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April 6th, 2008

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11:40 am - Reactions, and Quotes, and my mad ramblings.
Okay, I'll be putting my reactions to both the Torchwood finale and the Doctor Who opener here. Should have more emphasis on Who than Torchwood, since I have more to say (and, yes, care more).

But Torchwood will be first.

Non-spoilery comments: Honestly, this episode was really quite meh, except for the bits that were extremely non-meh, if that makes sense. The good stuff was utterly stunning, and I look forward to seeing where we go from here, but it felt oddly detached from most of the episode, which was... less good.

To point out the bloody obvious, the good is, of course, Tosh and Owen's death, and then the fallout with the others. I'll admit I cried - several times - and despite the fact, to be honest I don't care all that much for Tosh don't kill me, please! her death was far more affecting than Owen's.

Though that is possible down to the utterly tragic goodbye video. Wonder if the reason Owen didn't get a big goodbye or anything was due to already getting it in his zombification arc, or what?

On that note, I'd like to second what I've seen a few others say: Though I have no problems whatsoever with seeing Tosh or Owen again in flashbacks or so on, please don't resurrect them. Their death's hurt, they meant something, and bringing them back would cheapen that and turn it into just some cheap ratings ploy.

As for the replacements: I'd say Martha is pretty much a given, and if the rumour about Mickey being as well I would squee so very much, since that's my two fave companions on a show together (with Jack!). I'm not entirely certain how much I believe that, though, since it's entirely based on the characters walking away together during filming, which strikes me as lousy evidence.

On the rest of the episode, it was, well, meh. Which is bad given this what the season arc has been building to. But it was just... there. Gray was dull (which is pretty much a complete failure in a Big Bad), Captain John wasn't nearly as much fun, the random explosions and monsters seemed incoherant and not well tied into the plot, and we never really got to feel the horror of the buried alive schtick. John Barrowman was surprisingly good, given I've always found him to be probably the weak link in acting in Torchwood (but he's fine in Doctor Who. Weird).

Just... yeah. It should have been big and dramatic and emotional, and it failed, except for with Tosh and Owen. *sigh* It's a pity, really.

And, onto Doctor Who, which was rather better - or at least more consistant.

Partners in Crime probably fits in my rankings of New Who season openers as second, but a not too distant second. (Smith and Jones is first, 'cos I loved it; whereas I found Rose boring and though I found New Earth entertaining at the time, it's rather painful to rewatch)

Donna seems rather more toned down - or at least more like the second half of her first episode, which is of the good. Still pushy and says what she thinks, but likable, and not at all shouty or a joke character. (Except with her mother. For some reason, those scenes didn't work for me, and I felt like Tate was doing the comedy skit acting there)

The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the fact she seemed inching towards just a little too hung up on the Doctor. I mean, it was fun when played for laughs (ala the bags scene), but not looking for a job, just hunting weird shit because the Doctor might be there, going on about how even seeing the world is dull in comparison? (She had a point in the over-touristy stuff, but wilderness/nature tours do exist, you know...)

Yes, travelling with the Doctor is awesome and wonderful and shiny and all that. But life on Earth doesn't have to be crap just because of this - To quote the SJA, "Life on Earth can be an adventure, too". To use my pet phrase, there's extraordinary in the ordinary, you just have to look for it. Small beautiful things, you know? Seriously, even Torchwood started with the life on Earth can be wonderful stuff in S2, and when even Torchwood is more positive about human existance... It just rubs me wrong that this makes two out of three lead companions explicitely being all "life on Earth is crappy."

Oh, and while we are being Donna related, her Granddad is adorable. I've no real opinion on her mother, but I do wonder what the official retcon will be for the disappearance of Donna's Dad (due to the actor's unfortunate death)

Onto our other lead: The Doctor.

