And now, the three episodes of Doctor Who that were responsible for the majority of the brain-breaking a week ago. I figured I'd just watch the 2-parter and then stop, but then the show decided to break all the rules and string 3 of them together in one continuous long story, so I lasted about two seconds between the end of 5 and opening up 6. Frankly, I'm surprised I was able to hit the pause button long enough to slap down random thoughts every so often.
Bonus: since part of my episode-digestion experience includes reading all the macros on ihasatardis for the week each episode aired - I've had to ban myself from the place since April, to resist temptation, and I sorely missed it so now I'm determined to catch up - I've been bookmarking my very favorite macros, and starting now I think I'm going to add links to the episode-relevant ones.
Oh, and please kick me if I randomly stop in the middle of a sentence and start a new paragraph anywhere. My brain was running in like five
directions at a time during this post.
The Sontaran Strategem/The Poison Sky
(Side note: It doesn't matter how many times the Doctor corrects people, I will always pronounce "Sontaran" wrong without thinking because that way it flows better with the accented syllables in the title's other word. *shakes fist at whoever wrote it*)
At this point, I think it's just a rule that the first 2-parter of every season has to suck, so I was fully prepared for that. What surprised me was that while, yes, the quality took a tumble from the preceding eps, it was the best such offering of all the seasons yet. (edit: and it's growing on me as I write about it.) Not sure it's the kind of thing I'm dying to rewatch, but it kept me fairly engaged with snappy writing the first go-round, and Sontarans >>>> Slitheen, Daleks, or Cybermen. BONUS: Martha = much less annoying than that loathsome New York chorus girl, or even Parallel Pete.
Plus, despite the fact that I'm sure this was not the intended message at all, I got a good chuckle out of what sure sounded like an anti-environmentalist statement. That'll teach you to obsess about reducing carbon emissions in any way possible!
Martha - my initial reaction to seeing her went like so: Oh, hello again. Pretty sure "Martha's Theme" is the best thing about you. Let's see, when we parted company, you were complaining about how the Doctor had ruined your life by not falling in love with you, so...wow, my Martha-hate revs up at the drop of a hat, doesn't it? I'm sure I declared her "unexpectedly awesome" on a meme like 2 weeks ago. And yet. My desire to revisit her is suddenly zil.
But that, too, slowly ebbed away. Partly aided by the fact that she's engaged to Tom after all (I wondered! And nobody would tell me!), and at no point suddenly panicked about settling down or anything. Partly aided by the fact that she was decommissioned post-haste and replaced with a clone for most of her screen time. But mostly aided by her excellent insta-rapport with Donna, and watching the Doctor go, in two seconds flat, from begging them not to fight to thinking that fighting would have been much easier to deal with than being laughed at by two women at once (and visions of Rose and Sarah Jane danced through our heads).
(Speaking of that, UNEXPECTED ROSE IS UNEXPECTED. I nearly fell out of my chair when she flashed on the screen. And then promptly became sad and discouraged by the fact that she's yelling and looking a bit stressed rather than calm and collected like before. Can't she just come back because it would break our hearts if she didn't, and not because she specifically needs to save the universe?)
And of course, it's always nice when the Doctor comes to rescue a companion, so I eventually got my platonic-shippy kicks from him lifting her out of the little pod-thing, and giving her his comically oversized coat to wrap herself up in like a blanket.
I definitely could have done without her guilt-tripping aside to Donna about how her poor family was enslaved and tortured as an indirect result of hanging around with the Doctor, though. That did not so much endear her to me. Rose didn't have those problems, fool! She maybe got herself trapped in a parallel universe, but on the whole, Rose's family fared considerably better, and she knew him longer. Of course, Jackie never acted like her daughter was gum on her shoe, either, unlike the impression I got from the Mrs. Jones & Noble.
Then there were several more instances of Donna Being Awesome, such as when she put her background full of office skills to work as a sleuth, and I truly began to see the power of having an ordinary companion. She makes me feel so much better about my general career plans. They could come in handy one day! ;)
Or her not-to-be-denied request for a salute. That was rather fantastic too, and I love that the Doctor is delighted with her spirit...at least when it's not directed towards him in hostile ways. Such as when he nearly goes and kills himself on purpose, and upon being thwarted in that respect by a weaselly genius boy, whereas Martha shows her relief by scampering up to cuddle, Donna
Random aside: I like Donna's granddad slightly more now - without that hat, he seems so much less, what's the word...insane - but still not with the paroxysms of love that the rest of fandom has for him. I reserve those feelings for Jackie Tyler and Jackie Tyler alone.
"You're carrying a gun. I don't like people with guns hanging around me." I never tire of his open contempt for violence, no matter what the rationale for the weaponry, and every subsequent mention just got better, culminating in the hilarious grab-and-toss from Weasel Boy ("If I see one more gun..."). *giggles* He's like an angry wet cat.
