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Doctor Who! 3x11! Utopia!

The exclamation points signify my relief that I finally stapled myself to a computer chair, forced myself to finish writing this (or sometimes just *type* what I'd already hand-written), and can at last move on to watching the next one.  
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So, Utopia's plot? Kinda sucky. HOWEVER: You did not tell me it was merely the vehicle for a truckload of Rose references, the Doctor and Jack being snipppy all over the place, and the Doctor prickling at just about everything Jack says or does (you also did not tell me the finale was essentially a 3-parter, which, WAAAAAH, I was not happy to discover right before I had to go to bed).

Furthermore, it's only thanks to the recap I know this ep is supposed to take place after season 1 of Torchwood (apparently?). I vaguely wonder if that means I'll be missing some references or subtle nods to the series that other people will get. Which would be a pity, because it always disappointed me when people didn't get all the nuances in the CBS crime show crossovers, but there's just nothing in the world that can make me watch Torchwood as long as it contains Jack. Maybe I should start talking about the actual Doctor Who episode soon.

Running Commentary Mode today, because despite being half-asleep and lying in bed, watching on the Sansa, I was jotting notes all over the place and kept up a remarkably thorough set of thoughts. I should really see if I can find a scanner to upload one of the pages. I bet you'd be as impressed as I am by how that mess can turn into a post like this. 

And we're off!
-Martha seems oddly delighted by the fact that they're making a pit stop. I would have assumed it would wreck out her idealized hero-worship to find out he has to do such mundane things as refuel his magic box.

-"Should only take 20 seconds." Famous last words.

-AHAHAHA THAT WAS VAGUELY A ROSE REFERENCE! I've tried to forget about the Slitheen, personally, but when he starts talking about them and how "that was a long time ago" and "I was a different man then," I get really happy. ...it may have been more of a Nine reference, in retrospect. Still. Season 1!

-CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS. *already has desire to punch somewhere inappropriate and painful*

-On the bright side, I love how the Doctor sees him come running and is like, "fuck no."

-WHAT THE FFFFFFFFFFFFF. [re: Jack's slo-mo leap, but more importantly, the melodramatic and fake "DOOOOOOCTOOOOOOOR!" ride through the time vortex] *spits in distaste* Is Torchwood like this? Sheer idiotic nonsense?

-Professor Yana? Crap. That reminds me that I had limited space on my MP3 player when I was putting the DW soundtracks on it, so I couldn't fit all the songs, and I'm pretty sure that "YANA" was one whose title didn't sound interesting enough to keep it. Now I feel all lacking in knowledge. [edit: in a related note, I did the same to "The Master Vainglorious." That was probably a mistake.]

-Ooh. One of the few times the Doctor actually looks fearful...

-AND THERE GOES THE ICON BOUNCE! *Hee!* I love the sight of him grinning madly and springing off to the side. I rewound it about 20 times. Whoever's got it, please post it in the comments so that I can sit and be mesmerized by its endless loop as long as I want. Better than lava lamp.

-HEE. There is much more animosity here than I remember from Nine. Issuuuuuuues!

[Edit:
"Nice to meet you, Martha Jones."
"Oh, don't start!"
"I was only saying hello." Man oh man, the Doctor's scathing tone of voice still FILLS ME WITH GLEE. Cranky!Doctor is my new favorite Doctor. No matter what you tell me about the Doctor honestly liking and/or caring about and/or respecting Jack in some capacity, nothing can take away my joy in the first part of this episode, where he is crabby and snarky and otherwise treats Jack like the annoying disruption of a tagalong he is. If Nine did this, and I honestly can't remember if he did, it has been overshadowed by how much better Ten does it. And I didn't even mention how much I love that while Martha rushes aroun flailing, he just cools his heels and looks various levels of unimpressed and/or disdainful, barely refraining from rolling his eyes on at least one occasion.]

