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Once upon a time, when my computer briefly died, I had to learn to entertain myself without the internet.  After six days of deprivation, I had run out of convenient distractions and was ready to start facing the end of season 4 on Doctor Who.  Or not ready, exactly, so much as determined to force myself to face it.  But then, before I could even think about trying to digest it in a coherent or cohesive manner, my computer was back up, and regular TV kept my spare time plenty busy...and then suddenly two months had passed.  So.

I decided to go ahead and just preserve my original running commentary with post-watching embellishments in brackets & color, after the fashion of my approach to Human Nature/Family of Blood, because not since those two have I been so emotionally spent by this show.  Now, children, climb into the Wayback Machine...I promise it won't hurt...and travel back with me to my mental state on

Saturday, February 21, 2009
10:39 PM
OK.  No more running from the beginning of the be-all, end-all, squee-all free-for-all.  God, I'm terrified of this episode. (I knew I shouldn't have watched the trailer at the end of "Midnight," but then I couldn't stop myself)  My corner of fandom exploded in squee when it aired...you know, back in June...but I'm sure there is just so much potential for heartbreak, if not in the traditional sense than at the very least in the "oh God, what happened to the sweet and relatively innocent, not-in-charge Rose Tyler I lost in Doomsday??"

Incidentally, I had my entire music library - 800+ songs! - on shuffle as I was writing the above paragraph, just about to cue up the episode, and then the last song it gives me is one from Billie Piper - "Makin' My Way (Any Way That I Can)", to be specific.  I'm telling you, my Windows Media Player is sentient. 

Doctor Who, 4x11, "Turn Left"


[First things first, amusing bit from Spy's recap: These next three episodes give us the final arc of the season. They also give us the ultimate in fandom continuity tests. Seriously, it’s as if RTD decided that since he’s leaving, he’s going to remind us of all the stuff he’s accomplished over the last four seasons. It’s one large LOOK AT HOW AWESOME I AM, complete with capslock. I’m Canadian, and we do passive aggressive like nobody’s business, and that’s what I’m sensing here as RTD prepares to hand over the reins to Moffat.]

[Second things second: In my travels about the internet, I discovered a delightful picspamThat's your up-front bribe to read the full extent of my babbling...you can follow along with the pictures there.]

-Huh.  I have the oddest feeling I've just started watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3...oh wait, there's Donna.  Hi, Donna!  I love it when you're whole and hale and having fun on random alien planets.  They are so cute when they're on vacation together!  I in no way had a desire for her to wipe the foam mustache off his lip, no sirree bob.

-I find it odd that the TARDIS is choosing not to translate simple Asian writing for me.  [So I totally dismissed that thought and didn't even write it down the first time, but then I added it back after the fact since apparently THIS WILL BE HUGELY IMPORTANT LATER.]

-*flashback*  Teeheehee!  Grouchy!Donna is funny when she's testily talking about how she wants the office job because the workplace is "posh."  Also, fail.  The job in the photocopy business sounds way better.  Is smaller, not in the city, probably has a better dress code, and oh yeah, is an actual job with a salary as opposed to temp work.  I don't know how Donna ever even CONSIDERED turning left.

-OK, the staring-at-Donna's-back thing is getting annoying and - OMG WHAT THE.  Thaaaat's freaky.  And not helping my pre-existing fear that whenever I feel even the faintest sensation on my shoulder or the top of my head, including the wind, I'm convinced there's an insect crawling on me. NEVER MIND A BIG-ASS SCORPION THING.  *twitch*

-Oh, crap.  Is this whole episode going to be a flashback type thing showing what would have happened over the two years if she changed one important choice?  Pretty sure I hate those kinds of stories.  I'm ready for Doctor/Rose squee now; please to bring it on.

-*smacks head*  How did I, in the space of a week, manage to forget until now that this was the Doctor-Lite episode?  *headdesk*  6 minutes in, and what I feel right now, is NOT IN ANY WAY SQUEE.  Mostly it is "annoyance" topped with "more annoyance" and served with a boredom/frustration cocktail on the side.

-Donna sports nice clothes when she turns right, though.  She should clearly just wear purple and big necklaces, always, and then wardrobe and I would have no problem.

-Ohhh, I see, because Donna's not here to stop him this Christmas, he stays in that dark place o' crazy and lets himself get killed, yeah?  Distressing!  But oh, such haunting music and also FLAIL DAMMIT FLAIL.

[I don't think it actually sank in for me, the first time around, that in this universe the Doctor had really just died, unceremoniously written off at the beginning and never to be seen again.  Doctor-Lite or not, that just didn't seem possible.  So it's only in retrospect that I can think about 'The Runaway Bride" and...ooooh, it's lovely and dark. 

The last three words of my note there refer to Rose running up - preview-spoiled or not, that is cause for celebration.  Of the gutting sort, seeing her expression, coming this far too late.]


