Posts Tagged ‘Russell T. Davies’

Series Six: Most Exciting Doctor Who Premiere Yet! (SPOILERS through Day of the Moon)

I should’ve choked on the words in that title, but I absolutely stand by them.  RTD fan or not, I am on the edge of my seat here.  Let me clarify—I love RTD’s premiere eps, but never has one scared the pee out of me and left me with a billion questions this way.  I can’t help but be impressed.

First?  I was not expecting body bags.

I wanted the episode to start where The Impossible Astronaut ended, with Amy shooting the little girl in the spacesuit.  Should’ve known that just isn’t how Moffat rolls.  Instead, Amy is run down in the desert by Canton Delaware, who was a friend last time I checked!  The image of his men throwing that body bag in front of Amy was powerfully evocative–shocking, with an extra touch of horror.

But the orphanage was just ridiculous.

Amy and Canton (friends again, his defection just another twisty trick from the Doctor) are looking for the little girl in an orphanage, and find a dimly lit building with a haunted caretaker.  You just know the aliens are inside, and it’s all downhill from there.  There’s graffiti on the walls in  blood red:  the words “Get out”.  The caretaker doesn’t know how it got there but Amy sees the same words on his wrist.  So not good.

Then Amy’s in a dark room with rows of empty beds (had a quick, pleasant flashback to Nine in Series One, the hospital scene in The Empty Child…aww, I loved Nine).  The door shuts and she can’t get out…that’s when she sees that her hand is blinking red like an answering machine in the 80’s.

Did I mention that the Doctor implanted a recording device in their hands to keep track of alien sightings?

Last week in The Impossible Astronaut, we learned that looking away from the aliens causes a person to forget having seen them.  The device is supposed to solve the problem.  But here’s what makes it interesting, what, actually, makes it positively ingenious.  When Amy met the alien last week the audience might have been omniscient, but this week?  Oh, we’re stuck in Amy’s head.  That means if Amy sees an alien, we won’t know until that light is blinking—and if Amy misses time, so do we.

Fear builds in quick flashes—Amy runs to the window and sees her arm covered in ‘crap, I saw an alien’ tally marks, but just a second glance shows the marks all over her face; scores of sleeping aliens are hanging from the ceiling (funny when the Krillitane did it in School Reunion, not so much this time); some weird lady talking through a hatch in a door that suddenly has no hatch—by the time Amy went into the little girl’s room, I’ll admit, I was scared.  Deliciously so.

Other highlights?


There’s another Badass-Extreme moment for River Song.  Amy’s rescued in a room full of aliens (reminding me of Nine and Captain Jack saving Rose from the middle of the Dalek fleet in The Parting of the Ways), which have been revealed as the Silence.  River guards the Doctor while he stalks around being brilliant, and their banter sizzles.  Great stuff, but she’s best when she starts taking the aliens out one by one, spinning gracefully as she rains destruction on their enemies.  Much like the Doctor, I’m getting kind of attached to her.  They had their first kiss and it was both awkward (the Doctor flails his arms and acts as if he’s never been kissed before by anyone, never mind River) and sad (River realizes that his first kiss with her must be her last with him).

The romance of Amy and Rory took a few harrowing twists and turns this time as well.  Rory and the Doctor arrive at the orphanage too late to find Amy; all they find is her little red recorder, which is somehow still recording her although no longer physically attached.  Rory tells her he’s coming for her and the Doctor explains that she can’t hear him.  Rory, looking less than friendly, responds with, “She can always hear me, Doctor. Always. Wherever she is and she always knows that I am coming for her, do you understand me? Always.”

Sweet, but Amy takes some of the wind out of his sails by  pleading for the Doctor to come rescue her.  Later, a desolate Rory is holding her device when she starts talking about someone with a stupid face that she loves…you can see his spirits lift until she says, “My life was so boring until you dropped out of the sky.”  Even I thought she was talking about the Doctor.

