Drakyndra, Evil Master of Fandom (drakyndra) wrote,
Drakyndra, Evil Master of Fandom

“One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel.”

So, The Girl in the Fireplace. When I initially commented on this, I said I really liked it, but not quite as much as School Reunion. On rewatching, I have adjusted my opinion a bit, and would place it equal with SR - main basis for this being, as I said in a comment somewhere, that while it didn't effect me quite so much emotionally (Reunion made me cry, this just made me tear up), it had so much of the glorious style I loved about Tooth and Claw, but with character stuff as well.

To start with: Dude, how Casanova is that? Twinkly music, grand buildings, pretty pretty buildings, even more gorgeous clothing... and then we get the screaming. And freaky clockworkness. Nice way to start an ep.

Note: One side effect of all those years of ballet is a love for really gorgeous outfits. And when we did Swan Lake one year I was one of the princesses, and wore an outfit that would, quite frankly, pretty much fit perfectly in this episode. It was my all time favourite costume, and I had a trail of kids from the beginner's class following me around so they could stroke the dress when ever I sat down. So gorgeous outfits always get a good response from me.

Though, that might tie in quite a bit with the fact that I adore things with genuine style. It's what made me like Tooth and Claw, the sheer style of the direction, and it strikes again here - great direction, gorgeous scenery and visuals, the aforementioned costumes - but in this case, the plot is in on it, too. I've seen TGITF described as "an adult fairy tale" and "Event Horizon meets Lewis Carroll" and I find both pretty accurate. The juxtaposition of France and the space-ship, the wanderer in and out of Reinette's life... even the story had style. And that makes me love it. The ideas...

But back to summarising:

"The only man, save you, I have ever loved." Aww, poor Louis! But Reinette does get an interesting intro, that's for sure. And a way pretty outfit. (Remark on Myles, seething jealousy aside, she isn't a bad actress. Not the best, either, but she isn't as bad as some people would have you believe. And I think she carries the part off well)

Spaceship! (Defintely a getting-away-from-Earth-more Agenda this season) Mickey, hurrah! Rose with hair of WTF!

"Nah, nothing here. Well, nothing dangerous. Well, not that dangerous. You know what? I'll just have a quick scan, in case there's anything dangerous..." My first LOL moment of the episode, and we are only two minutes in. Go, Moffatt, go!

(There is so much quotable about this ep, that I will only get the very best bits. There will still be huge amounts of quoting going on, though)

51st Century, 2 and a half galaxies away. Nice. (No Jack refs, though. *woe*) The spaceship is cool in a sort of generic spaceship way.

Someone suggested somewhere that perhaps the ship was a Time Agent ship - hence the historical name and decoration, and the ability to do the holes in time. I like this theory. (Your Jack related conspiracies should start now...)

"It's so realistic!" Mickey, you're a woobie.

"Checked all the smoking pods." *grins*

The music is really weird just before we get to the actual fireplace. But in a good way.

The Doctor and yound Reinette is the most adorable thing ever - he's so sweet with her. Yeah, that's slightly disturbing with what goes on later on, but this is where I take that argument that the Asexualists use, and flip it a bit: Compared to the Doctor, when it comes to lifespan all humans are just children. 75 years? He's lived more than 10 times that. For him, her waiting 30 years is the equivalent of us waiting about 3. (Warning: some extremely rough Maths went on here). People have engagements longer than that.

Still, I try not to think of it like that too much. I tend more towards the "Come back home after a few years travelling, and discover that annoying little brat next door actually isn't that annoying or little anymore" analogy. Or something.

"It's just a routine... fire check." He's so adorable and sweet here.

"August is rubbish, though. Stay indoors." What happened in August then, I wonder?

"I hope you enjoy the rest of your fire!" Is this episode designed to make me laugh at awesome quotes or what?

"No idea. Just made it up. Didn't want to say magic door." Seriously, how the Doctor is that? Technobabble rubbish, just to make things sound a little more scientific - the world he lives in - and less the world of the supernatural. Also, it makes me wonder how much of his other technobabble can be retconned as The Doctor Making Shit Up. ("Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow," anyone?)

