tempestsarekind: (brighter than sunflowers)
So way back in series 5, when Amy tells us that her favorite story as a kid was the story of Pandora's box, and I commented that this was clearly the TARDIS (as I said back then, "a box full of monsters and hope")?

How has it only just occurred to me that in "The Eleventh Hour," Amy is repeatedly told not to open the door to the room where Prisoner Zero is hiding - and she does it anyway? And yes, she lets out the monster - but she also opens the door to the thing that will save the planet, because if she hadn't opened that door, and seen Prisoner Zero's true form, she wouldn't have been able to remember it, and use the psychic link (with the Doctor's help) to turn Prisoner Zero into a perfect copy of itself.

Monsters and hope, on day one. How did I miss it?
tempestsarekind: (amelia pond (ready for adventure))
Someone on the internet mentioned that "The Eleventh Hour" was five years ago today, and now I am all sad and nostalgic. :( I loved Eleven and my Ponds (River, too) so very much, and while I know that it wasn't to everyone's taste, I miss that fairy-tale quality that seasons 5 and 6 had, with their girls being brave in the darkness of the forest, and people being separated from their loved ones by dislocations in time - but finding them again, too, because they never stop looking and loving even when they can't quite remember… Without any particular reason, I was worried that Moffat Who without Eleven would become (as I put it right before seeing any of S8) colder, and flintier, and less full of joy. What's odd is that even though I had no particular reason to worry about this - no spoilers or interviews or anything like that - I wound up being right.

Ironically, given how much I loved "The Eleventh Hour" right away and how much real and proverbial ink I spilled over Eleven, Amy and the gang over the course of their run, I wrote almost nothing about it on my first viewing - just this lonely little sentence from April 4, 2010: I've only been watching for fifteen minutes, and Amy Pond has already broken my heart once.

I have a pretty full account of my feelings about S5 in real time, because by the second episode, "The Beast Below," I was already in full meta mode. But I've only ever written about this first episode in little dribs and drabs here and there, on the way to something else - a post about Amy's abandonment issues here, a disquisition on Eleven and his interactions with children there. I've never really sat down to write about this episode, and how joyful it was, how it felt like we were turning a corner away from the Last-of-the-Time-Lords angst of Ten and toward someone who could call yogurt "just stuff with bits in," like a child himself; how we were meeting a Doctor who could come to a child's rescue and take her seriously within moments of meeting her; how we were getting a new TARDIS that looked like inside of a mad inventor's shop and a girl who could fly off with the Doctor in her nightie like Wendy with Peter Pan. I've never written about how much I love the awkward gangly grace of Matt Smith in this episode, the way he struggles against handcuffs or leans out of a hospital window like a spaniel straining against a leash; or how I fell in love with Karen Gillan's odd, airily furious delivery of "Twelve years, and four psychiatrists," or how she broke my heart all over again with the way she yelled at breaking point, "Why did you say five minutes?" I've never written about little Amelia eating ice cream off of the ice-cream scoop, or that first time Eleven tastes the name "Amelia Pond" on his tongue. Until now, I suppose.

It's always hard to talk about what this episode, and season 5 generally, means to me. Other people have much more dramatic stories about how the show has helped them through hard times, and fortunately that isn't the case for me. But "The Eleventh Hour" felt like getting reacquainted with the stories that had shaped me as a child, getting back in touch with that magic after feeling for a long time that I had to put that sort of thing behind me. It was a reminder that stories don't have to be Serious and Important in order to matter very deeply to someone, that a little girl getting her prayer to Santa answered could be moving and true. I'll always be grateful for that, for Amelia Pond and her Raggedy Man.
tempestsarekind: (amy and her boys)
Huh. Apparently I wrote something about the Ponds' leaving (and how they seem to "leave" several times before that point) last year, and never bothered to post it:

I’ve been thinking about the Ponds’ departure, and stories and un-stories. S5 has such a tightly structured arc, in some ways; I mean, it’s generically baggy in the way that Doctor Who seasons are always a bit baggy, because the episodes are so often individual adventures, but emotionally the narrative ties together quite neatly: Amy starts off opposing childhood (magic, adventure, the “Raggedy Doctor” who sounds like the childhood story, the childhood toy, that Amy makes him into) and growing up (marriage), and the end of the season – like “Amy’s Choice” – reveals that for the false dichotomy it is: growing up and getting married doesn’t mean leaving adventure and the Doctor behind. But it’s also true that no one can travel with the Doctor forever, and the Doctor both knows this and doesn’t want to know it, because he loves his companions and doesn’t want to give them up. (Amy seems, often, to know this far better than the Doctor, maybe because she’s waited for him for so long and so often; she’s the one who talks about the Doctor traveling without her: “long after the rest of us are gone,” she says in “The Doctor’s Wife,” and it’s a recurring theme of both the S5 and S6 minisodes, whereas the Doctor says things like “You’ll be there till the end of me” [in “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”] – trying hard to believe that, at least for the moment.)