Luckily Amy is rescued and she refers to Rory’s stupid face.  All is well again, until she starts talking about last week’s mystery pregnancy.  She told the Doctor she was, now she tells him she isn’t.  The audience knows that Amy saw a picture of herself holding a baby in the creepy little girl’s room, but she can’t quite grasp the memory.  When the Doctor asks why she told him instead of Rory, she admits she had worried that the pregnancy would have been affected by her time traveling, whether or not her child would come out with a ‘Time Head’.  Funny, but now there is doubt again for Rory (who is naturally eavesdropping), because why would the kid have a ‘Time Head’ unless the mom messed around with a Time Lord?  Only it turns out Amy knows he’s listening, so then she must’ve been just messing with him.  Right?

Except for this mind-blowing ending:

Questions, questions, questions.  The aliens here were the Silence and now they’re defeated.  Can that really be the end of it after they spent the entire fifth series hinting about  ‘The Silence Will Fall’?  That would seem anticlimactic and so seems unlikely.  Amy is and isn’t pregnant; that girl is always weird.  There’s a little kid out there who regenerates and the suggestion is that Amy is her mother.  So Rory still has something to worry about after all?

I’m excited.  I’m intrigued.  And I’ve already said I’m impressed.  This series is going new places, and this time I’m going with it.

Bring it on, Moffat.

Doctor Who: This RTD Fan is Finally on Board (SPOILERS)

Well, I just watched the opener to Doctor Who’s Sixth Season, thanks to BBC America On Demand and an unplanned day off from work.  I was very impressed, and for an RTD-Rose fan, that’s really saying something.

Granted, I watched almost the entire Fifth Season while still mourning for Russell T. Davies and crew.   I’d become so attached to the likes of Rose, Donna, Jackie, Captain Jack, and Mickey; it felt like the Tenth Doctor was grieving for them with me the last time I saw him.  Yet this new Doctor starts off as if he popped into existence in Amelia Pond’s yard.  Where did my Doctor go, and by that I don’t mean Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant, I mean the character I’ve been growing attached to for years?  It seemed as if an entire new TimeLord had taken off with the Tardis.  Add Steven Moffat’s public near-disdain for the romance of Rose Tyler and blatant disregard for previous canon—I was left pretty resentful.

Luckily, that’s almost the entire Fifth Season.  The episode The Lodger was so fun and Matt Smith so completely charming, I found myself believing in the Eleventh Doctor at last.  That episode actually made my top ten!

It helped this angst-lover that the relationship between Amy and Rory intensified enough to draw me in emotionally.  I cared when he was sucked into the light and forgotten.  By the time Rory reappears in The Pandorica Opens, the scene where he (unsuccessfully) fights his auton instructions to kill the woman he loves was an absolute tearjerker.  It wasn’t Doomsday, but it was something.

River Song, whom I hated on sight in Season 4 just because she showed up out of nowhere and was automatically the Doctor’s closest companion ever, had become the character to watch in Season 5 (if only because she was the one connection to past seasons).  Still, she won me over all on her own with her confidence and flirtation, culminating in the scene where she faces down the dalek that she believes has killed her Doctor.  I can’t resist that kind of badass.

So…new season, new possibilities, and old grudges almost completely vanquished (with the help of the Christmas Carol episode…yes, I believe that Eleven was thinking about Rose when Kazran asked, “One last day with your beloved…which day would you choose?”  How could it be River when he doesn’t even trust her yet?  He may suspect that he will love her, but it makes more sense for his mind to run on his last love’s tragic end.)  Eleven got my attention right away by announcing he was 1100-&-some-years-old, which annoyed me until I realized it was a plot point.  Amy, River, and Rory have been summoned, apparently just to watch the Doctor die at the hands of an unidentified being in a spacesuit…except it turned out they weren’t the only ones.  The more familiar 900-&-change-year-old Doctor has also been tapped, and his friends can’t tell him what they know.  Ooh, intrigue.  Plus, I loved when River slapped the Doctor—it reminded me of all the times he got slapped in the past (Jackie, Martha’s Mom, Donna), which made me smile.