Rose is all over Mickey, who seems to be having a ball. With the spaceship stuff, not the all over him stuff, I mean (not that he would mind much...). I am trying to work out what this is saying: she's all mixed signals again, is being best (platonic) friends, or my person theory (you heard it here first!): She got a bit stroppy at him after School Reunion, they had a big fight, made up (interpret that how you will), and now she's trying to make things a bit better in their relationship.

Loose connection... somehow, it makes sense to me, what with the stuff later, but I don't understand it. Is that even possible?

*creepy music and ticking* Oh, shivers...


I have never been more glad that I am lazy, and thus still have not gotten around to getting a frame for my mattress. Or that all the clocks in my room are digital.

Also, it has one of those creepy-cool masks, and a lovely weird voice.

"What do monsters have nightmares about?" "Me." Yeah, I know he took this line from an old DW book, but it still damned awesome. Also, hubris but a little more subtle.

I love how Mickey thinks it's an ice gun, but it's really a fire extinguisher.

"You are BEAUTIFUL!" The Doctor is flirting with a clockwork robot thing. The Doctor is FLIRTING with a clockwork robot thing. Srsly. (Ten has chemistry with like everything, doesn't he?) I do love his little mannerisms here, they are such fun.

Also, the clockwork head thing is gorgeous. It's beautiful, and unique, and the teleport effect is just brilliant.

Ah, Mickey and Rose, in the best traditions of companions, wandering off looking for trouble. (I couldMadame de Pompadour. Or Reinette. Plz be spelling it right, it isn't that hard. And Poo Poo jokes aren't particularly mature.

"There could be anything on this ship." HORSE! I think that just wins for me. Though Arthur the horse is awesome liek whoa. I think I want him as a companion.

Mickey sneaking around, doing commando rolls. *hearts Mickey* "Are you looking at me?" Hehe!

Eye cameras, and hearts in the wall. Eww. And very freaky.

The horse following the Doctor just cracks me up.

Ten hiding behind that wall is just... adorable. There are no other words, really.

"Whats a horse doing on a spaceship?"
"Mickey, what's pre-revolutionary France doing on a spaceship? Get a little perspective." Just. Plain. Genius.

Also, the Doctor is fanboying Reinette again. And the others are picking up on it a little, I think.

"France. It's another planet." I dunno why, but I really like this line.

"Fireplace Man!" Somehow, with all the grand titles the Doctor seems to be running up these days, this one sticks in my head. It's so... cute.

I love that Mickey, the mechanic, finds the parts thing so amusing.

"Someone cooking..." I love the way Rose's joke has turned into something horrible and gruesome, and the look on her face as she realised this...

Actually, speaking of Rose, I am not a big Rose fan, as people who chat with me a lot are aware. But I actually liked her this episode. Maybe it's the fact she was relativelt minor, maybe it's perspective after School Reunion, maybe it's just the writing. But I did like her in this episode.

"You're not keeping the horse!"
"I let you keep Mickey." Great lines, and I do wonder what went on in the time between Schoole Reunion and here. There must have been some interesting conversations in the TARDIS.

"Yeah, but he called her Cleo!" Oh Mickey, when you are snarking to Rose, you are ever so brilliant. And you are very insightful, really. A lot more so than you normally get credit for.

And the mind-meld stuff. (I have no probs with the concept at all. But that may just be me and my fondness for stories with weird psychic stuff) This was just... fascinating. Because we somehow manage to learn so much about the Doctor, but so little at the same time.

But... I do wonder what he sees, when Reinette is smirking at him, and he is telling her to close the doors. From the sounds of things, it's something a bit... naughty. And he never answers why he doesn't do the mind thing often. Avoiding the question or what?

And then she reverses it on him: "Such a lonely little boy, lonely then and lonelier now. How can you bare it?" And he is so very shocked - he never saw that coming. And a little afraid, perhaps? He spends so much time running from his past, running from his memories, and to have them brought up like this, for someone else to know...

