Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:49 PM
But when Eleven & the Ponds came round, it just started all over again.
Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:31 PM
Bat-s**t crazy grandiosity is Davies's strength.
Posted 06 December 2011 - 10:15 PM
My bigger issue, though, is not how it happened, but that it worked. The issue of the Doctor dying at Lake Silencio wasn't just that the Silence wanted it to happen, but that it was a fixed point in the Totality of Everything. If it were just fooling the Silence, I could accept it. But it was really fooling the universe itself, which seems like it would know if the Doctor really died or not.
Yeah, that's a stretch. I admit it. I liked other stuff in the finale (as elaborated above) enough to give it a kind of pass on this score.
In fact, this was precisely the point of this whole arc: to give the Doctor a fictitious death and force him to go into a more lowkey mode, like in earlier seasons. The Doctor had developed a bad habit of relying on his sheer notoriety in the historical record to win confrontations: He's the Doctor; he always wins. For dramatic purposes, it was necessary to take him down an order of magnitude, and within the narrative logic of the world he had become an unacceptable loose canon to which various powers and principalities would reasonably develop a resistance and upon which they would declare war. All lines converged on the ending that we actually got, which satisfies the dramatic inconveniences of a too-powerful protagonist and satisfies the narrative problems of a cosmic loose canon in one stroke.
So, once again, the Doctor always wins -- but neither the writers nor the powers and principalities are inconvenienced by the legacy of this fact.
Edited by SDG, 06 December 2011 - 10:18 PM.
Posted 06 December 2011 - 10:27 PM
Edited by NBooth, 06 December 2011 - 10:28 PM.
Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:43 AM
Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:16 AM
First, far from being "special," I thought it was run-of-the-mill, kind of slack and uninspired actually. Nothing much happens, and there aren't many surprises or creative leaps, or any very interesting ones.
Second, by the standard set by last year's special (the only Christmas special I've seen), the new one isn't very Christmasy. Christmas is a significant theme in "A Christmas Carol." It starts with the line "Christmas is canceled" on the spaceship in jeopardy. We get a secularized explanation of Christmas as a universal phenomenon, and there are religious Christmas carols sung (including "Ding Dong Merrily on High," which I sang with my choir on Christmas Eve).
The girl's family appeals to Michael Gambon (the Scrooge figure) in the spirit of Christmas to let the girl come home for the holiday. There's a montage of wonderful Christmas Eves in Michael Gambon's revised history, with the girl waking up again and again saying "Merry Christmas, Doctor!" each time (until the Christmas Eve that she greets the young Gambon character instead). There's a parody of Santa's reindeer-drawn sleigh (with a flying shark!), and in the end the girl says to Gambon that after all her Christmas Eves, it's time she finally had a Christmas day.
In the new special, the widow is trying to keep Christmas happy for her children by not telling them that their father is dead, and there's the idea that "no one should be alone at Christmas." The Doctor hides a dimensional portal in a Christmas present (strangely; why wouldn't he just use the TARDIS like he always does?). And the trees in the forest grow natural ornaments. That's about it, I think.
Thirdly and most disappointingly, "A Christmas Carol" was very much an homage to Dickens and was very "Christmas Carol"-y. The name of "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" of course suggests another homage to another beloved British writer who wrote a story permeated by Christmas themes, but the episode doesn't deliver this at all.
There's the WWII setting and the fact that the kids are coming to the big old house to escape the bombings. And there's a portal into a snowy forest with trees that are alive. And that's about it, I think. Obviously I didn't expect to get Narnia itself, but I was hoping for something more Narnian than this. If we got a Scrooge figure last year, why not a White Witch figure this year? Why not "always winter and never Christmas"? And of course instead of a "Father Christmas" figure, the Doctor declares the mother to be "Mother Christmas."
Why not some clever time-bending like in the last special, when Lewis himself has the theme of "time working backwards" in connection with Aslan's sacrifice? Finally, the Doctor actually calls the TARDIS a "wardrobe"; why not use it the way the wardrobe was used in the book?
What we get instead—some Avatar-esque eco-fable about militarized humans coming to harvest the forest and acid rain and the trees' souls traveling into space—is boring, and very un-Lewisian and un-Narnian.
I understand that the perspective in "Doctor Who" is thoroughly secular, and the writers probably aren't nearly as comfortable with Lewis as with Dickens. And, to be fair, Dickens' "A Christmas Carol lends" itself to adaptation and riffing in a way that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe doesn't — which is why the Dickens story has been so much adapted and riffed on.
Still, I was hoping that the writers would be willing to approach Lewis in purely literary terms, and try to honor the fairy tale achievement of his book on its own terms. And they didn't even try, really. Disappointing.
Do you know what would have been beyond awesome? Bringing in Tom Baker to play a Puddleglum-esque character.
Edited by SDG, 27 December 2011 - 09:06 AM.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:32 PM
Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:24 PM
This squares with previous comments that Gillan's made, suggesting that she wants Amy to die, rather than just leave the TARDIS. But in a good way (I'm partial to the idea I saw suggested on a Doctor Who fan forum--that her last appearance is as an old woman, full of years. That way, she goes out satisfied but with finality).
Edited by NBooth, 17 February 2012 - 05:25 PM.
Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:41 AM
Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:01 PM
(It occurs to me that, as per discussion in the thread for The Game, the appeal of this scenario could also be connected to the longing for Heaven, where all books are opened, all verdicts rendered, all secrets revealed, etc.)
Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:44 PM
I went there in my head last night, but was a bit hesitant to connect it to the Game thread here. Apparently, the undoing of suckiness reaches both forward and backward... Eschatological relief.
Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:31 PM
I'm losing interest in the series. Despite having high expectations from Steven Moffat, who can still write a tight plot in a pinch, the Matt Smith seasons don't have any interesting arcs or dramatic tension; I'm utterly bored with the static characters of Amy/Rory (who are thankfully leaving), the River Song intrigue way overstayed its welcome, and although I like Smith as a performer, he doesn't have much to work with. The Russell Davies era began well and then had its high points (often scripted by Moffat) and low points, but Moffat's era seems to take fewer risks and is more middle-of-the-road in terms of ambition. I'll still probably watch the next couple of episodes, but if there isn't a significant upturn, I'll check out.
Update: More Daleks, ugh. More "is (s)he really dead" scenes, ugh. We need fresh material!
Edited by Doug C, 03 August 2012 - 10:11 AM.
Posted 01 September 2012 - 11:37 AM
Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:14 PM
And, yet again:
Edited by NBooth, 01 September 2012 - 09:39 PM.