The monsters here are nicely scary;  Ood-like, suit-wearing aliens that electrocute people, yet as soon as you look away from them you forget they exist.  I’m not in love with Moffat, but he’s very good at creepy.  I’m less impressed with the spacesuit figure, though that’s the big threat to the Doctor.  Honestly, Vashta Nerada anybody?  Same outfit, presumably different insides.  Moffat is so good with his cinematic experience, his storytelling ability, yet he consistently forgets that these “stories” are part of a series, and yes, we do remember what we’ve already seen in the last 5 seasons.  Come on, buddy, acknowledge your venue.

The episode ends with a one-two punch:  Amy announces she’s pregnant (WTF?!) and before I can even comprehend the implications of that, she jumps up and shoots in the direction of a figure in a spacesuit with the face of a desperate little girl.

The End.

Okay, so first, is this pregnancy for real?  Amy isn’t a normal person, what with her Universe-altering abilities, so nothing about her can be accepted as fact.  I can’t really figure out how a pregnancy would work with an official companion, unless Karen Gillian plans to leave after two seasons.  Actually, if she lasts more than two seasons, she’ll be the longest lasting companion since the reboot.  So, who knows?

As for the shooting, I can’t blame Amy for trying to save the Doctor at her first opportunity.  Yet no one expected to see a terrified child possibly in the path of her bullet, and the show ends with both the Doctor and Amy looking horrified.  Suddenly I couldn’t believe I’d have to wait an entire week until I can find out what happened.  Wow.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, though I wonder how I’ll feel about that break between now and the second half, which airs in the fall.  I have heard that my favorite 5th season character, Craig (played by James Cordon in The Lodger), will make a return appearance.

Eleven lost a lot in his previous incarnations, but he wouldn’t have gotten where he is without the ability to move on.  I guess I’m finally ready to let him.

My Top Ten Episodes of the New Doctor Who

So I thought I’d make a list of my favorite episodes, from Davies through Moffat.  (Makes sense, I’ve never seen any of the others.)  I’ve tried to give a reason for each without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen them (but there are some spoilers), and then added a little dialogue.  I also completely cheated, by including two-parters as one episode, thereby giving me an excuse to list more favorites.  😉  So what, come at me, bro.

1. Dalek – Series 1, Episode 6, written by Robert Shearman – This was the first episode where I realized I’d crossed the line from ‘watching this because my roommate put it on’ to being an actual fan. Hats off to the dalek for looking more ridiculous than any villain I’ve ever seen in my life and still managing, by the end of this episode, to impress me as a hard-core, death-dealing badass. Shearman and Eccleston convinced me in one intense, dramatic hour that this plunger-wielding trash bin was serious business.

The Doctor: What’s the nearest town?
Henry Van Statten: Salt Lake City.
The Doctor: Population?
Henry Van Statten: One million.
The Doctor: All dead. If the Dalek gets out it’ll murder every living creature; that’s all it needs.
Henry Van Statten: But why would it do that??!!
The Doctor: Because it honestly believes they should die.

2. Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways – Series 1, Episode 13, written by Russell T. Davies – This might actually be my favorite episode. Daleks wiping everybody out, Captain Jack’s last stand, Rose’s inability to give up, and then of course, the Bad Wolf was amazing. The part where the dalek shoots and she stops it with her hand?? “All things must come to dust…I want you safe…My Doctor.”

Rose: No, I didn’t mean that! But it was… it was a better life. And I – I don’t mean all the travelling and… seeing aliens and spaceships and things – that don’t matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. (to Mickey) You know, he showed you too. That you don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say no. You have the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away, and I just can’t–

 

3. New Earth – Series 2, Episode 1, Davies – I don’t know if this is a fair choice, since I thought the ending was kind of ridiculous. Honestly, you just spray the vaccine cocktail on one person and then it gets passed along by touch? Lame. But Cassandra, and by that I mean Billie Piper and David Tennant as Cassandra, was just too much fun. Hilarious ep, very entertaining, and for me, sometimes that’s enough.

The Doctor: You were supposed to be dying.
The Face of Boe: There are better things to do today. Dying can wait.
Cassandra: Oh I hate telepathy. Just what I need; a headful of Big Face!