And I see I'm going to completely fail to mention the actual aliens of the week, so briefly put - high on comedic value, particularly during the chanting, but also any time they have their helmets off, because HEE. And the usual round of the Doctor babbling his way through everything was fun, too. Including the bit where he flipped to cartoons for a while until they were done with their obsessive chanting. XD
I am weirdly giddy that he was teaching her how to fly the TARDIS...I feel like teaching is sort of a permeating theme with them, and I'm intrigued by it. Martha was textbook-smart and ready to learn on the job, and Rose generally picked things up so fast it was like she came programmed with knowledge, while Donna is very much a pupil. But as eager to learn as he is to teach, and I love that he seems to enjoy watching her improve. And look, look at the total lack of ceremony surrounding the key-giving! That was quite refreshing.
It also sends my heart in little twirls when she starts panicking about not knowing what to do, and he will have none of her self-deprecating. That's the reassuring Doctor I love. Also, um, perhaps new favorite moment: "You're brilliant, you are!" I don't know what he's doing to the phone right there, but...am starting to see where the Doctor/Donna shippers get their ideas from (shut up, we all knew this would happen, just like I figured out Nine/Rose after abject horror with it, too). Still no plans to join them. I'm just saying, if Rose had never existed, this is where my shippy glee might come in.
The whole "I had so many places I wanted to take you" conversation, though - hilarious as Donna's deadpan response was - was just too excruciatingly embarrassing for me to watch.
Frankly, I have been terrified since I was a small child by power-lock windows (WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR CAR GOES INTO THE WATER? HOW DO YOU GET OUT? Has been my concern since approximately age 9), but now I see I have to fear GPS, too. Note to self, never own car with such software. I'll get lost if I feel like it!
"I wouldn't mind going there . . . I get lonely." Aww. *pets Doctor* It's not your fault Britain apparently doesn't have long-term contracts.
*watches soldiers investigate* I personally might avoid the noxiously bubbling green goo. But that's just me. I don't fancy an aquaintance with swamp!Gollum.
"Are you my mummy?" Way to beat the macro-makers to the punchline, show. (on second thought, it enables this macro to exist, and this macro is much funnier than it would have been otherwise)
I'm very fond of Russ. We like Russ! We were not pleased when Russ died, except that it gave us an opportunity to see furious!Doctor get outraged about the importance of referring to individuals by name instead of writing off casualties by number, and that was very nice indeed.
Which director ordered the ridiculous so-close-you-can-see-pixels shots of the news reporters, and can I have him shot if he ever tries that again?
Is there a GIF somewhere of Donna hitting the Doctor? Because I want to watch that over, and over, and over again.
Look at Donna, rocking the bangs and half-ponytail at the end! Pretty sure she needs to wear her hair like that, always. I cannot get over how pretty this look is.
No, really, when did the Doctor get his hand-in-a-jar back? *does not understand timelines*
Macro of Win: The Big Twist (36 images, gigglesome story idea)
-4x06, "The Doctor's Daughter"
Love for this episode: *is off the charts*
I was a bit nervous, going in. I'd accidentally opened this episode instead of 4x04, and my immediate thought after the three seconds I saw was "WTF MARTHA, GET OUT OF MY SERIES 4 ALREADY." But that was explained nicely by the time I was ready to watch it properly. As for the title plot, I knew trixy DNA-manipulating business was involved, but I figured it had been some secret master years-in-the-making plan. Silly me, following human cloning rules instead of the far more obvious "stick your hand in here, *scrape scrape*, voila, new adult human!"
(FACT: that was not nearly as entertaining as any of these theories. I'm particularly fond of #3, but #4 seems weirdly plausible. :P)
But once we got all that sorted out, the episode hit the ground running and just got better and better. Splitting Martha off right away was a very smart move, because then instead of being consistently annoyed by her presence detracting from the more fun characters, I was actually able to appreciate her scenes with the Hath. Because come on, how cute was she, being petted by all of them? More importantly, how cute was her quasi-communication and the little trek to safety with her own loyal companion? (At least until he got SUCKED INTO A PIT OF TAR WHILE SAVING HER, uncool.)
I probably wouldn't have found them as cute as I did if I thought of them like fish, but the first thing I noticed was that with the shape of the little bubbly thing, they looked more like dolphins, and their behavior seemed pretty much like what you'd expect from dolphins, if dolphins ever
But still, Martha's scenes were just the appetizers. I want to talk about Jenny, and my ridiculously overwhelming love and adoration for her. Because...I tried to hate her. Or rather, I considered hating her for all 3.8 seconds, and then it proved impossible. Although I find her uncanny resemblance to a Barbie doll somewhat surreal (I mean...it's not just her body type or the long blonde hair, it's that her head is in exactly the same shape, plus nobody has eyelashes like that), she's too full of sweetness and light for me not to be completely won over by her. It probably helps that Donna starts off telling her she doesn't exist, and the Doctor flat-out rejects her for half the episode, yet she remains a pillar of optimism. Albeit one who does take offense to persistent shunning.