Moffat’s on record in interviews as saying that the Eleven-and-the-Ponds story is one about what happens when the Doctor stays in his companions’ lives too long, and it’s possible to see S6 as an answer to that question: his involvement in their lives past their “natural” separation point sees Amy and Rory’s daughter taken from them. So he tries, after that, to let them go, at the end of “The God Complex.” But Amy and Rory are his friends and his family, and Amy is ‘the first face his face saw,’ and so he can’t let them go after all; he comes back, at the end of “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe,” when it looked like Amy’s story with the Doctor was finished, because relationships don’t end like stories do. And so, ultimately, season 7.1 winds up feeling formless, because it’s an un-story rather than a story: it’s about characters unable to find a proper ending, because they love each other too much to let go cleanly. If you find yourself thinking that the Ponds could easily have left – narratively, at least – after “The God Complex,” it’s because they could have. But in terms of their relationship with the Doctor...well, Amy was still setting a place for him at the table and listening for the sound of the TARDIS, and he was still picking up the phone to call them and leave them messages, hoping to hear Amy’s voice before facing down some danger. The narrative problem of the Ponds is precisely the (to me) delightful way that they mean so much to the Doctor, and he to them.
tempestsarekind: (brighter than sunflowers)
Not sure how I stumbled across this, but:

GREY MATTERS: DOCTOR WHO's sublime study of grief, death and transfiguration continues to captivate its viewers
http://blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/grey-matters/doctorwho

(Written in January 2012; discusses series 5 and 6.)

I sometimes say in shorthand that Moffat writes Doctor Who like a comedy (which I still think is true, even if a little less so in series 7, because goodbyes are always at least a little bit sad), which means that I tend to focus more on the elements of rebirth and reintegration in the show; this piece is in some way the flip side to that - how the show deals with death and comes to terms with it. Special mention for the reading of "Vincent and the Doctor"; though I wouldn't say that the episode is "really" about Amy's grief over Rory, I like the way the writer points out that the episode is *also* about that.
tempestsarekind: (amelia pond (ready for adventure))
Er. I appear to have tripped and committed meta.

On Moffat, Misogyny, and Children’s Stories

“The Leopard of Little Breezes yawned up and farther off from the rooftops of Omaha, Nebraska, to which September did not even wave good-bye. One ought not to judge her: All children are heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb tall trees and say shocking things and leap so very high that grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one.” --Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


I read an old post on the internet about that perennial issue of Moffat’s misogyny in Doctor Who, which is a frustrating topic for me. It’s certainly not that I think Moffat has no issues at all – there are those stupid jokes about women and driving, for example – but I also think that the discussion is largely driven by people who don’t take into account either the prevalence of Moffat’s favorite story ideas with male characters as well, or the kinds of stories Moffat tells.

cut for length - seriously, it's really long - but no spoilers for the finale, although Clara is mentioned in passing a few times )

oops

Jan. 26th, 2013 06:58 pm
tempestsarekind: (eleven and amy)
When stressed, I resort to familiar comforts - which only partly explains why I was crying into my Cream of Wheat this morning about "The Beast Below," but I guess that's just the kind of life I lead now. (Just - their little faces! Amy being all stubborn and clever and right, believing in the Doctor with that hardy childhood faith of hers! Not being able to watch children cry! Apparently I still have a lot of feelings about it.)

(Have I ever mentioned how dearly I love Amy's reaction to being told that she and the Doctor are "observers only," as she watches Mandy crying on the TARDIS view screen, comparing it to being a part of a nature documentary - the way she trails off from that bouncy comparison, increasingly worried about how difficult it is to be distant and uninvolved? No? Well, I love it, dearly.)
tempestsarekind: (eleven wears a fez now)
For tedious reasons, I wound up looking back at a bunch of stuff I'd written when I couldn't sleep last night. One of the things I found myself looking at was the post I'd written about RTD-era Doctor Who and its treatment of history: history as theme park.

(Too lazy for proper link: http://tempestsarekind.livejournal.com/123567.html )

And it occurred to me that so far Moffat-era Who has managed to soothe a lot of my frustration on this score without doing the obvious thing that inspired the previous post, the idea of having a companion from the past. A large part of this soothing is due to the forty-five-minute miracle that is "Vincent and the Doctor," which is so lovely and compassionate, never dismissive of its historical figure in the way that some of the other historicals have been. But part of it is to do with the respective stances on history--or stands in history, perhaps--of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors.

cut for length )
tempestsarekind: (a sort of fairytale)
I HAVE NO WORDS.

(Cue Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed--yes, I know--going, "That's literally never happened to me before! Words are my life!")

Seriously, though, I can't think of anything of substance to say about the finale. I'm just making gleeful faces and happy burbling noises. Possibly on a rewatch I'll come up with nitpicks, but right now it's all glee-faces over here.

Oh, one thing, though: Matt Smith, ILU. all right, I found a few words after all )
tempestsarekind: (all the world's a stage)
Dear "Shakespeare Code", meet "Vincent and the Doctor." And then take notes. That's how you do an artist and a genius, one who's also a person.

I am torn between glee and tears. Oh, you mad show.

Just a few lines and observations, mostly though not all in order:

it's got art, timey-wimey stuff, and a possible overuse of Starry Night )

Okay, this round of flailing complete. I'm being gloriously incoherent today; my apologies.

