Army of Ghosts
*deflates* It's been almost 3 weeks, and I still do not even know where to begin. Talking about, thinking about, watching or otherwise dealing with this 2-parter is like wading through tar pits. That's how thick and heavy it is.
RS: *nods* We need categories...categories which I will only vaguely stick to. I also think we need to deal with only one episode at a time. And so, we'll leave Doomsday for another day and concentrate on part 1.
-Er, which came first - casting Freema Agyeman in this episode, or as Martha? I'm curious, even though neither way makes sense, because I have to say it seems less than brilliant for Rose's replacement to be fresh off an annoying role as a horny office worker (or maybe I just found her annoying because it was Martha. Is hard to tell through my narrow-eyed scowl of mistrust.) Another question - does this coincidental similarity ever get addressed when we meet Martha, or are we just supposed to pretend we've never seen her before?
-You know how they always say "NEWMAN." on Seinfeld? That's how I spat "Torchwood" every time we returned there. With murder in my eyes. The levels at which I loathe Torchwood are off the chart. Now, just looking at this objectively, given how it's been set up thus far, whyyyyy would you want to watch a spinoff devoted to this horrible place? Eh? What about it could possibly make you go "Oh, hey, I want to spend more time around here!"? Was it Jack? That had to be the only reason they managed to lure viewers, right, because seriously. TORCHWOOD. (I suppose maybe there were promos that helped, too. I forget about stuff like that since I'm not watching on TV.)
-Also, I would be so much more open to Torchwood if the hot guy working the computers played Ianto. For the record, the hot guy would be the one who doesn't already bear a more than passing resemblance to Ianto.
-I spent a lot of time in AoG noticing things that would be important later, like " *sobs* It's the lever of DOOOOOOOOOM(sday)" and "Ack! The Wall of Doooooooom(sday) and Heartbreak!" and answering many a 'what's that?' question posed by the characters with "Oh, I suspect THE THING THAT WILL DESTROY DOCTOR/ROSE FOREVER." One-track mind, what?
-Also, if I haven't already reached this point - and I think I have, but I can't remember specifically just now - I officially hate Mickey. Nothing about him is cool or exciting to see at all. Am I having another episode of being completely contrary to the general fandom? Because for me, every additional appearance makes me like him less. It doesn't even matter whether he's clinging to Rose or not. For no particular reason, I am just fed up with him.
Plot-wise, Army of Ghosts was much better than Doomsday, I think. Daleks & Cybermen at once = seriously, not that interesting. But AoG was actually pretty cool, with lots of Jackie being hilarious - I was pretty much doubled over laughing when he introduced her as Rose Tyler ("She's very good at tea. Well, I say very good, I mean 'not bad.' Well, I say not bad...") and the Doctor's clashing with Torchwood in general. I rather love the deadly-quiet calm with which he conceals his horror. "It's the 21st century. You can't have particle guns." Oh, oh, and the grinning like a fool as he pretends to totally not care in the slightest if they continue on with the ghost shift. "No, go ahead! Mmm, can't wait!" Trixy Doctor is amusing.
- I was surprised and delighted when the Doctor pointed out "a footprint doesn't look like a boot" for the second time, and I realized the significance of those words. Even knowing the general plot line backwards and forwards, that was just a random phrase for me, some metaphor, until the Cybermen actually showed up. And I saw the 3-D glasses, yet didn't wonder why. I am really, completely incapable of making connections without having them spoon-fed to me, aren't I? Nevertheless, I find it inexplicably cool that he knew the whole time and didn't say anything.
-As strange and surreal as the Ghostwatch montage on TV is, I still giggle hysterically at the commercial for "Ectoshine!"
-"If it's alien, it's ours." I'm sorry, and the Doctor's supposed to be the arrogant one? *continues to hate Yvonne*
-I love his ranting about the sphere coming through. "Bam! It leaves a hole in the fabric of reality. And that hole, you think, 'oh, should we leave it alone, back off, should we play it safe? Nah,' you think, 'let's make it BIGGER!'" And of course, the cracked-window demonstration is most excellent. Messy examples are always the best.