On good form, for the most part I felt - he was cheery enough when busy, but obviously hurting when stopping to think for a minute. Terribly, terribly lonely it was obvious (honestly, I think this episode had one of the best subtle indications of loneliness from Ten we've gotten so far. S2 a lot of mention was made of it, but it wasn't seen so much, and for all the stupid fics about how Martha didn't make him happy like Rose did, he seemed for the most part happy and all when she was around, excluding Pasted On Yaye Rose Angst. Or when the Master showed up. I'm hoping having someone around helps get back that way). Wonder how long it has been for him since Titanic and Astrid?

The other thing was his, well, restraint. Even Donna pointed out he has changed for the better - anyone who claims Martha didn't help gets bullshit called on them. He was also far, far less overt in trying to get Donna on the TARDIS, after the whole alley seductions Rose and Martha got. He wants the company, but is really holding back about it He's totally Donna's bitch at the end

Actually, now seems a good time to bring it up: The Martha references.

Going by the Torchwood episodes, the way S2 of Torchwood changed, and these, it's pretty obvious that for all his denial, RTD does listen in to fandom, and try to fix things that people have issues with.

So: Acknowledgment that the Doctor thinks Martha is brilliant, check. The Doctor being aware he badly messed up her life, check. Acknowledgment (from Donna), that Martha did change the Doctor for the better, check. Awareness of her feelings, about damned time. And ackowledging how the Doctor played a major role in screwing up their relationship, check. Guess he listened to that goodbye speech. The fact he's so reluctant to pressure Donna into going... there's some serious guilt going on there. Seeing Martha again (and being as awesome as always in UNIT) will obviously lighten that load. But it's good to see him squirm for a bit.

...Say, I wonder how much of the guilt is down to the fact that all his recent reunions with companions have all had them in less than happy conditions? Sarah Jane, having felt abandoned and missed out on experiences to lack of closure. Rose crying on a beach, Donna obsessing about seeing him again. I'd like to see him a little miffed to come across Martha and see her going fine on her own.

Oh, and just because I can't leave it alone: For someone who supposedly didn't requite Martha's love, he really seemed terribly smug with the fact she fancied him. (Donna's reaction to this was amusing as she poked fun at him. Though I'm going to be pissed if people take the lines out of context and make it sound like Donna is bashing Martha).

All in all, that's about two more mentions than I expected in this episode, and a hell of a lot more content. I was expecting it'd only be when they met up again we'd see the Doctor acknowledging he'd wronged Martha.

And onto other stuff:

I think my main issues with this episode came down to these few things.

1, that the death of Ms Foster/Matron/whatever, was cartoony beyond words, and to the point of silliness.

2, that the way the Adipose separated from the humans didn't make the faintest amount of sense - how does fat form a solid body, and then separate without breaking human skin. Yeah, it couldn't be all bloody and gorey, but still...

3, the CGI on the Adipose was a bit too cartoony.

I cannot criticise the Adipose themselves, though, as they are the cutest things ever. I want one as a pet.

And finally (and inevitably, I suppose), on the Unexpected Rose appearance.

I have been, though not actually looking forward to it, resigned to Rose's appearance, and hopeful that this time we'll actually get to see her walk away with a bit of dignity and maturity.

That being the case, after getting over the initial DO NOT WANT reaction, the scene itself worked fine for me, being what it was (the mini-teaser into the finale plot ala Saxon, I assume) Not entirely sure what was going on with Rose there, honestly: She looked like she was about to cry so nothing new and surprisingly uninvolved in events. I do hope she hasn't just come back in order to be with the Doctor again, because, well, given the whole universes collapsing bit she heard from the Doctor, any residual sympathy I have for her would evaporate.

No, my main problem with this scene is the shadow it's casting, on the show itself (It was bad enough with the Doctor forcing Martha into Rose's shadow. Having the show push Donna into it - on her big series debut, no less - is rather cruel) and fandom. I think the stuff showing up online gives a pretty good indication of what I mean, what with the way people are focusing on a couple of freaking seconds to the exclusion of everything else. And I don't think I can stand spending the next couple of months being all about people asking if Rose is in this one, how the episode sucked because there was no Rose cameo, blah blah blah. Donna's not even my favourite character, and it already irks me to see her ignored in favour of Rose

So, that would be that. The plot was rather silly, if fun, but the character stuff was good. Onto Pompeii!