-*continues flailing over Rose* 

-Shouty Donna is Shoutier than I remember.

-Disappearing Hospital Antics...lulz, Martha died.  [God, I'm incorrigible.]  Awww, but wait; Sarah Jane did too?  That's not on!  And then they mentioned some kids - I just missed a Sarah Jane Adventures reference, didn't I?  SHOOT.  This is why I watched Torchwood, so I wouldn't miss references like this...also, uncool!  I could have staved off season 4 longer by distracting myself with SJA!  What's wrong with you, Voice, not reminding me about that?
Voice: Sorry, school is over; as I am forever done with homework I have retired to the Caribbean.

-Um, so, is that all the Rose I'm going to get in this episode?  Cause that's not on either. 

-Hah!  I knew if I said that she'd pop back up immediately.  And oh hey, it's that behind-the-scenes filming spoiler that spread through the internet like wildfire last November [oh man, now we're back to '07...], where she comes running into the scene like she's been pushed!  I  forgot to include that on my pre-viewing list of "Stuff I Know About Season 4."  That tiny clip kept me going for several weeks before the season actually aired.

-By the way, Rose the  Oracle?  Kinda freaking me out.  Is not My Rose.  [And I didn't mention it while I was watching, because I was trying to convince myself I was just hearing things, but then the internet agreed with me that her voice is different, because Billie Piper either had dental surgery or forgot how to do the accent.  God, that's just going to bug me forever.  Heartbroken realization that My Rose is kind of gone in the manner of Nine, starting in 3...2...1...].

-*snert* Grandpa's reindeer ears. :D And once again, I notice the odd lack of snow at Christmas time.  Am I wrong, or is Britain relatively far north on the globe?  I thought they had proper winters.  With snow.

-ALL RIGHT, RUSSELL, THAT IS NOT HELPING.  STOP IT.  [I think I'm referring to yet another glimpse of the giant scorpion-bug-thing, which I'd like to stop seeing ASAP]

-And now London's been obliterated and half the country's in refugee status.  I do not like how this is fast becoming a post-apocalypse-type story.  Make it stop now.

-"America is in crisis!  Sixty million people have melted into fat!"  Well, I guess that takes care of the complaint that the Adipose should have chosen an actual fat nation...

-AAAAAAARGH BEES DAMN IT.  I can't believe the bees really are the Secret Season Password.  I rejected it!  I rejected it SO HARD, because that was made of so much stupid fail, and then...  [Actually, I remain of the opinion that it kind of sort of is also "Rose."]

-Oh good, references I can understand.  *pause*  In fact, references I can take glee in!  Gwen and Ianto are dead?  I'm down with that!  Whenever we get around to righting this world, could we perhaps keep that fact intact?  Please?

"He died underneath the Thames on Christmas Eve, but you were meant to be there.  He needed someone to stop him and that was you; you made him leave.  You saved his life."  *cries*  I think I may need a break to watch Runaway Bride after all.

Never mind, there's the pertinent clip, thoughtfully inserted into this episode!  *hugs*

[And incidentally -"I was like you.  I used to be you."  For some reason I get all choked up and teary-eyed when she says that.  This whole scene is maybe the most heartbreaking part in all of it, just listening to Rose talk about how this man was supposed to stop all these things from happening and...*sniffle*]

["It's coming from across the stars..." see, this bit is what was so terrifying about the promo at the end of "Midnight."  Even here it just sort of steals over everything with horribly ominous foreshadowing.  *curls up in sad ball of fear*]

-Wait, Donna is going to die?  Rose?  Are you serious?  NOT COOL. . THIS IS SO NOT COOL.  I suddenly can't remember if Doctor Who fakes people out or not, so I don't know if I'm allowed to hope that this is just misleading wording (like only parallel!Donna dying), or if it's like Lost where they do not know the meaning of "subtle" foreshadowing and just come right out and warn you about deaths.  It's freaking me out just a tad.

[My heart breaks for Donna sobbing about how she's nothing, not even a temp.]

-He's gleeful about labor camps?  Really?  Huh.  Apparently WWII didn't exist in this universe.

(Also, WHY.  Why is it that every time they show a quasi-apocolptyic state, the first thing that happens is the government in first-world countries decides to round up anyone with an accent?  It bugged me in "Children of Men," and it bugs me here.  I really don't think we're that backwards!  Especially when the post-apocalyptic state is not caused by any one particular country, but just sort of happens and attacks the whole damn world at once.) 

-Wilf:  "Labor camps.  That's what they called it last time."  My bad.  Apparently WWII did exist in this universe, but only if you're old enough to have lived through it.  I refuse to believe Donna is too ignorant to connect the dots otherwise.

[I love the sight of the TARDIS, and Donna's reaction to it all over again.  And Rose all pleased with herself as she watches said reaction.  Poor dying ship, still trying to help.]

-"Were you and him...?"
NON ANSWER!  IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR MY CANON, DARN IT.

