The cookies, though they have done a good job on cheering my mood, aren't doing much to stop the tiredness.
Anyhoo, onto Doctor Who and 42.
Non-spoiler version: I've said this in a few places, though it isn't my favourite of the series, I really liked it - solid 4 out of 5 from me. Decent progression in the Doctor-Martha relationship, some good character stuff for the two of them both. Liked the concept of the episode a lot, despite the dodgy science. Also, being me, I utterly adored the Visual FX eyecandy moments. My main criticism would be under-use of the guest cast, really. (Most were little more than cannonfodder)
Well, I could hardly buck the trend and go for a different cut tag, could I? ;)
To start off with, kudos to The Mill, and whoever else was involved with the ship and sun FX. Because they were just love. As I said, I like my eyecandy, and there was eyecandy aplenty here.
Also, since we're on random production FX stuff: When the music cuts out as the pod is seperating from the ship. Wow. I'm rather fond of Murray Gold, for the most part - though I think he's improving from his earlier stuff - but this was a nice subversion that had a nice impact.
And final production thing: Chibnall's writing seemed rather more Life on Mars than Torchwood. Which was quite pleasant, really. I wonder if it's the whole thing of writing under someone else's overview that brings out his better qualities, or just not being allowed to shove in gratuitous sex, wearing and/or violence.
I've seen a bit of criticism for this episode's similarities to other things. Can't comment on Sunshine, since I haven't seen it, but the stuff about TIP/TSP? Erm, well though I can see some similarities, criticising the episode for having a visually similar look to them, when it's supposedly set in the same time period strikes me as a bit odd. I like time periods to seem somewhat consistant. And people getting possessed is hardly what one would call a concept unique to those episodes.
Besides, the tone and pacing was entirely different. Frantic, race against time versus creepy, slower build-up to a climax. (Well, the good bits of TIP/TSP were the spooky slower stuff)
My other criticism comment: Apart from Kath, the captain, Korwin (Corwin?) her hubby, and Riley (Martha's companion), the cannonfodder was rather generic and forgettable. Pity, really. Especially given the last two standing were two totally slashable guys, if I could just remember who the one who wasn't Riley was.
And onto the good stuff!
Martha gets not just her own Superphone (With "universal roaming", bless), but at the end gets a TARDIS key. Yep, definitely not just a passenger. According to types who've seen it, this was referred to in analogy as moving into his flat. (Does that mean that, metaphorically speaking, the end of Lazarus is when it stops being just dating and they start being a serious couple?) Makes me wonder how much time has passed in between, and how much has happened.
The Saxon arc stuff with Francine was interesting. There's a thread on the OG about this, debating whether Francine's willing sold the Doctor out,or is being pushed into it. Personally, I'm thinking it's a bit of both - she's entirely willing to get him out of her daughter's life, but is getting mildly creeped out by Pushy Ice Queen lady, and her MIB sidekicks. And is possibly starting to wonder if she's done the right thing. Well, wouldn't you, if people were bugging your daughter's phone and making you interrogate her?
Especially given Martha's having an emotional moment. Gosh, they must be some odd phone calls. Random pub quiz questions, people screaming, "Tell everyone I love them" stuff, and then all cheery and nothing's the matter.
Martha promising to be home for dinner on Election Day? Well, that's not forboding at all. (And is it just me, or am I starting to get the feeling that it means that Earth-time, only two or three days will have passed the entire series?)
Also, to completely rip off a comment I made to someone else's review, we're so getting a Martha = Doctor analogy going on.
I said pre-series that having the Doctor's companion be a medical student was a blatant Chekov's Gun, and the show isn't exactly doing much to dissuade me. She's been given the sonic and the psychic paper, she's had a plus one, she's saved the day a couple of time, she has randoms who put their faith in her, she collects pseudo-companions...
And next week, she's the futuristic, knowing one in charge of the TARDIS, while the humans are running around being human.
I say again: I call a big Martha as the Doctor moment in the finale.
...I mean seriously, this is verging on the "Rose is leaving" anvils of mid-S2. I can't be the only one who sees it, can I?
The Doctor's been put through the ringer this series, hasn't he? And this wasn't just more of the same, it was something of a whole new level - lose of control of his body, rather than just hurt or potential death. The possibility of killing people, even someone he cared about. That fear he had... an open admission of fear to Martha. That's a biggy. And he almost mentioned regeneration. Think there was a proper explanation post-ep, or it's being saved til Jack's back? No wonder he's all broody at the end. I don't expect this to directly be the reason for the... things which happen in Human Nature, but I could bet it's a factor in it, subconscious or not. 'Twas nice to see him desperate to keep Martha safe, though. Without the "I don't even know her" stuff of Gridlock, too, because he does know her now.
It's almost as if they heard the criticisms I saw from a few people about Tennant's Doctor getting things to easily, and decided to address that. Then, I think they've been addressing a lot of the issues with the character stuff last series. I mean, I sort of get why it was done - in order to make people certain of Tennant as the Doctor, he's had to start out with all guns blazing, at his best, heroic and saving the day. But it's nice the contrast. It feels... a bit less shallow, really.
(Completely random random thing: I hope Terry Pratchett's been watching. Because when I spoke to him at the Disccworld con, Doctor Who got brought up, and he was one of the people whose main criticism of Tennant's Doctor was that everything was too easy for him. I wonder what he'd say now...)
Martha has seemed to be collecting companion types on a few occasions, doesn't she?
And Captain Kath, who fucked up with the illegal sun scooping, and was willing to pay the ultimate price for fucking up/to save the day. (More shiny visuals!)
A few random whatsits, half of which I've yoinked from other people's reviews, but I thought were worth mentioning:
Whoever it was that pointed out that Chibnall, after setting up the "doors get locked because of a single wrong answer" and then didn't pull that expected idea, my thankies. I remember thinking it was an obvious set-up line, and got swept up in happenings that I didn't even notice the expected thing didn't happen.
I loved the sheer random stupidity of the questions. Favourite colours, maths geekery (which naturally the Doctor was all over) and the Beatles vs Elvis. I liked Riley mispronouncing Beatles.
Oh, and when Martha asked the Doctor about the Beatles vs Elvis, and when he tried to remember what he'd been talking about, and his first though? "Here Comes The Sun". I laughed.
Another Ten and Martha hug. Bless. Ten's a huggy guy, isn't he?
Martha get's told to work the stasis thingy she's never used before. And she gets out the manual. Bless.
Random thought: This episode got rewritten to some extent after Chibnall saw some of Martha's early episodes (in rough cuts, anyway). I wonder what was changed.
Also: Sentient Suns are made of win. Particularly when they are pissy with humanity for using them as fuel. (Bit of a love/hate relationship for humanity in this show, ain't there?)
Final note - Re: That Utopia clip everyone's on about. I am declining to comment on the events and/or motivations therein until I have context. Because I think everyone's being a bit pre-emptive about judgement now.
I am looking forward to Human Nature so very much. And it just seems better and better the more I see of it. Little girl with a balloon! Synchronised creepy head tilts! Adorable!John Smith, Martha in charge! Timelordiness in a pocket watch which I called a week ago! Flashbackiness and dreams!
I so want screencaps of that trailer