(This may be added to as I think of other things to say)
That said ...
He licked the door. He licked the door. Ten LICKED the gorram DOOR.
There will never be anything on television quite so cool as that again.
Anyways, it some ways, this episode was almost a triumph of style over substance. Because even if it was not the most plot heavy episode, not the most unique plot, not a deep character study, what plot there was filled the space perfectly.
And the style could not have been any more perfect.
Perhaps it's just the fact that I saw V for Vendetta last night, and am thus feeling the appeal of immaculately styled, spectacularly beautiful viewing, but I adored this episode for it's style.
The atmosphere was perfect, chilling and frightening - that werewolf was genuinely freaky, and when it attacked that soldier bloke, with the editing and teeth. *shudders* The sound artists did a great job. The sets were beautiful, and I loved the contrast of the gray, gloomy house with the scarlet of the monks and soldiers. And the blue TARDIS in the green fields was lovely.
Actually, I might just go on a directing tangent here. I am firmly convinced this episode had the best directing so far. All those beautiful, gorgeous shots, the wolf POV shots, the wonderful editing in that extraordinary opening fight, when the Doctor had his epiphany in the library, and the shot of the Doctor and wolf either side of the door. (That's going to be remembered, that shot)
Now, onto character stuff:
This wasn't a huge Doctor and Rose character developing thing - the next two look to be more that type - and as such, I expect the fic rate to be rather lower this week. But considering what we have coming, I expect them to shoot back again after that.
That said: "It's beautiful!" And the look on the Doctor's face there - that will stay with me. Because that moment just says "the Doctor" to me like nothing else. It's a wondeful moment.
His "books are weapons" thing was brilliant as well.
I also loved his epiphany just after this, with pacing and great editing and hair rufflage, and yay, glasses! But seriously, I loved the way he reasoned out the trap within a trap, and worked out everything (it was a little predictable, and not exactly high science, but no-one could possibly accuse it of Deus Ex Machina). But I like me a brainy Doctor.
The stuff in the TARDIS at the start was quite brilliant - the punk, rockabilly Doctor, eh? I like this description muchly.
Rose never knew how right she was there.
Also, he likes the Muppet Movie. Hehe!
Also, on the accent issue - although his Scottish accent was lovely, of course, I genuinely didn't really notice when it slipped back into that Mockney thing later on. Which...was rather impressive, actually, as it made it seem so much more natural.
On a shallow level: Tennant has never been this pretty before. Never. Also, door licking. *wibble*
Oh, and he did distant and emo in a very lovely sad way when the Queen did her speech about the dead that you cannot hear.
Rose bugged me a bit (that "We are not amused" thing was a rather appalling, so I was gleeful when Queen V called her on it). And her outfit was hideous.
Then again, Rose has never been a favourite character of mine - I liked her okay, but that was it. The whole conversation with the wolf was very interesting, mind, and she tried to get free, which showed a bit of smarts, but otherwise she was just silly jokes and not much else. I suspect the big character stuff is all for the next two weeks.
But how the hell did she know about the Koh-I-Noor(sp?)?
As for the Doctor/Rose thing - there was... very little of it, actually. Like I said, not a big ep for character development, so what we got here was a bit of these two being silly and injoky, and rather sweet, actually. I think fandoms problem is that they are forgetting that there is supposed to be plot. And before you bring up The Unquiet Dead, as last years analogy to this, I personally felt that the shipping in that episode was the most forced thing ever. I think I much preferred this take on historicals, rather.
Anyway, last season was all about Nine getting over his emo, PTSD Time War issues, and Rose played a major part in grounding him in reality. My feeling for this season is the hubris thing that everyone is on about, and I am wondering how Rose will actually play in this. Grounding him again, victim of consequences or what? According to the commentary, by the end of this season we should have an idea of where things are going with Rose. So it oughta be interesting.
As for our minor characters:
Queen Victoria - she was done well. You go, Queen! Dude, she has a pistol in her purse, and then went and smacked down the Doctor and Rose for bringing on the silly, and then gave them the uber-smackdown at the end. And then she went and set up Torchwood, and she was strong but still sort of nice, and I liked her for not just being your cliche snooty queen, but real.
Father Angelo (the head monk)- genuinely creepy. He has a creepy face, as teh Tennant pointed out on the commentary.
Sir Robert - A bit dopey (I like the Doctor being snarky and pointing out his father got all the brains), but he made up for it in the end.
Lady Isobel - clever girl, wasn't she? Seemed a bit weepy and useless to start with, but once her husband was in danger, she got to work.
The Host - Creepy as fuck. And, according to the commentary, went to drama school with DT. Nice. Not much to do except be creepy and expositiony, but he did well.
Werewolf = a million times better than PoA. Doctor Who for the win!
On plot stuff: Unlike last week, I wasn't spoiled liek whoa for this episode. So I genuinely didn't see what was going to happen (apart from the prefectly normally predicted mid episode stuff). I mean, I knew that the Doctor and Rose would be knighted, but I didn't know that immediately afterwards they'd be banished. I knew there was that telescope, but I didn't know what for. I knew a meteor fell to Earth and produced a werewolf, but I didn't know how the monks fitted into all this.
And it was a damn site better for this, really.
That said - the banishing thing rocked my socks, because it was just like the snow = ash thing in TCI. It took what could have been a sappy cliche, and turned it on it's head. And the reaction that the Doctor and Rose had to it. Yeah, afterwards they were a bit light and silly, but according to the commentary, there was a scene in between that was cut, with the two at the doors of Torchwood House just completely in disbelief. (This scene now lives on in my personal fanon)
There were also some very classic lines there, though I can't be bothered acnning through it all just to transcribe them. But the one about Sir Robert's wife being away, so the Doctor thought he was "happy," and that one about legging it out the window, and Sir Robert's final lines. Oh, and Queen V's smackdown. And the Torchwood stuff at the end, which was rather overdone, but very forboding.
Oh, and "Doctor James McCrimmon?" For the win!
Also, something I just had pointed out to me over on the OG forums: In TCI, the Doctor told the Sycorax to "Leave this planet, and never return." And what then does Queen V say in this episode? "Now leave my world, and never return."
And RTD can't do subtlety, eh?
There is definitely something worth pondering there.
Oh, and for all those people whining about how all that Torchwood stuff is just like a big trailer for the spinoff? Listen to the bloody commentary. David Tennant confirms what us spoiler hunters have known for ages - Torchwood has a part to play in the series finale double episode. That's what's being set up now. Not subtle, but some context, please?
The non-spoiler version: Perfectly presented, gorgeously atmospheric, and it genuinely scared me in parts. Fitted the 45 minutes perfectly, and if not particularly deep in developing character, there are definitely some subtle - and not so subtle - set ups for where this season might be heading.
Also, next week = squee liek whoa!
Oh, on another note: Shippers, you are bugging me. All of you. Not just the whingey Nine/Rose fans who complain that the episode would have been so much better with Nine, but also the Ten/Rose fans complaining about lack of shippiness so far in the canon, and (for some bizarre reason) all the Doctor/Romana fans who seem to have grown like mushrooms and look down on the OTPing Doctor/Rose fans as being so immature despite doing the same bloody things yourself.
All of you: SHUT THE FUCK UP PLZ AND LET ME ENJOY MY PRETTY, PRETTY EPISODE. Or at least put your energy into fic, where I may actually enjoy hearing your thoughts.