?! I can be concise when I put my mind to it!
1. What I have learned from this 2-parter is that the Cybermen are way more complex and fascinating than the Daleks.
V: Good start. Now watch it snowball out of control.
2. "Rose, she's not your mother!" I will absolutely never get tired of the forceful exchanges like this. Never. And this is when I start wondering why there is not lots more fic situated around this 2-parter, because it seems so full of potential.
3. I really was not expecting Rickey to get killed like that. Cue my shocked face.
Voice: Don't let her fool you, by the end she'll have stuffed like six paragraphs into "one point."
4. What's-his-name, the red haired kid,'s grief upon finding this out is a lot more interesting and palpable once you know he and Rickey were supposed to be a couple. It's a really good thing I read a recap & at least one in-depth review while going back through episodes as I do these write-ups.
5. Speaking of that, the TWoP one is randomly broken, and every other page refuses to load - I get the header and the footer and the quote/poll box, but just blank white space in between. I sincerely hope this is just a problem with my connection.
6. "If we survive this, I'll see you back at the TARDIS." Aww, the half-smile. There's a beautiful moment where he's actually a little bit proud of Mickey, who in turn fights very hard not to burst into rainbows and wriggle like a pleased puppy at having finally won this admiration.
7. Mickey's happiness lasts all of about five seconds before he sees the Doctor hug Rose, followed by them staring at one another all shiny-eyed and momentarily oblivious to their surroundings. To which I say: a) haha, sucks to be you and b) *rewind, rewind, rewind* Hugs make me ever so happy, and I think I've only seen this one in a couple of videos before, so it felt brand-new. It's nothing compared to the way they look at each other, though. *melts* (Note to Self: avoid staring at screencap too long*)
8. It's actually more horrible that Parallel Jackie got turned into a Cyberman than it would have been if they'd just "deleted" her. I refuse to contemplate the full horror of the realization in that scene with Pete & Rose & Cyber Jackie.
9. I probably should have thought that Mrs. Moore/Angela Price was great, but I yawned through her scenes. The most interesting part of her entire appearance was watching the Doctor's face contort with rage and grief when they killed her. On the heels of his mercy killing the Cyberman, it was especially wrenching.
10. "I've been captured, but don't worry, Rose and Pete are still out there, they can rescue me! Oh well, never mind." Heh. Also, I love when the Doctor talks himself out of situations, so as long and drawn-out as that scene was, I lapped up every minute.
11. Even knowing that this isn't the last we see of him, I'm still a little disappointed that Pete didn't react to Rose's revelation the same way he did in 1986. Depressing.
12. This whole facade about Mickey & Rose being boyfriend and girlfriend is seriously unbelievable by this point, as in I found myself twitching, rolling my eyes, and groaning in annoyance every time they touched in some manner designed to remind me of this fact. It feels like such a CHARADE. I cannot understand why they keep dragging this out. I thought we definitely ended this in Boomtown. Why won't it die?!
...having said that, I was still shocked when Mickey spoke up to say he was staying in the other universe. Somehow, I had not previously known about this, and even though I subconsciously knew he wasn't long for Team TARDIS, and I'd been waiting for him to leave ever since he set foot on board...I wasn't prepared for this to become reality. Especially not like this. That whole speech about how they had something long ago, and she doesn't really need him anymore, was completely true and long overdue, and I may have typed something to the effect of "WELL DEAR GOD, FINALLY," yet now I don't actually want to accept it. The "official" breakup hurts, darn it.
"All those years just sitting there, imagining what we'd do one day...we never saw this, did we?", Rose asks tearfully, and that is where I broke. I hate accepting things are over. I hate confronting the end of things. Yes, I'm projecting a metric tonne of broken best friendships onto this scene, but it is the most painful thing since - *pause* er, about 3 episodes ago - BUT STILL. And I know that come Doomsday, I will look back at this episode and start cursing darkly and hurling very sarcastic insults about "Oh yes, Doctor, we will never see him again, never ever," but in the here and now it's painful all the same.
Probably much less wrong than I am for hearing Mickey say "That's the Doctor, in the TARDIS, with Rose Tyler" as it takes off, and promptly thinking dirty things.
RS: Haha Voice, that was only five at most, and...my saying this makes six paragraphs in one point, doesn't it.
V: Oh yes.
13. And straight home to the Tyler flat - into Mum's arms, full of tears. I hate it in Doomsday because it's not enough, it's not hardly enough of a comfort after he was right there and she couldn't touch him. But here, it's exactly the conclusion the episode needs, and it's the only kind of comfort there is. So close and yet so far from the father you hardly knew - again - and your boyfriend (however loose the term has become) gone for good and your mother seeming dead...it's a lot to deal with, and the only person right now who could even begin to take away some of that monumental anguish is your mother. WOW, I am so glad I waited to watch this until I was at home...*sniffles* I need a hug. Right now.
14. I love that I have no standard format whatsoever for my reviews aside from "long and verbose."
Up Next: "The Idiot's Lantern" appears to have entered my possession, so I'm afraid I won't be able to resist watching that, even though I'm reasonably sure I've already seen all the best parts on YouTube, both in music videos *and* straight video clips. Why the latter? Um...I was procrastinating against homework one night, and i really wanted to watch Who, but since I obviously didn't have time for the multi-hour ordeal that is watching an episode and writing about it, I thought I'd get my fix by watching season 2 bloopers. Which became season 2 deleted scenes. Which became "highlights of 2x7" BLAME THE SITE FOR OFFERING ME EASY-TO-CLICK RELATED VIDEOS! It's like a drug dealer.