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And it just keeps going...

I've never had a second wind of Shiny New Obsession Love before!  Always, always, it runs 4 months, max.,  and then plateaus, never again to recapture that same sense of pristine wonder.  And yet here it is, happening all over again in July.  This is fun!

3x07, "42"
Well. "Impossible Planet" much?

Honestly, I spent 2/3 of the episode waiting for something to make me sit up and pay attention, because it was nice but not gripping. Good for the Doctor, finally getting his act together and giving Martha a Universal Roaming phone. Good for Martha finally changing their clothes, although I see she's still opting for the 2-piece ensemble, which in turn gives me a headache as she strips off the sweater within about a minute and exposes her dirty arm for the remainder of the hour. Honey, you've got to stop taking these backward steps.

[Digression: Speaking of clothes, the Doctor was really looking quite dapper. Was that a different shirt? RS likes this color combo. And thank you for leaving the brown coat behind.]

I mean, yes, there were some interest-piquing moments. Once I got my sarcasm out ("Oh goody, one of those installments full of overheated, sweaty, dirty people. Well, that's always MY favorite thing to watch,"), I decided I was rather more fond of McDonnell than I had been of anyone on the other spaceship - Ida who? - and I fell off my chair laughing at the Doctor's rapid babbling about happy primes and "Honestly, don't they teach recreational mathematics anymore?"

I was not amused by the further inclusion of Martha's mother. Honest to God, I can't even iterate the extent of my all-consuming hatred for that woman anymore. Words fail me when I try to describe the most horrible punishment I'd like to see her go through. Here, have some capslocky Keyboard Smash of Outrage: FAJSDLKJFASFLK;DJKFLAASDFAS!!

Anyway, for the most part, the story just drifts along; even the urgency of the ticking clock seems a degree removed. A couple of people die. Doors get unlocked with answers instead of sonic power. Martha floats off towards the sun, and I don't care one way or the other.

But then all of a sudden the Doctor stares into the sun, and brilliant things begin to happen.

Sometimes, I feel very sorry for DT and all the histrionic screaming/writhing/wheezing through gritted teeth he has to do. I can just barely believe it as part of the episode - I can't even imagine how incredibly stupid this must look during filming, without the urgency of plot and/or a soundtrack in place. Ugh, just the thought makes me cringe.

Let's not think about it, though, because I've replayed the first of these scenes 5 or 6 times now, and every time I do so, I become less capable of forming words and more apt to just watch in awe. From the screaming "You should've scanned!" to the raging about how humans bleed everything dry (*whimpers* That's not what you said on the other spaceship!), and the one yelp where his voice goes up about two octaves...it's both heartbreaking and terrifying. And it just escalates from there.

33:50: ...dammit, my brain just went to really bad, icky places with that one sequence of yells followed by "Martha!" and now this section is ruined for me (and possibly you, sorry!) forever. Ew-ew-ew. *knocks head against desk* (WHY DO YOU BETRAY ME, BRAIN)

OK, let's try to scrub that out of memory. I refuse to let this section be ruined for me because it also contains *the* most brilliant part of the episode, in which the Doctor's control slips for a second on "I could kill all of you!" and then effectively shatters my heart with the most pitiful, quiet whimper of "I'm scared. I'm so scared."   *wibble*  

My heart's also filled with extra little fingerlings of pain over the fact that it's Martha here to see him through, and as much as my natural inclination is to be grumpy that it's not Rose, I actually think it's more gutting and therefore better that she isn't.  And - oh, my heels are digging in on THIS admittance; come on, you - it's not that Martha's presence is inadequate either.  Quite the opposite.  She does a remarkable job of reassurance while steeling herself to get the job done, and she's justasgoodasRosewouldbe, there, I said it, don't make me say it again! That's the first time I've actually believed them as partners, instead of just telling myself that I had to believe it.  

Which doesn't mean I can't still be stubborn about their hugs.  I really do want to be all joyful when she comes running and there is shaky laughter that comes out sounding almost as weird as that of The Satan Pit, but all I can ever think about is how vastly superior that other hug was, and how sad it is that such magic no longer exists (because the Doctor and Martha?  Do not have magic hugs.  Not even if I was in a mood to be completely platonic about everything and/or pretend that Rose had never existed so there was no precedent.)

