Firstly: slight gloatiness, because I commented last week (on the lack of character development that ep had) that I thought that this and the next episode would be the big ones for character stuff. And boy, was I right...
Firstly, as much as I loved Tooth and Claw last week, I loved this one so much more. Easily my favourite Ten episode so far, and it's defintely in my very favourite bunch (I have no definitive order, but this is up with the best)
But back to my run through:
Anthony Stewart Head makes a great greasy villain. "Poor...thin child."
Also, within one minute of the show starting, a little kid gets eaten. Awesome.
Ten as a teacher. Glasses!Ten as a teacher. God, I wish I'd had a physics teacher like that. (Also, on a random note, I love that bag he carries in. No idea why)
His "physics" thing is cracktastic brilliance. I think it's the expression that makes it. And "I hope someone is getting this all down." I love the way he paces and says things weird though - he's a fascinating teacher.
"Correctamundo... a word I have never used before and hopefully never will again." *sporfles*
Also, Milo is such a Hermione.
Rose the dinner lady! I love her expression here, it's fabulous. And how she reacts to the Doctor when he is being just so adorably silly and weird.
Great big toxic barrels. Yeah, that's not at all suspicious.
Torchwood, with a bit more subtlty this week. And you are such a bitch to Mickey, Rose (This will not be the last time I say this).
Boom, scream, "It's fine, she does that." *falls over laughing*
The whole computer stuff is brilliant. I love the music, and the graphics are just creepily brilliant, as is the editing.
Sarah Jane, eee! "Oh, I can see everything... quite clearly." So very, very true, especially later in this episode.
Ten replacing a teacher who won the lottery on a ticket posted through her door... oh, you're a sneaky fellow, aren't you, Doctor?
The look on his face when he sees Sarah Jane... now that is "I can't believe my own eyes" disbelief and joy. Ten does joy well, really. And then he gets all stammery and incoherant, and there is such happiness and love there.
And his grin when she starts being all investigative...and then in the corridor, when he is all dreamy and almost as if he would cry from the happiness of it...
Ah, Kenny, the adorable suspicious fat kid. You can't not love him. (Oh my God, they don't kill Kenny! *grins*)
Ah, night sneaking...
"Fine, team... gang... comrades." *sporfle* And you are so adorable, Mickey, even when you are being a dweeb.
The look on Sarah's face when she sees the TARDIS - It's indescribable. And then when she backs away, and the Doctor is there, it's utterly heart-breaking. This is where I think I started tearing up somewhat. That entire meeting "Everyone died, Sarah."
"I can't believe it's you." Scream. "Okay, now I can." *grins*
"You can tell you are getting older, your assisstants are getting younger." Sarah is delightfully catty here. And I love how the Doctor apparently has no idea how to react.
"Like a little girl... nine, maybe ten years old, I'm seeing pig-tails and a frilly skirt." As much as I love Mickey, this was genius. And the expression on Ten's face here was awesome.
The Rose-Sarah Jane bitching is great, as is Ten's complete confusion and all. And Mickey seems so very amused by it all. (The complete spy music in this section also amuses me)
K-9! Awww! I love how ten is all *glee* and Rose and Mickey are just like "...Right."
"I've prepared an "I told you so" dance, that I can show you later!" *sporfles* Mickey, you are made of love! I love the fact that this is Mickey finally getting back at everything. Giving Rose a taste of her own medicine and all.
Monsters on the roof. How gargoyle looking are they?
TCI ref, hurrah! And then the whole conversation was wonderful - the Doctor assuming Sarah was okay when she so wasn't: "You were getting on with your life." "You were my life."
And he just doesn't understand what she is saying, is just so alien. Because he truly can't comprehend a life without the excitement and adventure, pinned down in just one place and time.
"You could have come back."
"I couldn't." Said so quietly and sadly. Because he just can't bear to see the people he loves grow old.
The glee when K-9 recognises him. Awww.
"I'm no dinner lady... and I don't often say that." Hehe.
"Add another suitcase full of bad." Best. Quote. Ever.
"Oh my God... I'm the tin dog." Poor Mickey. And you see, here, how that journey starts. This is where he wants to be something more.
And then we get the big Doctor-Rose showdown. It's all great stuff, and very clever.
"Is that what you are going to do to me?" "No, not you." Oh Doctor, you really do lie to yourself so much. Because you will leave her in the end, or she'll leave you. Nothing lasts forever, nothing gold can stay, and yet I think that every time, with every companion, he is convinced it will last. He travels throughout all of time and space, and yet he only ever lives for the moment, for the now. And then he takes those moments and makes them last a lifetime, and then he keeps them locked up, never looking back, never looking forward, just taking now and loving it and whoever he is with for who and what it is.
And yeah, the batshit shippers are all "OMG, this means Rose is special!" But as special as she is, she isn't unique. He loves her, but he loves them all. They are all special and precious and loved.
"Humans age. They wither, and decay, and imagine that happening to someone that you..." Yeah, it's love. It's always love. He loves them all, not just Rose, and Rose has just been hit with a great honking dose of reality, that she is just the now, not the forever, and she won't last. She will be loved, but in due course lost and locked away in his head.
"You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can't send the rest of my life with you. I have to live on. Alone." Loneliness is a big them with Ten. Nine was Time War guilt, and now Ten is loneliness - Nine was too bust angsting about what he did to ever realise what it meant in the long term, and now Ten has realised just what it means. God, I love how he is near tears at this point. Tennant is astounding here.
Hehe, big battle music. But poor Mickey. And then the westen music, for the big confrontation.