The preceding paragraph was a lie. What I really want to talk about is the fact that I was so, so (secretly) hoping this episode might indulge my in-the-making-since-"Fear Her" hopes to see the issues arising from the Doctor as a father...AND THEN IT DID. In every way possible, including some I hadn't thought of, in one great big holiday of wish-granting and wild desire fulfillment. Even my wildest dreams could not figure out ways to make most of these things happen without throwing canon compliancy out the window and embracing baby!fic, so if you don't mind, I'm just going to bow to down to uh...*looks stuff up* Stephen Greenhorn for being the master of the...possimpible.
So much love for the Doctor's annoyed insistence that genetics have nothing to do with bonding, as clearly the harder he resisted, the more certain it was that he'd eventually give in. More love for Donna being intensely amused by all this and determined to facilitate a bond no matter what. Further love for the sudden vehemence about what a Time Lord really is, which in no way detracted from the beauty of the "two hearts" revelation that preceded it. I feel like that was perhaps cheesy as all get out, and I do not care, because that is exactly what I wanted to see. By the way, has anyone explained why he just randomly carries a stethoscope around at all times now?
Cute hugs post-brilliant-gymnastic flipping (aww), and again when he finally relents enough to let her travel with them. "Well, we can't have you here, can we?" And calling after her to beware of traps, lol.
Thought I had died and gone to heaven, or at least was having extremely vivid fever dreams, when he admitted to Donna that he'd been a father before. Actual quote: EEEEEEEEEH HE SAID IT. *collapses in paroxysms of joy* Just picture a lot of me opening and closing my mouth like a fish, alternately flabbergasted and squeeing in silence. "Lost all that a long time ago. Along with everything else. . . . When I look at her now, I can see them." *wibbles and wails* Doctorrrrrrrrrrr. Despite the fact that Jenny is clearly going to die in some horrible way, I LOVE THIS.
And oh, oh, death scene! *applauds* The one thing that runs through my mind is "Golly, this is terrifically unrealistic," but since I am quite the fan of romanticized death scenes and love when people get away with them in canon... In short, it destroys me. I will be over here, weeping noisily at the tragic beauty of her dying in his arms and his broken emotion and "you're my daughter" and kissing her forehead and that heartbreaking hope that since she had two hearts, maybe... *bawls* I can has most heartwrenching scene since Family of Blood?
Also, WHOA. WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT. The striding over with the gun? That was intense, and I fully believed it. (I didn't have time to think about it, okay? He certainly looked like a man hell-bent on mindless revenge.)
(5 minutes later) *is making "The hell?" face*
...okay, well, I wasn't actually prepared for her to live. There are some things that rip my heart out when they happen, but that I'm nevertheless glad ended in tragedy. Things I would not want to turn out any other way or be reversed. THIS QUALIFIES. Thanks for nothing, there. Now Moffat's going to have her running about after Eleven, isn't he?
I mean, I figure it's either that or she goes power-mad in the manner of the Master and it comes down to another life-or-death situation, in which she dies much less innocently. Either way, next time I hear she's due for an appearance, I clearly will have to borrow the "will cheapen Doomsday" rant and subvert it for my own purposes.
*rolls eyes* I'm frustrated. It was such a nice, self-contained story. A perfect one-note adventure with all the potentially messy loose ends tied up and taken care of, wrapped in emotional gold to boot. And then they went and made a mess of it again. WHY. You can kill the Master, but not her? Explain yourself immediately!
Hee! Yet more mistaking Donna as the Doctor's
The strains of "This is Gallifrey" running through all the scenes was a gorgeous bit of scoring.
I have to wonder, did they warn Freema about the amount of goo she'd be expected to play in when she came back?
I am ridiculously amused by the squeaky wind-up mouse in his pocket. And the Doctor claims he's not a cat person, honestly.
Duly noted: "Chinese Whispers" would make an excellent horse name, perhaps for an Arabian.
*eyes Tragic Ending* Man, you know what I miss all of a sudden? The Brown Suit of
I seem to have once again largely ignored the plot; whoops. Um...I really enjoyed the pretty creation of the garden-of-Eden type thing. I also proved to myself how useless I would be as a companion, as I figured the numbers were completion dates but did not actually pay enough attention to read the dates or consider in what way they might be significant.
Oh, I guess I sort of ignored Martha in the second half too...and that would be because once again, the best part of her sendoff was her accompanying music. That, and I feel like 3 episodes is really quite enough for any one extraneous character to have in a given season. Why can't be done with her now the way we were done with Daleks after their requisite appearance last year?
Macro of Win: The Truth Behind that "Last of the Time Lords" business
Final Notes: Is David Tennant still dating Little Miss Moffet, by the way? I was not that fussed the first time I heard it, but now that I've had a chance to watch her in action, I find myself well and thoroughly squicked after all. Not because of the role she played, but because she is 12, seriously.
Up Next: *whimpers and hides from the giant wasps* And here I was just saying to myself, "It's nice, not having my irrational fears played on this year..."
In other news, both my parents are now sick to degrees that vary by the day, with the delightful bonus that I'm now feeling a tickle in the back of my throat that threatens to become a sore throat at any moment, no matter how I try to combat it with ice cream and sore throat drops and avoiding pop. I have to say, February is not my favorite month so far.