But look, there's one last moment of Dark and Distant Brooding!  Am very fond of this, and could probably occupy myself for hours trying to pin down what's going through his head before Martha interrupts it.  As for the key-giving, I initially had no particular opinion (other than maybe "yeah, about time for that too"), but then the internet complained about the apparent reverence with which she took it, and I realized that was indeed a bit annoying.

But then!  Third stop on the tour,  dwrewatch hands me a hilarious set of macros to go with this final scene, and now it's totally worth it:  listen, just taek it.  is not some ceremny, k?  (scroll down to the end)  I'm still rolling on the floor giggling at the last two.

Random Other Stuff
-Speaking of recreational mathematics, that reminds me of one time in British Lit...the professor was explaining the phrase "felicitous calculus," resulting in the following exchange:
“There’s NO SUCH THING as happy math.”
“Why?”
 “We’re English majors?”

Favorite amusing quote exchange from actual episode --
Doctor: Be careful. There may be something else on board.
Martha: Anytime you want to unnerve me, feel free.
Doctor: Will do, thanks!

-Another "Allons-y!"  I think I need to say that more often, too.  It's such fun. 

-How many times in this series is Martha going to defend the Doctor by insisting to someone that "you don't know him"?

-I love how Martha's mother asks when she got so rude, and then decides it's when she met "that doctor." Which I might believe, except for how that was approximately TWO DAYS AGO.

And ugh, ugh, ugh, with the handing over the phone to clearly nebulous evildoers at the end! For someone who pitched a hissy fit about Martha "turning her back on us" last episode, she's not doing so well with the familial loyalty. Right about now, I'm starting to realize that I miss Jackie nearly as much as Rose.

-Riley: Not as cool as Frank. *is grossed out by random scruffy-guy kiss* Go back to your clingy crush on the Doctor. At least I can understand that one.

-I maintain that I liked Cath, and can't REALLY blame her for getting everyone killed with her illegal mining techniques. Who honestly expects a sun to be alive? So yes, I was a touch disappointed when she died, even if it was in redemption. 

In Conclusion: Interesting.  Despite what I initially said about the first 2/3 of it, I seem to be marking this episode down in memory as one of the better ones of the season.

Next Up: This is going to be one of those heart-stabby 2-parters, isn't it?  *steels self*  I've been looking forward to it, though.  REALLY looking forward to it, and will be devastated if it disappoints.  But I believe things are mostly uphill from now on, as I've heard good things about most if not all of the second half, whereas I think I was able to remain completely in the dark for these last five because absolutely no one felt they were worth talking about again.   

Did I mention the part where I'm really, really excited?  *pokes computer* Get it here faster!  Why do I never remember to fetch the next episode until I'm 10 minutes from posting a review? 
-----------
In further random stuff, I've been listening to the other 2/3 of the Doctor Who soundtracks (having gone months with only disc 2 of the first one), which are thoroughly fantastic.  Season 3 should be much more enjoyable now - it was driving me nuts to hear familiar music and not know what to call it.  I'm hooked on "Just Scarecrows to War" at the moment, and can't help thinking that a) I wish it were longer, and b) this would be SO much fun to play in band.  Well, Holst's military suites always were among my all-time favorites...

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
dreamingwriter
Jul. 21st, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
Doctor Who is (basically, because I'm sure Middleman will join it) my only lasting obsession too. But mine come and go.

Anytime the Doctor screams I can't watch. Not because I'm in any emotional pain, but I just thinks it looks silly. Yes, you're hurt, blah blah. Maybe a silent scream would get me, but all this flailing? Nope.

I did enjoy this episode.

Erm, I may be disagreeing with all of fandom here, but I really didn't enjoy the 2-parter as much as they did. They're good episodes, but... Well... Maybe it was the no Rose thing.

Oh! And I'm wearing my new Rose!glasses now, thanks for sparing a pair for me!
dreamingwriter
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
I have a question about your MP3 player, if you don't mind. What program did you use to convert the video? Where'd you find it?

*is desperate*

I'm going on vacation in a few days and I really don't want to leave without a couple Doctor Who episodes.
rainbowstevie
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
Oh man, I never thought I'd have to find it again...there was a lot of Google searching the first time, plus one wrong download of a version that didn't work. But I'm 99% sure this is the version that did. Down near the bottom of the list it has "Sansa Media Converter", check that box and it should let you download.
rainbowstevie
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
...I should really read my inbox in chronological order
-Oh, my obsessions last, they just sort of...lose their initial glow after the honeymoon period, and slide into regular rotation with all the other shows.