Finch and the Doctor - slashiest thing ever. Srsly. Finch trying to get the last Time Lord angst going, and ten being all businessy, and "If I don't like it, then it will stop." Ten's da man, and he knows who's in charge.
"I'm so old now. I used to have so much mercy." Ho boy. No second chances, and yet he is aware of what he is becoming. *shivery* "You get one warning. That was it."
"Soon, you will embrace us. The next time we meet, you will join with me." Bwahaha! Could that be any more subtexty?
"That'll be me talking to a metal dog, then." Oh Mickey, I love you still!
Sarah and Rose bitching. *glee* ZOMG, Rose ships Doctor/TARDIS! That is so the best thing ever. And then they are all giggly, and the Doctor turns up and they get even worse, and his little whiny "Stop it!" is just so adorable.
Ooh, suspicious Kenny is being clever. Good kid. Run little fat boy, run!
"We are in a car." Oh, that is so cute. And wonderful how the fat loner, the tin dog and the metaphorical tin dog manage to get this stuff worked out for themselves.
Is it just me, or is Rose freaking out when she does that big Maths thing hilarious?
"Become a God..." And oh, the look on the Doctor's face when Finch is tempting him with the Godmaker thing. He was all fine and dandy, until the Time Lords were brought up, and then... he was considering it, he was seriously considering it. And he would take it up, he's got that "I know best" thing going on, and yet he is so aware of the cost, but for that one moment when he realises he could stop the Time War...
That's powerful. That's Galadriel with the One Ring, considering taking the world - the universe and shaping it his own image. Beautiful and terrible, in which he is the great authority and power, in which everyone he loves will live forever, young and beautiful, and all his enemies never are...
And the way Tennant plays it, blank and distant and quiet, he's dreaming, imagining, he can see it there, right behind his eyes and when he just has that faint smile... *shiver*
"Everything has it's time, and everything ends." And it takes Sarah Jane and her words on loss to snap him out of it, but he can still feel it, that desire, that need, and he has to shatter the image so he can't see it, that apple on the tree of knowledge, that terrible, wonderful power that he wan't so badly, no matter how wrong he knows it would be...
And you see him take a deep breathe, resign himself, to get the strength to smash that image, to say no, because he wants that, he wants it so badly...
My plea to the fandom: Someone has to write an AU fic in which he takes Finch up on at offer. Someone has to write that AU, that epic with Ten taking that power despite himself, and all the consequences of that. Because God it'd be good - it'd be Anakin Skywalker done properly, it'd be the fall of Lucifer, it'd be amazing.
I don't think I have ever wanted a fic so much as I want that.
And then we get the gand together, and the monster attack (Is it just me, or is Finch striding purposefully into the dinner room followed by a swarm of Krillitanes oh so very cool?) And the Doctor doing the lion tamer thing with a chair.
And then K-9 saves them! I love you, "shooty dog thing"!
And Kenny being smart (despite lack of chips), and the Doctor giving Mickey an important role... him saving the pupils with a shrug and then just unplugging the computer made me sporfle.
K-9, you are so noble. And the way Tennant says, "Goodbye, old friend." And then "Good dog." "Affirmative!" with the little ear waggle and tail wave. *sniffs*
But seriously, what other show is there on television that could make you cry over a robot dog?
And then they blow up the school. And Kenny getting all the cred from it, yays!(Hurrah for the Blowing Shit Up Agenda!) And K-9... *wails*
But "You've redecorated!" Nice. Sarah and Rose coming to terms with one another, and all that.
Mickey is a companion! *does dance of joy*
Then again, pretty much every single line Mickey had was the stuff of joy. Oh you snarky, self-aware guy, how I love you. No, you're not just a tin dog. *hugs Mickey*
But, did you see Rose's look when the Doctor said Mickey could come along? Me-ow! That was... one of the most incredibly bratty things I have seen Rose do.
Also, "Some things are worth getting your heart broken for." This ties in most excellently with Sarah Jane's insight to the Doctor earlier about how how "Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love."
It's all very much like one of my Religion and Society essays (quotes from which will most likely haunt me forever): "The pain now is part of the happiness then." To love is to suffer, and if you open yourself up to love, you also open yourself to the pain that invariably comes with it. And as much as that was a comment on the companions, it also says a lot about the Doctor - he loves the Universe, truly loves it, and because of this, he has - and still does - suffer so hugely.
"Find me, if you need to, one day." Lovely. Passing the baton, and finding a comrade.
"Say it, please. This time." She wants closure, she wants finality, it's the only way she can move on. She isn't the Doctor, for whom all time is present, who can lock memories away in his head, and make them the here and now, for whom love is forever, even if he never things about it.
"Goodbye... my Sarah Jane!" And he gave it too her. With that wonderful hug you can tell she wasn't expecting. *sighs* And he gave her a new K-9! *sniffs*
"He replaced you with a brand new model... he does that." And that's Sarah again, seeing things clearly, but now able to move on with her life.
Note: pretty much all of my talk about love here was the general love, not just shippiness. But the love that the Doctor has for all his companions, which yeah, might verge more into shippiness with some than others, but it all comes from the same place, the some sort of love. Because I find that a hell of a lot deeper, and more touching than ship stuff here. Not that I'll stop reading it, of course...
Non spoiler review: Complete and utter brilliance. For only the second time (the first being PotW), Doctor Who has managed to move me to tears. But more than that, it was funny, it was insightful, we had character development liek whoa (Mickey, the Doctor, Rose getting a great big stomping of reality), and it was fun. I LOVE YOU, SARAH JANE! And I want a K-9.
Also, if anyone dares to tell me that "Christopher Eccleston would have done this episode so much better," I will KICK THEM IN THE FACE.
Next week: watch the fandom go boom! *evil cackle*