-"Have you had work done?"
"You can talk!" and

"You abandoned me."
"Did I?" DOCTOR. FOR THE WIN. Oh so much love for the obviously fake and yet wonderfully unconcerned (and a wee bit flippant) brush-off of the serious accusation.

-OOH. DIRECT Rose reference! Joy and hugging all around, and then BITTER MARTHA. "Good old Rose." I laugh at her pain.

-"It's called a vortex manipulator - he's not the ONLY one who can travel in time."
"Oh EXCUSE ME, that is not time travel. That's like...I've got a sports car, and you've got a space hopper!"

-1869! Oi! WORLDS: *ABRUPTLY COLLIDE* Somehow, I've kinda disconnected the Institution of Evil from the same-titled show. But they're...the same place. Which Jack has apparently been at from the beginning. My head hurts.
(in a related note: just when you think I can't love the Doctor any more, he tosses out a "Told you." *loves*)

-"OH, she was BLONDE, oh what a SURPRISE!" Whoa. OK, Martha? UNCALLED FOR. Really, seriously, not even funny. That tone of voice struck a nerve with me, never mind him. Although in that respect, angry!Doctor whirl = love.

-I guess Martha's too hung up on her Rose bitterness to notice that Very Significant Look the Doctor gives Jack, so let me use this time for exposition.

Somewhere along the way - long time ago; I was just at the beginning of season 2, I think, and probably read it in a fic - I picked up that Jack was immortal. I swelled up with rage over the realization that now I couldn't even hope for him to be killed off at some point. Around that time, however, I also learned that Jack was apparently the Face of Boe. I think you all know my feelings on that - everyone else seemed to be all "OH NOES, HOW HORRIBLE/SAD!" and I'm all "SWEET. Face of Boe is a trillion times more likable! How soon can he change?"

Point is, I know what's going on here, which is good. Because you never know with me; I might not have been able to put the clues together myself. [edit: in fact, judging from the rest of this episode...] Even if I'd figured out that he was immortal, I doubt I would have figured out why until the Doctor explained it. Prior knowledge, it is sometimes a good thing.

-WTF. I just felt a teensy little twinge of Doctor/Martha shipping right there, for no particular reason, at the way he tilts his head and tells Martha "I suppose..we have to hope life will find a way." There is nothing shippy in this conversation whatsoever. Why do I feel shippy twinges?! And now it's gone. That was weird.

-"JACK, DON'T YOU DARE!" I love the Doctor's furious order not to shoot, even in what would clearly amount to self-defense. OH MAN, I want him to meet Lt. Horatio Caine on one of the latter's murder-spree days. Would probably make the poor Doctor's head explode.

-"Captain Jack Harkness, who are you?"
"Stop iiiit." Oh, Doctor's warning tone. I like that one too. Although if he ever gets tired of repeating himself, he should just carry a spray bottle around and squirt Jack with it as necessary. Bet it would be a lot more fun.

-Like now, when he repeats his smarmy greetings to Chantho. "Can't I say hello to anyone?" No, Jack. No, you can't. *sprays down with water*

-Ahhhh, the chopped-off, later-regenerated hand! I never actually saw that part during The Christmas Invasion - too busy speeding past the overly long and stupid fight sequence - so I liked the inclusion of a clip. I also liked the inclusion of the clip because for some reason he's about ten times more attractive in it. I could not for the life of me understand why - more prominent freckles, maybe? - until I realized it's mainly because his hair is floppy, with much less gel. God, I wish he used less gel. Usually I just look past it, but he's quite frankly got awful hair. Seriously, I despise hair products on men. THIS IS A TOTALLY WORTHY DIGRESSION.

-"Hello again!" Awww, but Doctor is still very cute with the hand wiggling.

-Oh, oh, I totally hear strains of "This is Gallifrey" starting up in the background. [edit: and yet...this meant nothing to me. Told you. Can't connect clues.] Love that song. Is surpassing Rose and Martha's themes as my all-time favorite. May have already surpassed them, actually. It's unbelievably beautiful.