"Dance with me." She's seen in his head, she knows what he means by that. The little temptress. And he's all "I can't" and then they shove in a "Doctor Who?" reference, and it suddenly gets so much deeper.

"It's more than just a secret..." Oh, she knows, she knows something big. About his name, his identity, about something. And he has that fear and awe in his eyes, and at this moment I can see him falling in love, if not then but soon, because she understands. Because these things, he can never tell anyone, but he wants someone who knows, who understands, and now Reinette does.

And then they go off to dance. Or "dance", which ever you'd rather. (I think I prefer the second, but I can see it going either way)

Why did the clockwork robots wait until Mickey and Rose were awake? I mean, I know they are stupid, but that's just weird.

And then, quite possibly the best entrance in ages. The singing and dancing and all untucked and "Have you met the French? My God they know how to party!"

He so had a really, really good night. Even if he is acting tio trick the droids.

Drunk!Doctor (or Fake!Drunk!Doctor, rather) rocks my socks. He out-Zaphods Zaphod, and he looks just so utterly bonkers and mental, and I need that cap on an icon. He has his tie around his head. And sunglasses.And he has the Best. Lines. Ever.

Icon me now, bitches.

"Oh, look at what the cat dragged in, the Oncoming Storm." That is just brilliant.

"I think I just invented the Banana Daiquiri a couple of centuries early."

"Always take a banana to a party, Rose." Nice advice. ;)

"You're Mister Thick Thick Thickety Thickface from Thicktown, Thickania. And so's yer Dad!"

Is it just me, or is the Doctor rolling his "r"'s every time he says brain?

"Many things about this are not good." Master of understatement, our Doctor.

And the Rose and Reinette scene. I really liked this. Rose just seems...so sad, for some reason. And Reinette already calls it "Your world" - it isn't her world, and she knows it. And then she smacks down Rose's assumptions by working things out (and being vaguely snarky), and Rose is like "Oh Noes, she is a smart cookie."

"He cannot make his promises in person?" She is so sad at this (and it does make me wonder why Rose was sent to do this, exactly. Yeah, Doctor doing technical computer stuff and window finding, but still...)

"He'll be there when you need him, that's the way it's gotta be." And that'd be Rose, speaking from personal experience.

"One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel." Gah! I love that line. And it's what the Doctor is all about - that little bit of good. And that's why Rose travels with him, despite the things she's seen, why they all travel with him. It's a brilliant line, though.

I love the fact that Reinette walks through the time window into the spaceship. It's just cool.

"The Doctor is worth the monsters." And Rose does that little nod, and in that moment, they understand each other.

And the whole "We can't use the TARDIS" thing is a bit... odd. I can sort of understand it - the time it would take to get everything started and all, it might take too long. And that's if he even manages to get it to the right place and time. But the part of events thing...

"We do not require your feet." Such a creepy, creepy line. And the great zoom shot onto Reinette as she is pushed to the floor is awesome.

And then the Doctor rides in on a white charger, aka "the thing on a thing going through a thing." Seriously, what other show would have a man on horseback ride out a mirror?

But of course, we don't know what went on just before this - I imagine Arthur, the darling, made some noise, and the Doctor had his falsh of inspiration, and of course never stopped to think about it all.

"This is my lover, the King of France."
"Eh? Well I'm the Lord of Time." Hehe, the Doctor seems to ant to add a bit of testosterone to the air.

And then we cut to Rose and Mickey, and the big character controversy of this ep - namely, that he left them behind. Of course, Mickey seems busy frantically asking questions, but Rose is just... stoic, and sad, but not surprised. I think she knew this would happen, because she had seen it before. Unlike Mickey, her sadness doesn't seem to be so much about being stranded, as being left. But I think she understands why.