But can I just say, without spoilers--I'm loving the smaller scope of this season; I love that we're getting so many moments of quiet reflection mixed in with the madcap.
tempestsarekind: (don't get clever in latin! [donna])
--I should really, really know by now that I oughtn't to watch specials on Pompeii. They always put me out of sorts and make me want to cry, except for the times that I actually do cry. But I always watch, anyway.

--I also watched a special about gladiators, because PBS was apparently doing some kind of two-for-one Ancient Rome thing. The odd bit about this special was that all the dialogue was in Latin, with no captions, and then there was some sort of explanatory voiceover in English, by either the gladiator the special was following, Verus, or the narrator. It seems that these sort of programs have been increasingly keen to have people speaking in Latin, the last several years (though this is the first one I've seen that didn't have captions). I get distracted by the linguistic conventions of historical television and film (see icon), so of course I wonder what that's about.

And a few random Doctor Who thoughts:
a) another brief thought on 'Cold Blood' )

b) I keep trying to figure out my affection for Amy, and I can't do it. Usually it's the characters whom I know the best that I wind up loving the best. And Amy isn't like that. I'd imagine that she must be an exciting character to write fanfic about, in a way: so much backstory to fill in, so many ways to think about how her childhood shaped her. But since I have only written one accidental piece of fic (well, two if you count that time I tried to write a meeting between Viola and Celia, which was kind of a wash), this isn't the way I think about Amy. And yet, she makes sense to me. mad, impossible Amy Pond )
tempestsarekind: (eleven and amy)
I've been seeing (and hearing) a lot of comments like, "I wish they'd chosen someone really different to play Eleven/chosen to make Eleven really different; Matt Smith (or Eleven) is just David Tennant (or Ten) lite." I find these comments fairly baffling, in part because I've been reading season 5 as an extended meditation on the fact that Eleven is not Ten.

more random thoughts about the differences between Ten and Eleven )

ETA: I knew I forgot one. This Doctor apologizes when he snaps at his companions. Yes please, and also, thank you.
tempestsarekind: (ten is a bookworm)
1. So, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: convince me, o my flist. I have started reading this book twice now, and each time I've gone along quite happily for 200, 300 pages--until we hit the Napoleonic Wars. And then my brain just gives up. (Last time I made it to page 405, the very end of chapter 30, which had Stephen Black in it, and then I saw that there was another war chapter ahead, and I...think I got up to eat a bowl of cereal or something, and never came back.) So--convince me. Why should I keep reading? (And also, can I skim the war bits?)

2. Had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day about Doctor Who. He is of the opinion that, although the emo of Ten got annoying, now the Doctor has no interiority at all; he's just "a guy, reacting to things." I am not convinced by this, largely because I'm not convinced that if you took away Ten's emo, you would find vast reserves of interiority there that Eleven doesn't have. I think the Doctor is unknowable. That's kind of how he rolls. And there's so much going on with Eleven, all at one time...

3. "The Hungry Earth":

the Doctor continues to be a bad driver )
tempestsarekind: (amelia pond (ready for adventure))
I read something on someone else's journal a little while ago, and I really wish I could remember whose, because it helped me to articulate my feelings about Amy.

The thing that I think is odd about her, for me, is that her actions seem reasonable to me, but I can't pinpoint exactly why I should think that. Or--as I do remember saying to [livejournal.com profile] thepresidentrix--I like her, but I don't quite know her.

And I think it's to do with storytelling. With RTD's characters, you knew who they were really quickly, in part because he bounced them off of their controlling/nagging mothers and deadbeat boyfriends so we could understand what they were "getting away" from. He set up a shorthand in their first episode so that by the end of it, we knew who they were.

And Moffat hasn't done that with Amy. She doesn't have family to be bounced off of; she doesn't really have anyone from her past except Rory. So I find myself extrapolating from what I know about her childhood and what I can imagine, and most importantly from what she does. I feel like RTD set things up so that you could look at, say, Donna's behavior and say whether or not that fit the character he'd constructed, whereas with Amy I have to use her behavior to construct her character.

I never actually posted properly about "Vampires of Venice," but if I had, I would have posted about that "showdown with the villain" scene (which I really, really liked), and how it helped me to get a bit more of a grasp on Eleven. I don't think this is spoilery, but just in case )

..oh. OH.

May. 15th, 2010 10:41 pm
tempestsarekind: (eleven and amy)
One line:

very brief spoiler for Amy's Choice )

Oh, fine. Break my heart why don't you, you mad, ridiculous show.

This episode will need coming back to, but other thoughts:

this episode is rocking the poncho )

More later, maybe. I have to go do stuff now.
tempestsarekind: (amelia pond (ready for adventure))
Right. Now that I'm not fangirling the costuming in the trailer for next week, let's talk about the episode itself. Bullet points, because my brain is all over the place right now:

some stuff on Flesh and Stone )

and some stuff on consent issues )
tempestsarekind: (TARDIS plus angels)
So I, er, may or may not have accidentally watched "Blink" today while eating breakfast. I think it might be my favorite episode, full stop.

Weeping Angels, River Song )

also

edited to add )

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