-All right, "Chantho" is officially hate. That habit of hers is frickin' annoying.

-Sound of Drums?! Hey! NEXT EP. Also, on Grey's Anatomy, the sound of drums signifies a character's fear. What are you afraid of, Professor Yana?

-Oh, God, Chantho is an alien version of Martha. Not ingratiating her to me. Plz 2 die now.

-HEE. JACK IS USEFUL LIKE TURKEY. Send him on all the fatal missions you like, Doctor. It might get frustrating eventually, but I feel like I wouldn't mind watching him die a few dozen times first. He still feels pain, right? I suddenly see new uses for his immortality...

"How long have you known?"
"Ever since I ran away from you."
I feel like this is fandom's cue to make some noise about how what the Doctor did was wrong or cowardly or...otherwise somehow ungood, but I keep returning to one point: it's Jack. I'd run away from him at all times too.

"It's not easy looking at you, Jack...'cause you're wrong." Oh, I don't even care about context right now. Does my heart good to hear these sentiments spoken aloud. (although: come now, Doctor. Rose did it.) And then Jack's all hissy and bitter, and the Doctor's all *shrug* "You are; I can't help it."

-AHAHA! I've never really cared about the TARDIS as a character before, but if the ship flew to the end of the universe trying to shake off Jack...that is my kind of ship. C'mere, you!

-SHEER BRILLIANCE.

ROSE > EVERYTHING.

[EDIT: a/k/a, I was so captivated by this segment that I hung on to every word with my jaw hanging open, afraid to blink. I didn't know about any of this. It was an endless thrill ride of...well, let's discuss it.

From the moment the Doctor starts explaining with a single word, "Rose," I am paralyzed with joy. The explanation of what happened, the pride and love over "everything she did was so human," the ACTUAL FLASHBACK CLIPS, OH JOY, the mention of the Time War; the moment where Martha's tongue-biting look of sour grapes starts to soften, as Rose goes from an abstract nemesis to someone you feel bad about hating. And then it keeps going.

"She's gone, Jack. She's not just living in a parallel world, she's trapped there." OW. OW. UNEXPECTED HEART-STABBING. But in a particularly good way this time, because the Rose-angst has been pushed to the background for a while, and now it's fresh in the foreground. Strong as ever. Now with new admittance that her life isn't as peachy keen as he tells himself it is! Even better, I think Martha's starting to get it. That, or she's just contemplating how much more shaggable the Doctor has suddenly become, with all that fresh emotional pain.

"Yeah." AHAHA! The same wibbly voice from the tail end of "Runaway Bride"! Thank you. Thank you so much.

-Awww, Jack. Stop unexpectedly doing things that make me like you. Checking in on Rose as she grew up? If you can assure me there was no creepy pedophile angle in there - what? he can't seem to turn off his flirting even for a bug thing; how am I supposed to know if preteens are off-limits? - then that's incredibly sweet. I don't so much mind the idea that Jack cares about Rose. I only get furious and riled when he starts flirting with her.

-And naturally, the Doctor's finally looking at Jack with something other than animosity, and I like that too. God, is there any character development I don't agree with in this ep?

-"What would I know? Stupid old man." You know what, I fully agree with this statement! Useless old weepy man is really starting to get on my nerves as much as his bug companion.

-Martha! MARTHA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Bad as Tiny Tim Idiot Boy, you are.

-Ooh. Doctor gets all shouty and desperate, then quiet-desperate. Um. Love.

-Once again, I don't connect clues. Even with the slow typing of "Y" (You) "A" (Are) etc., I STILL did not understand that it had acronym significance. No, really. I didn't see that until the recap said so.

-YAY. BUG ZAPPING TIME!