I'll link to few posts on the topic a little later that say things better than I do briefly here, but I also understand why - yeah, he may have loved her, but she was Madame de Pompadour. And she wasn't murdered at 37 by clockwork droids. That wasn't part of history, it never should have happened (as Rose tells her earlier) and if it does, then it sends history haywire. Particularly since the droids don't seem at all adverse to chopping up the other people for spare parts, and the King of bloody France is in that room. If the droids get to him, then things could get bad.

So yeah, the Doctor had to stop them, of course he did. Yes, he may have loved Reinette, but stopping the droids wasn't about that personal stuff, it was because he had to, it was important.

And to quote Carrot, "Personal isn't the same as important." Which is perhaps one great big difference between Ten and Nine. Ruthless, maybe, but he knows what's important.

So yeah, he is just so the Doctor, and makes it up as he goes along,and doesn't have a plan (but hey, didn't that scare the Daleks to death?) and doesn't really think about the consequences, and assumes there will be a way to get back to Mickey and Rose and the TARDIS. God, if I can think of about half a dozen ways off the top of my head, you better believe that the Doctor could come up with something.

But anyway, back onto summary:

Somehow, the droids stopping is almost sad. Weird.

The names conversation with Reinette is intriguing. It hints at... something. Not entirely sure what, though.

I rather like the description "The Lonely Angel." How this is going to work out with the Lonely God reference is very interesting.

And all the slow path talk - he couldn't live it for long, could he? He might stike around a few years, perhaps all through Reinette's last six, but he'd get so bored, and being the Doctor, he'd go off and do something wild and weird (and then turn up back on the ship to pick up Mickey and Rose...) It's just not him. But he might settle with it, for a little while.

And Reinette, who knows him as she does, even if she loves him, takes him to the fireplace, and lets him choose for himself. If you love something, let it go, and all that. She's so sad as she does it, though.

Also, the long shot on the bed must have sent a few people completely mental. Even I sat there thinking "They wouldn't..." And then they didn't. Tricky bastards.

"If I'm lucky..." But don't you remember TCI? You are lucky, Doctor.

Oh, the look on his face as the fireplace spins around...

And he wants to take her with him. That's so adorable! Of course, it all ends tragically. (After a hug from Rose, and a manly handshake from Mickey) Rose seems rather sad to let him go off after Reinette though. I can't quite read her sadness, though.

And the poor lovestruck fool forgot about the time difference. I think I did, too, until he came back though, and it was all grey and quiet and I was like, "Shit!"

And then the King and the Doctor, both so sad, watching as Reinettes hearse rides away. And the Doctor just doesn't. Say. Anything. And it's somehow brilliant. Painful, but brilliant. Because he never said goodbye, hell, the last thing he did was give her a false hope. And that is just so painful.

And we get back to TARDIS, the Doctor trying to be all chatty and light and all, but it just isn't working. "I'm always alright," with that terrible smiling but failing going on there. And Rose knowing somethings wrong with the Doctor, but insightful Mickey knowing he just wants to be alone.

And then in the letter, where the Doctor's own words to Reinette show up and smack him in the face. "I think I shall not listen to reason." He gave her that, and the false hope it gave her. And he is almost crying here. *wibbles*

And then that wideshot of the Doctor standing in the TARDIS. Alone.
Always, so very alone.

And the oh-so chilling but utterly brilliant moment when you see the name of the ship, and it all falls into place, the warped logic of the droids and why they chased her. That was a chills moment, truly.

Also, about the whole romance deal: I am blatantly stealing this decent thought from someone's LJ (sorry, whoever you were), but while School Reunion told us why the Doctor can't ever have TRU LUV 4EVA!, this episode showed it. It was actually a clever metaphor into how he has affected a lot of people - he meets people for a few brief moments (generally surrounded by monsters), affects them deeply, they get caught up in his life, and are never the same afterwards. And for him their life is only a few brief moments, ephemeral and ending so very soon, and he never has enough time with them.

Last week, it was a relationship with the Doctor via the companion's POV. This week, it's from the Doctor's.

And I know some people feel they were too close together for such similarly themed episodes, but they do bookend rather well.