-The screaming does get a bit over the top sometimes. I completely understand not being able to watch it.

-Maybe Human Nature/Family of Blood was to you what Empty Child/The Doctor Dances was for me?

-Glad you're enjoying the glasses. 8D

dreamingwriter
Jul. 23rd, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
Re: ...I should really read my inbox in chronological order
Thank you so much for finding it for me. *hugs* I'm downloading it in a couple minutes.

-Well, you're better than I am then. Once it stops being shiny, I have trouble making myself watch or enjoy it. Like CSI. No longer shiny. I do not watch.

-I feel guilty talking about the screaming, but... They make David scream all the time, it seems like. Probably because RTD is writing less of these episodes...

-I think that's it. I mean, they're good, but I mostly thought, ehh.
rainbowstevie
Jul. 23rd, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
Re: ...I should really read my inbox in chronological order
Awww, when did CSI stop being shiny? :(

You're very welcome for the program, though. Have you tried it out yet? My only quibble is that with the size of episodes, it takes upwards of half an hour to convert, and it refuses iTunes-y type formats.
dreamingwriter
Jul. 24th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
Re: ...I should really read my inbox in chronological order
Hmm, I stopped watching a couple episodes before the Sarah!kidnapped finale. Probably because I could never sit down and watch it I was so busy and then when I had the chance to I just didn't feel like it.

It works great! And yeah about the episodes, but as long as I can have them I'm good. I don't have iTunes and don't really plan too. (Or if I get it I will also buy a program that can convert the iTunes format into something else to spare myself the pain.)
rainbowstevie
Jul. 24th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
Come to think of it, the show actually did get a bit less shiny after that. I mean, I still like it, but season 7 renewed the love I'd all but lost entirely the year before. Season 8 failed to maintain.

I don't have iTunes either, just a couple of things in .mp4 format. (which I suppose I could convert with my OTHER program, but...that just takes even longer. :P) Glad to hear it's working for you!
stunt_muppet
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
I have been terrible and bad about commenting on your Doctor Who posts, so let's try to turn that around.

I know how you feel about the renewed Shiny Obsession Love. One of the reasons I love this show so very, very much is that it continues to surprise and delight me, making me fall in love with it all over again. It's such a lovely feeling.

Anyway, basically agree with you on "42" - I loved Captain McDonnell, but found the rest of the crew quite forgettable, and the episode didn't really get good for me until after Martha was jettisoned into space (because then I wanted to know how they were going to get her back). But...well, I normally have to giggle at the Doctorish Painface, but the Painface in "42" worked for me.

33:50: ...dammit, my brain just went to really bad, icky places with that one sequence of yells followed by "Martha!"

A ha ha ha, my brain went to the exact same place. Only I...er...didn't mind as much. It's okay, Doctor Who does dodgy well and frequently.

And I'll just admit that "I'm so scared" made me squee kind of a lot. It might just be this thing I have for vulnerability, but I loved that whole scene. I loved Martha, scared and trying to comfort him; I loved the Doctor's undisguised panic.

And yeah, the episodes do get more intense from now on, and it's the five episodes after this that get most of the fandom talk. Which is a shame, because I actually like the early episodes quite a lot - not so much the Dalek two-parter, which was...bad, but "Smith and Jones" through "Gridlock" are some of my favorites, and they have the bonus of not being nearly as grim as, say "Human Nature" or "Utopia"
rainbowstevie
Jul. 22nd, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
Yay, long comments! I love those. Welcome to the party!

A ha ha ha, my brain went to the exact same place. Only I...er...didn't mind as much.
BLASPHEMY. (but thank you for confirming that my brain isn't uniquely and especially corrupt)

And I'll just admit that "I'm so scared" made me squee kind of a lot. It might just be this thing I have for vulnerability, but I loved that whole scene. I loved Martha, scared and trying to comfort him; I loved the Doctor's undisguised panic.
Yes, yes! All of that is exactly how I feel, only I couldn't figure out how to articulate it. Now that I have words to describe it, I love the scene even more.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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