Oh, and a couple of bits that aren't episodes reactions, but just interesting Whoniverse interview quotes.

DT: Everybody is desperate for all the assistants to start fighting each other, some kind of mud bath with Freema and Billie and Catherine in it - it's not gonna happen! The Doctor picks the cream of Earth's crop, so these are fine human beings! Can you imagine if I had a favourite?! I love them all in their own unique, special, idiosyncratic ways.
Interviewer: I bet you do have a favourite...
DT: D'you know, I don't think I do. I love them all.

- David Tennant on some radio interview.

The moment in which David Tennant was declared patron saint of loves_them_all. Nice to have the Doctor onside.

"The main distinction between her and the majority of other companions is that she's a grown-up. Some of the Doctor's show-off technique, which he has honed on the young and impressionable girls that he likes to pick up, won't work so well on a fully grown woman. I think she's equally gobsmacked by the universe and the marvels that she sees, but she's maybe not always quite as gobsmacked by the Doctor, who can at times seem to be, to any adult, a bit of a prat".
- Steven Moffat on Donna and the Doctor in DWM.

You know, for all Moffat has his issues with women and all, I think he really is dead on when it comes to the Doctor's character. Which gives us Moffat onside the whole slutboi alien tease thing, as well. And acknowledging the prattishness, too - the Doctor isn't necessarily a nice guy.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(42 comments | Leave a comment)


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
It showed up in the comments at loves_them_all...yesterday, I think.

He's lovely, really.
Date:April 6th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
I do wonder what the official retcon will be for the disappearance of Donna's Dad (due to the actor's unfortunate death)

It's a shame they didn't incorporate this into the episode. "I thought, I'm going to travel, I'm going to see the world. And I did, I went to Egypt -- but then my dad died, and Mum needed me at home, and everything sort of changed again."

Though I'm going to be pissed if people take the lines out of context and make it sound like Donna is bashing Martha).

They already are, on both sides. "Donna said Martha was a charity case! Hah/Fury!" Which is pretty fail, since the meaning was obvious, but no one ever said fandom was made of 100% win. (Okay, I did, but I was exagerrating.)

Having the show push Donna into it - on her big series debut, no less - is rather cruel) and fandom.

It kind of had to be done here, though, because the next Earth-based story is "The Sontaran Stratagem", and one returning companion is more than enough until the finale.

Unless, of course, we're going to see Rose every week. It'll be like finding Goldbug in a Richard Scarry book -- "Hey, kids, spot three Rose Tylers in this episode and you'll win a free sonic screwdriver!"

[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
Or all those Hitchcock cameos.
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
I thought that the Rose coming back thing was an interesting counterpoint to the Doctor and Donna missing each other. The whole bit about Donna looking for the Doctor in all the likely places that are having unusual incidents, and then seeing that Rose is obviously doing the same thing but Rose missed him when Donna finally got him was quite fun. Or sad. Or clever. Or something.

Oh, and it does kind of imply that Rose wants to see the Doctor again, but that's quite reasonable, isn't it? He was about to declare his love when they were separated by universes closing. I don't know about you, but were I in that situation, I'd want some fucking closure. The most interesting bit for me, though, is how? She clearly has access to freakishly good technology, what with the whole fading into thin air thing, and getting back to this universe implies that something important has happened. And something that can open up a lot of interesting possibilities.
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
Agreed on the first bit - it was an interesting counterpoint.