-I shall be scarred for life from the sight of Yvonne pulling out that earpiece with a long, slimy stem of brain matter attached. Ewwww.
-And despite my future claims about them being boring, I have to admit that the first sight of a new group of Daleks - even when there are only 4 of them - still inspires chills of horror. For looking like a more knobbular version of R2D2, they can sure come across as damn creepy.
-I still despise that teaser and refuse to ever watch it again, but I do like the one clip of them on a dinosaur-like planet (can we visit that place again sometime in a full-length episode? The flying creatures looked amazing). I think what I really like best about the Doctor's "How long are you gonna stay with me?" question is the emphasis on the first word - that it's not really so much a question as a request for affirmation. He wants to hear her say it again. And she's only too happy to acquiesce. Still makes me smile. :)
-Opening scene of bouncy walking! Oh wait, that's like a 3-second transition shot in the regular episode, sad! I've pretty much memorized the deleted part, so, you know, there's actually much more bouncing and hand-holding than you think you see here. They are ridiculously cute when they stroll along hand-in-hand.
-Adore the first scene back home. Must have rewound it 5 or 6 times, giggling hysterically at Jackie grabbing the Doctor and kissing him despite his struggling and protests (much funnier/less horrid than the screencaps had made it look), followed by him wiping his mouth in disgust, wearing an expression not unlike a cat who's just gotten soaked. *falls off chair laughing*
-And there is no reason I should note this, but just the way Rose babbles on about her mum's gift, "Oh, um, what's it called..." bowls me over with a wave of familiarity; this is the way they are all the time. It's small, but noteworthy. At least for me. And I do love that he's all "oh, tell me something new" about Jackie being mad, until Rose says that her granddad's dead, and all the humor is immediately gone from his face.
-I have gathered that people like the "I ain't afraid of no ghosts" bit, and find it funny or something, which...I think is the angle they were going for? Cute and funny? But that accent, if you can call it that, is so hideously embarrassing to me that it actually makes my stomach turn every time I hear it. Not kidding. I feel physically sick.
However, her attempt to navigate the buttons of the TARDIS was adorable and endearing, as it should be. "Now you've just killed us." And I love her little laugh there, not even a little embarrassed, because they're always capable of having fun. And I should add, contrary to claims I will make later, that when they're working together, I love when he's teaching her things and she gets to help take control and be in charge of things.
-In a related note, I hate that Jackie promptly tramples all over the moment by whining about how she's changing and someday there'll be a strange woman in the market on a planet a billion miles away (nice choice that the "Impossible Planet" theme starts playing here), but "she's not Rose Tyler." Honestly, once Jackie IS gone, why would it be so awful for Rose to keep traveling with the Doctor? If she's changing, it is in fact for the better. I don't even mind her short hair anymore...to the point where when I go back to season 1, I feel like she doesn't look quite right.
But at least there was a very nice, very real mother-daughter moment in Jackie's quietly defensive "I've worked in shops; what's wrong with that?" And...I really need to get back to Doctor/Rose things.
-"And it'd be really brilliant if I met someone called Alonzo, because then I could say 'Allons-y, Alonzo!" every time. You're staring at me." HEE. I love how that all runs together without a pause.
-"Doctor, they've got guns."
"And I haven't. Which makes me the better person, don't you think? They can shoot me dead, but the moral high ground is mine." I love that she's genuinely worried, and switches mid-line from equal seriousness to flippant cheerfulness. Plus, of course, there's the hands-on-waist and deftly moving her out of the way.
-The little half-smirk and finger wave after they catch Rose is too cute for words. As is his adorably resigned "Please...don't tell people I travel through time and space with her mother?"
In retrospect, part 1 isn't half-bad. Kind of enjoyable, actually, provided you skip most of the godawful teaser before it can suck you into the pit of depressing despair.
P.S. It's kind of exciting to finally understand the context of my DW icon! I picked it mostly for the pretty coloring and the lettering font, but it's good to know that it's from an actual significant moment.