-OK. The thing is, it's going to be kind of hard for me to take the Master seriously, since I've known about almost since I started watching the series...known about him in macro form, that is. So my impression of him is very much one of comic musical theater and/or quasi-gangster. For example, I would not be surprised to actually hear him say "Suck it, bitches!" and/or "Come see my new show: The Master! 2000!" (hey there, Jack McFarlane). In other words, in my head, his evil-villain status is about on par with Dr. Horrible. Take that as you will.

-One way to take it: I laughed for like a full minute right after his regeneration as I recognized various poses from macro screenshots. Simm!Master amuses me greatly.

[edit: anyway, I was vaguely aware that the Master was a recurring character from way back when, and thus the Classic fans had an edge over the New-only fans. This was information I'd always avoided collecting, lest it spoil me, but at this point it seemed necessary to stockpile some knowledge, so I had stunt-muppet give me a concise summary of his history. Muppet is very good at the concise summaries. (Wikipedia later filled in whatever else I wanted to know.)

With that in mind, upon second viewing, I can devote my full attention to falling apart over the Doctor instantly transforming to a whole new level of desperate pleading.  Erm, digression time: 

I bookmarked an LJ post maaaaaaaaaaaany weeks ago - possibly months - "How did Ten progress in season 3?"  Judging by the number of comments, somebody else must have pointed me in its direction; don't remember who.  Anyway, I've kept it storage for ages, and FINALLY allowed myself to read it last night (having resisted thus far due to the obvious risk of spoilers). It was totally worth the wait, and a line I find particularly helpful to have in mind going forward, is "The Master enslaved the earth and treated him like a dog, yet he had a year to become accustomed to not being the last one, not being alone any longer. He basically got a whopping case of Stockholm Syndrome..." Oh, helpful meta posts, how would I ever watch this show without your guidance?

/digression.

"End of the universe! Have fun! Byebye!" And on second viewing, I'm starting to think that maybe my impression of the Master was not entirely inaccurate. He's kinda spastic, in a hyper-evil-chipmunk sort of way. I see why people like him.]

-Anyway, back to the night I actually watched this for the first time - was it as long as a week ago? God, it took forever to make myself sit down and type this - I sat bolt upright when it cut off right in the middle of a high point with "to be continued," shrieking "F, no, NOT FAIR! I won't have time to watch the rest until after I move! ARRRRRRRGH, SEASON 3, WHAT DID I SAY RE: YOU AND BEING AWESOME?!" 

P.S. And the point of the primitive humans was what? 

Up Next: Probably going to watch both of the remaining episodes before I post again. Probably. Guess this means I'm finally going to see the last two most-macroed things of the season, then...Lucy Saxon, and "Tinkerbell Jesus" (I'm thinking the fact that I know it as such may undermine a lot of its seriousness). Looking forward to them both.

Man, I just realized that after this, my nicely compiled list of links is going to run out, and I'll be forced to start hunting each episode individually. Boo! It was handy having a single go-to bookmark for the past two seasons.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
dreamingwriter
Aug. 13th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
I'm sitting at work, desperately trying to to giggle in glee at this review. And because I have much to say about this you get long!comment. Enjoy.

-I'm only willing to consider watching Torchwood if something on Doctor Who makes me spiral into depression and I need to be reminded that someone who traveled with the Doctor is alive and relatively happy.

-Season One (Of Wonder and Joy!). I've been rewatching it. Haven't gotten to the Jack episodes yet, though.

-I've decided to stop resenting Jack. Which means he should die. Because every time I decide to like a character they die (or disappear or get fired, etc.). Yeah, I get tired of him, but... In small bursts I can like him.

-I love snarky, Jack resisting Doctor. It sets up so many little arguements and I get more of annoyed!Doctor.

-Rose! *puts on glasses* I vote yes to always mentioning her, for the rest of the series and ever.

-I sort of enjoyed Martha's little blonde outburst. Lol. No real reason for it, but I did.

-*can never ship Martha/Doctor ever* Even if I did it would only be out of pity. And I'd feel bad if I pity shipped them. Friendship? I love that, can see it, cling to fanfiction that gives me the Martha friendship view. I just don't see Martha/Doctor.