Again, we have the Doctor love and pain connection - to love is to hurt, and you can't have one without the other. And that is one reason I adore the Doctor, because he loves so very much, and because of that, he hurts so much. (I go on about this, at length in my previous review. But despite the fact this happens, despite the fact he knows he will be hurt, again and again, he still goes on loving.

And the big theme series theme (in my opinion): Consequences. That's my personal take on it, God-complex and hubris and all. Because how better to knock a God from his pedestal, to shatter arrogance, to drive in the point that the Doctor isn't almighty, isn't all knowing than to show the terrible, terrible consequences of something he has done.

Last series touched on it a bit with Satellite Five, and the Gelth (and probably more), but I think it's the big thing this season. I mean how much more of a set up for Torchwood could it be? The Doctor is alien and arrogant, and frightens the Queen V, so she starts up an institute to watch out for him. He caused that, he is to blame. And if they end up capturing him, or doing something nasty, there is no-one else at fault, really?

Not to mention, Alt-world Cybermen in the upcoming eps. Cybermen in the Real World (I think) for the finale. There has gotthat doesn't play into this somehow, I'll eat my hat.

I am thinking I am liking this theme stuff now.

So, non-spoilery summary: It was beautiful, it was stylish, it was clever, it was witty, it was effortlessly quotable, it had twists I never saw coming, and it was weird as all hell. And I loved it. The Doctor was central to this story, and there was some serious character stuff going on - I so called it about these last two episodes. Reinette was... perhaps not the best guest star so far, but she certainly did what she had to do, and did it in spades. Mickey sadly didn't get enough to do, but he did have some fab moments, and Rose was not there hugely, but I think I like how she was characterised a lot better.

So, in combining the the things I liked best about the two eps before it - the style of Tooth and Claw, and the character stuff of School Reunion, as well as Moffatt's genius for plot, and we got something beautiful and brilliant. All it needed was a bit more time, perhaps, and a bit more going on with Mickey and Rose, and it would have been perfect.

Also, the commentary for this pwns liek whoa. Moffatt and Noel Clarke = teh funny, and some great stuff is brought up. I reccommend it to everyone.

Next week: Cybermen! And the Doctor in a tux, on the shallow end of things.

A final word: I was going to do a slightly emo rant about how sad it made me that certain fandom individuals (No, not the Asexualists, the rabid Doctor/Rose shippers or Rosefen) whose opinions I respect and think a lot of, seemed to consider certain parts of this episode as equivalent to character rape, or at least as rather OOC. Now, maybe it's just because I am blinded by love by this episode, but I didn't see anything that seemed particularly OOC - thoughtless, maybe, but not OOC (I speak of this above). And the fact that these people, whose thoughts I rate so very highly are fuming so much makes me... terribly sad.

Wanky types I can laugh at. Character bashing annoys me. But being outraged by something that I rather liked... it just makes me so sad. Because I loved it, and I want other people to love it too, and I just don't understand how they can feel this way.

So, to prevent emoing up the joint, I give you a few essays on the topic (all highly spoilerised), that sort of entend my thoughts on why I feel it wasn't at all OOC or anything:
By Calapine
By Doona Rose
By EbonyBeach
By Yuxonomei
Good Lord, it's a shipper showing some sanity!. Yes, this essay is through the Doctor/Rose POV. But this makes the sanity in it all that more remarkable.

(Also, I find it really bizarre that I have found more outrage about this episode on LJ (and TWOP) than on the OG. Either the OG types are (mostly) being surprisingly sane for once, or I am getting better at avoiding the crazies over there. Also, I seem to be agreeing with a lot of people whose opinions I am normally very opposed to, and disagreeing with people I normally do agree with. Weird.
Tags: fandom: doctor who, keyword-17, keyword-46, meta, reviews

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  • Because I am the latest ever

    Oh yeah, you might have seen it if you follow me elsewhere, but I have actually posted some of my photos from that trip to Sri Lanka (and Singapore)…

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    Oh my poor dear Livejournal, how neglected you have been. Well, as I think some people may have noticed, I do still occasionally comment on various…

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