[In other words, this is where I started making squeaking, flopping, flailing noises.  Seriously, it's good enough for me.  There's a rant on fanficrants I've been waiting to read for months, that starts out "Attention, Doctor/Rose shippers!  It isn't canon." It annoys me because I know that technically speaking, they're probably right, but nevertheless!  This is good enough for me.  Her expression in combination with the non-answer was a like an actual gift from God.  A god named RTD.  A god I do not want to be deposed by The Moffat, srsly]

GOD THAT'S FREAKISH.  HORRIBLE BEETLE-THING!  I WANT TO GO BACK TO NOT SEEING IT.

[In rewatching, I'm discovering that I can't stand this scene with Rose's explanation.  Donna's screaming is too much for me to take, especially in combination with that horrid clicking and hissing.]

*is growing bored again with military plot-advancing time-traveling blahcakes*  Although there may be a song here in the background that will end up being awesome on the soundtrack.

Rose!  Damn it!  Donna made herself (and us) feel better with a logical-sounding explanation; WHY DID YOU HAVE TO TAKE THAT AWAY?

Git along, little episode, I'm bored again...ohhhhhhhh.  [*sees truck and gets it*]  Oh, that's...that's upsetting.  And sad.  But!  Rose is there at the end and that makes it all better.  Two words?? [For the record, I was totally clueless as to what those two words might be.  Totally.  Clueless.]

Awwww, hugs.  Double hugs!  I love their hugs!  [I get so caught up in this episode and the amazingness of Rose & Donna & their terrifying parallel universe that it's always a bit of a shock when the Doctor suddenly pops back on screen.  Followed by a flood of relief, because it's not until that moment that it really sinks in how bad it was without him.]

Awwwwww, I know he sounds like he's baby-talking a pet dog, yet it never fails to bring me ridiculous amounts of squee when he gives her the "Yes you are, you're brilliant!" line.  *dances and flails a bit*

[And then:]

-Holy mother of AWESOME SQUEE. 
-BAD WOLF!!!!!!!! (I may have yelped it out loud - loudly - at 11:50 PM) 
-HOLY SHIT Y'ALL WERE SO JUSTIFIED IN YOUR FALLILING, RIGHT HERE; I DIDN'T THINK YOU COULD LIVE UP TO IT BUT DAMN IT SO DID.  HIS FACE!  CAREFULLY AGISTATED NAME/WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE AND THIEN HIS RECOGNITION HOLY HIST

[I thought about translating that into proper English, and then I decided you might as well see the kind of incoherency and typos I get up to when I'm freaking out and only marginally capable of hitting the right keys/making words legible enough for me to understand my thought process later.  Ordinarily I like to sanitize my insanity rather than flaunt it, but... Heh, I'm especially fond of "falliling."  That should be a word.]

*IZ DEAD* [And apparently has no thoughts left over for the whole scarily red TARDIS interior or "end of the world" thing]

Synthesis: Honestly, I do not think I could be more in love with this scene.  How he goes from mild curiosity to very, very alert with little gears turning in his brain, particularly after the confirmation of "blonde."  How very carefully he presses for answers, desperate to know but trying not to push too hard lest her memories vanish under pressure.  Or how his voice goes up slightly in pitch on the second round of "Donna, what was her name?", and his questions get faster.  "What two words, what were they, what did she say?"

I don't even know how to describe his expression after "Bad Wolf."  Just that it is the most perfect reaction EVER ACTED, simultaneously the tiniest of shifts and the biggest explosion of emotion ever.  Incidentally, I like how the hope is completely outbalanced by sheer terror.  That is very, very good.  Also!  I will never not be overwhelmed with joy when that strain of "All the Strange, Strange Creatures" takes precedence in a scene.  I think it may very well be one of my top 10 songs from last year.

*is exhausted*  I think we'd better save part 2 for later.  Just one more original note left --]


Up Next: Oh, %&#@, nobody told me Gwen and Ianto would be joining the Epic Cast of Every Major Guest Star Ever!  God!  Like the TARDIS wasn't overstuffed ENOUGH? *thumps head against wall* I just suffered through what felt like 8 MILLION years with those idiots on Torchwood, all for the sake of understanding references (and avoiding season 4, but shhh), and now they're running amok in Doctor Who?  Why???  Because Jack alone wasn't sufficient to piss me off?  Way to remove all my Rose squee there, RTD.  Had to go out in in the biggest explosion of self-celebrating glory you could concoct, didn't you.

OK, yeah, I should wait on the next one.  I should.  But I can't wait.  I can't.  *waits 12 minutes and is lost*

*slaps self*  No!  I'll read Spy's recap first, since I saved the web page to my flash drive for this purpose.  But then?  Then I am watching 4x12.  [and I did.  Is anyone's guess when I'll get around to writing up that, though.  It's a much bigger mess than this one was.]

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