-Ha ha, I like the Doctor's hair. It's fun to look at.

-No comment on the whole missing Rose scene because I was in happy/angsty shock that they talk about it. Not that I totally expected it because I love reading spoilers or anything.

-See, Jack can be sweet. That's how I see him most of the time. Like a big, sweet, brother or like the kid next door you grew up with who always looks after you. I manage to ignore any of his characteristics that reject this image.

-Lol, I kept seeing "Tinkerbell Jesus" and didn't get it even after I watched the episode and then it hit me last night. I laughed so hard.
rainbowstevie
Aug. 15th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Long comments are love.
1. ...Donna's not alive and/or relatively happy?? Don't answer that.
2. Oh, season 1! You seem so long ago and far away. Rewatching episodes is going to be interesting for me.
3. Annoyed!Doctor is love.
4. Maybe I've confused "shippy" with "friendship," which is entirely possible since I've mostly viewed her with "resentment" that transformed to "detached tolerance with occasional bursts of finding awesome." It was only a very fleeting moment, and I think I can only do it in AU scenarios where Rose has either died, or never existed. Preferably the latter.
5. I manage to ignore any of his characteristics that reject this image.
Now THAT, my dear, is an extremely impressive ability! Teach me.
stunt_muppet
Aug. 15th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
"Oh EXCUSE ME, that is not time travel. That's like...I've got a sports car, and you've got a space hopper!"

Hee. Still love that line. But then, I love it whenever the Doctor starts acting grouchy and immature. This was a good episode for that.

everyone else seemed to be all "OH NOES, HOW HORRIBLE/SAD!" and I'm all "SWEET. Face of Boe is a trillion times more likable! How soon can he change?"

I...don't remember finding that particularly horrible or sad, but I do remember thinking that it came out of freaking nowhere and I didn't understand how the hell it was supposed to happen. Or why that had even been brought up. It's a plot point I tend to ignore, but then I don't write about Jack much, so it's not a problem.

I really, really liked Yana and Chantho, though. He was such a sweet little old guy and he and the Doctor Did Skience together, and I love it when the Doctor gets to Do Skience.

I'm...very glad I saw these episodes before they were macro-ed to the point of lunacy, because I don't know if I could have taken Simm!Master seriously after those either. Although I have a particular favorite macro series for you after you finish The Sound of Drums.

Tinkerbell Jesus, on the other hand, cannot be taken seriously under any circumstances. I actually really like The Sound of Drums and about...half of Last of the Time Lords, and Lucy Saxon is one of my favorite Season 3 minor characters, but the memory of Tinkerbell Jesus just poisons my memory of the rest of the episode and I come away hating it.
rainbowstevie
Aug. 16th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
1. Hee, yeah. TARDIS is incomparable; if you ever suggest in the Doctor's presence, that you have something better...or even equally good...you'd better prepare for a verbal smackdown.

2. Yeah, I'm still waiting on the actual context (apparently it was implied and not actually...explained? But everyone gets it anyway? Man, I need to finish watching the season so I can stop sounding dumb), and I may only have read a couple of brief, fairly vague responses. But one of them was distinctly upset by how Handsome Jack had been reduced to a giant, wrinkly-faced head. :P

3. I'm...very glad I saw these episodes before they were macro-ed to the point of lunacy
LOL, that's a very apt way of putting it. I'm still not entirely sure when or why I decided to let myself go ahead and look at any macros from the s.3 finale when I was avoiding pics from all the other episodes...maybe it started with "non-spoilery pic from ~" and slowly escalated? I don't know. It was a long time ago, when I was young and foolish.

4. Tinkerbell Jesus, on the other hand, cannot be taken seriously under any circumstances.
Damn! I was really hoping it'd manage to get me under its spell anyway. You never know, I might still get all caught up in the moment. When I want to take shows seriously, they have to fight to make me see otherwise (isn't that right, CSI: Miami?).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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