As for the second... closure is all well and good, but not when it's at the cost of destroying two universes. I'm hoping there's more to it that just wanting a declaration of love, preferably something along the lines of "The Dalek/Cyberman battle fucked out dimension up good and proper, and now it's falling apart. Help, plz?"
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2008 04:20 am (UTC)
I think we pretty much feel the same about both episodes. Though perhaps I am a bit more fond of Tosh :P And I am sick of all the fat related humour from RTD.

The Martha mentions were most excellent! And my reactin to Rose as pretty much 'meh'. I don't even hate her or anything, I just can't be bothered dealing with what her return will mean until the actual episode airs...
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
I don't dislike Tosh at all, it's just that, well, she pretty much defines "wasted character" for me. Good set up, good actress... and she's had a whole two episodes as lead, both of which were tragic love stories. I don't think there was any change to her at all from start to finish, and all I think of Tosh is "What a waste".

Yes, yes they were.

I do hope we don't end up with gratuitous Rose cameo every episode. The fact we've been told the running theme this series is much less used than in the past gives me hope.
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC)
*hugs DT*
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2008 09:22 am (UTC)
Bless him.
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
Gray was crap. After all that buildup he's a second rate baddie. *sigh*

Have to say though, the bit where Owen is going batshit and Tosh yells out "you're breaking my heart!", THAT was sad. Have to admit I was a little weepy there...

I didn't like the baddies in Who this week, but the window scene was hillarious and I like how these two work together. Far more interesting. And Gramps is awesome. His little dance at the end was brilliant.
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
It was disappointing, really.

Tosh actually made a line which sucked mightily in Star Wars Episode Three actually poignant and meaningful. Says a lot about the prequels (And I say this as someone who doesn't actually hate them).

The window scene was fun, and the Doctor is totally Donna's bitch at the end. And Gramps was made of win.
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
I also thought that Donna was much too hung up on the Doctor and how her Earth life is crap. That she needs to escape from it. At least with Martha, her Earth life was pretty good. That SJA quote is really good too. It's not like Earth is second best.

I'd like to see him a little miffed to come across Martha and see her going fine on her own.
Me too. She looked completely fine with her life in Torchwood. Completely fine. She moved on with life. And nothing really against Donna, but Donna was just waiting for the Doctor so her life would pick up again or whatever.

Yeah, I don't like how Donna was overshadowed in her first proper ep as companion. They could have left the Rose thing til another ep maybe. I really can't go to the doctorwhoforum at all now. That's one of the first things that popped into my head after Rose appeared.

The Martha and Freema fan in me loves how David said Freema's name first. XD
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
You know what's slightly ironic? After all the bitching on how Martha was only in it for the Doctor, she seems to be the only person so far who actually has decided to move on after leaving the Doctor.

It'd be nice to burst the Doctor's little ego bubble like that. Though,as I've said, the Martha related emo for now is nice. Wonder if we will see any more of it in the next two episodes (Holy shit, only two more episodes before the one with Martha's return!)

I think the overshadowing comes from fandom more than anything else - the media's still far more focused on Tate. It's just vaguely irritating that there's more fic about Rose and her three second appearance than Donna in her entire episode.

The forum was dodgy for me last night, but is working now. Try again soon, perhaps?

Bless him.
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2008 05:35 am (UTC)
I love that David Tennant quote, do you have any idea which radio show it came from? I couldn't find it on loves_them_all.

Also, I agreed with almost everything in this post, but particularly with the bits on Martha and Rose. I don't think that Martha was the Doctor's One True Love any more than I think Rose was, but I liked her a hell of a lot better and it is nice to see the Doctor squirm a bit.
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2008 09:35 am (UTC)
I don't know which one it is either. If you can see the post at loves_them_all - it's locked to members - you could ask the OP there.

It sort of puts a crimp on the whole "Rose was the only one mentioned after she left" deal. And put an interesting thought in my mind which I might make another post about soonish - Donna knows that the Doctor was upset by both Rose and Martha going, but Donna only knows that Martha fancied him, not that Rose did, too. Which could get interesting when Donna meets those two...

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