4. Tooth and Claw – Series 2, Episode 2, Davies – Of course I would like a werewolf ep, and the guy in the cage really did scare me when he was talking to Rose, and when he was changing and they were all chained up. I was impressed that this family show could actually freak me out that much. Good stuff!

Sir Robert: Nevertheless, that creature won’t give up, Doctor, and we still don’t possess an actual weapon!
The Doctor: Oh, your dad got all the brains, didn’t he?
Rose: Being rude again!
The Doctor: Good, I meant that one. You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have – arm yourselves!

5. Love and Monsters – Series 2, Episode 10, Davies – Even though the Doctor and Rose were barely in this one and the ending was kind of sad and disturbing, I couldn’t resist the character Elton, who was charming and loveable. The “I said not Blue!!” part was pretty funny, too. 🙂


The Doctor: [Upon appearing from the TARDIS. To Elton] Someone wants a word with you.
Rose: You upset my mum!
Elton: [glances at the Abzorbaloff] …great big absorbing creature from outer space, and you’re having a go at me?
Rose: No one upsets my mum.

6. Army of Ghosts/Doomsday – Series 2, Episode 13 & 14, Davies – had no idea what the ghosts were and was shocked by that, and by what came out of the void ship, but it was awesome to see them go against each other. Beyond that, I need only 3 words: Bad. Wolf. Bay. :’-(

Rose: The first nineteen years of my life, nothing happened. Nothing at all, not ever. And then I met a man called the Doctor. A man who could change his face. And he took me away from home in his magical machine. He showed me the whole of time and space. I thought it would never end.
The Doctor: [with Rose on an alien planet] How long are you going to stay with me?
Rose: Forever.

7. Partners in Crime – Series 4, Episode 1, Davies – the mime scene with Donna was, for me, the funniest scene in any of the five seasons that I’ve seen yet, and that is saying something. The Rose cameo was so unexpected that my heart jumped in my chest.

The Doctor: …With Martha, like I said, it got… complicated. And that was all my fault. I just want a mate.
Donna: You just want to mate?!
The Doctor: I just want a mate!
Donna: You’re not mating with me, sunshine!
The Doctor: A mate! I want a mate!
Donna: Well, just as well, cos I’m not having any of that nonsense! You’re just a long streak of…nothing!

8. Turn Left – Series 4, Episode 11, Davies – this episode interested me, partly because I’d been waiting the entire season for Rose to come back, but partly because of the idea that making a different choice (especially the one between having faith in yourself or having none) would have such a drastic effect on the world. “There’s something on your back!” Delightfully creepy.

Wilfred: Sweetheart, come on. You’re not gonna make the world any better by shouting at it.
Donna: I can try.

9. The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End – Series 4, Episodes 12 & 13, Davies – Great fun to see all the companions and Harriet Jones, whom I always liked and felt sorry for in Christmas Invasion. I liked the end-of-the-world desperation that both episodes had.  Loved the reunion of Rose & the Doctor (though how could I not, being the big Rose-Doctor shipper that I am), and everything that followed for them, though it certainly took getting used to.

Human Doctor: You made me.
The Doctor: Exactly, you were born in battle, full of blood and anger and revenge. Remind you of someone? That’s me when we first met, and you made me better. Now you can do the same for him.
Rose: But he’s not you.
The Doctor: He needs you, that’s very me.

10. The Lodger – Series 5, Episode 11, written by Gareth Roberts – I was having trouble with Moffat’s Who, and part of that was Matt Smith, who I could not see as a 900 year old Time Lord. However, in this one Smith was particularly irresistible and I found myself finally and completely won over. There is also a sweet love story, and the scene where the Doctor transfers memories through a head-butt has definitely made my top 10 funniest Doctor Who scenes ever. 😀


Craig: If you ever need me out of your hair, just give me a shout. [winks]
The Doctor: [winks back, pause] … Why would I want that?
Craig: Well, in case you want to bring someone over? Like a girlfriend, or… [looks at the Doctor’s clothes] boyfriend?
The Doctor: Oh! Oh, yes, yes, I will. I will shout, something like… “I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS!”