Well, all is relatively normal in the household of Rosby this Sunday evening; Joe is being grumpy and playing deafening music, Mum is watching Big Brother (for reasons that I can't even begin to fathom), Dad has retreated to his cave, and I'm sitting here and remembering that it's been over a week and I still haven't reviewed Doctor Who yet.
Right. Here we go.
See, it's far more difficult to do this one, because my reaction was so different to what it usually is. I definitely remember exactly how I felt whilst I was watching it, so it's not a case of forgetting (it was 2am, after I'd got back from Pride London, and seeing as I'd been disappointed on the big screen front I was determined to watch it before I went to sleep), it's just...I honestly didn't know what to make of it. Still don't, really.
Let's break it down. What I liked:
- Martha finally getting to do something consequential; after all this emphasis on her being a medical student, clever, bothered by her family, she hasn't done a massive amount except run, scream, and panic. It's nice to see her being the one who sorts everything out. Freema's acting was much better this time, too.
- John Simm. Oh, John Simm. From lip-synching to the Scissor Sisters to dying in the Doctor's arms (by way of serious wife-snoggage and mad, evil genius dancing), he was brilliant.
Absolutely fantastic as the Master; it's so good to have someone who can match up to Tennant. He definitely stole the show in The Sound of Drums,
and kept it up for this one.
- On a completely superficial note; Jack covered in grime, chained up, getting to shoot things, and returning to Torchwood. Hurrah! (More on Jack later, though.)
- Every weeny little bit of Doctor/Master interaction. Those two work superbly together, don't they? There was totally convincing chemistry between the pair of them (and no, not the shippy kind, although that hasn't stopped the slash fans going mental), and I was crying along with the Doctor when the Master died in his arms. Wonderful.
- The Toclafane being revealed as Utopia-bound humans; not only was I proved right (as were many other people), but it wrapped up the story in Utopia
very nicely. Plus, the face in the metal ball was creepy and disgusting enough to give the little kiddies nightmares, which is always something.
- "This is me, getting out." I'm sad that Martha's leaving, because I do like her despite some dodgy acting moments, but I did love the way they dealt with it; people have been complaining so much about how she keeps going on about her unrequited love for the Doctor, but...why shouldn't she love him? It makes a very nice change from the Doctor and Assistant being in love with each other and never saying anything. Plus, I am *deeply* familiar with the "getting out", distancing technique. And it hurts quite a bit, so I do feel for her.
- The Titanic. Pure win.
Right. Hmm, I seem to have thought of a lot of positives for this one. Now for the negatives;
- As much as I liked Martha being the central figure, I just wasn't very impressed
with the reveal that all she'd done was talk to people. I mean, I know that was the Doctor's plan, but I was all set for a combat, kick-ass Martha who's hardened and stronger than she used to be. Finding out that she's just been talking does take away that element of her personal growth. I don't know. I'm not making sense.
- The Doctor/Messiah telepathic floaty nonsense. Granted, I didn't hate it quite as much as Marie did, but it's such an easy way out.
My favourite Doctor by far is flawed Doctor; he's certainly a hero that travels around the Universe saving people, but he is by no means perfect, and is often forced to make decisions that aren't for the best. Thinking about it now, that's one of the reasons why the series 1 finale was so good, and why I loved Eccleston so much; remember "coward or killer"? He chooses "coward, any day", and you admire him more for that. I think the same about Jack in Torchwood. Presenting the Doctor as this perfect saviour being who saves the day thanks to people's prayer takes away that novelty. Plus, it's totally transparent. Chibnall did exactly the same thing in the Torchwood finale, and it doesn't work.
- Doctor in a cage. I don't completely
hate this, but I'm veering towards the negative. It's just so...*weird*. Scares me a little.
- Magical Reset Button. The ultimate Deus Ex Machina, and too bloody easy,
once again. It's the perfect way of putting things back to normal, and it's insultingly simple.
- Jack. Right, this is where I really start ranting. As glad as I was that Jack came back for those three episodes, he may as well not have bothered. Asides from a couple of minor reveals, and a delicious scene with the Doctor in Utopia,
there has been no point in his presence. He was left on Earth for over a hundred years, and there is no hint of confrontation with the Doctor, no apologies, no real closure. The Doctor has been completely dismissive and not bothered to deal with how Jack must feel being trapped in linear time after all these years. Jack's main role in these episodes seems to be wandering around looking gorgeous and shooting things. Which is always good, but we need more.
All us Torchwood fans hoping to find out more about him, hoping for some kind of explanation, or for Jack to get to grips and accept his immortality, are distinctly miffed. Russell simply inserted him into the finale, realised he'd have to do something
with him to avoid a fan mutiny, so tacked his big reveal onto the end of the episode. Oh, speaking of which...
- The Face of Boe. This has divided the Torchwood fandom into three sections; the WHAT?, the HA!, and the NOOOOO! I am part of the NOOOOO section, myself; what the hell was he playing at? It's as if Russell visited the nearest livejournal and found the most ridiculous speculation he could find. It completely takes away the mystery of Jack's eventual fate, and it just doesn't make any sense. Plus, Jack's obviously shown that he is a very social and physical person; he life revolves interacting with people, with running around trying to save the world, and not least, intimacy; he is widely-known to be a pansexual man-whore. (Ahem). He is *not* going to be the kind of person to end up as an unmoving head in a big jar. He just isn't.
I don't know if I'm fan-wanking or not, here, but that's just how I feel. It's the most pathetic and paper-thin reveal. I'm in the process of trying to erase it from my mind; it probably won't be mentioned when Torchwood returns, so I can forget about it.
- I have absolutely no sympathy for Martha's family whatsoever. At all.
...I'm well aware that those explanations are incoherent and not very deep. I'm just letting the words come out without really thinking about them.
SO. That's what I thought. It was brilliant, but Rusty tried too hard to make it unusual and different, and a lot of things are very jarring as a result. And the lack of Jack was just infuriating.
As for new companion news...gah. I have absolutely no doubt in Catherine Tate's acting ability; she is an RSC woman, after all, but I HATE Donna's character. I really do. If she spends the whole time acting like she did in the Christmas episode, I may stop watching. With any luck, she won't. That's all I'll say on that for now; I'm reserving judgement until I actually see her do it. I've been proved wrong numerous times on this kind of thing.
(Plus, I hate The Catherine Tate Show; "Am I bovvered?" repeated a million times does not constitue comedy, in my opinion.)
RIGHT. That's it. Doctor Who is over for another year; and I have enjoyed it exceedingly. Freema Agyeman did have quite a few dodgy acting moments, but overall she did well. I loved all the episodes, bar the Dalek two parter and The Shakespeare Code.
I've had fun squeeing at things, and I'm looking forward to the next series.
not doing a good job reviewing this, am I? I'm trying to stay positive, so I have less to type about. My fingers are killing me. Maybe I should try another time. I'll talk about it a bit more soon, I promise.
I miss it already...
Labels: Captain Jack, David Tennant, Doctor Who, John Barrowman, John Simm