tempestsarekind: (clara and eleven and shards)
The DVD set for Doctor Who season 9 was in at the library, so I decided to watch it, just to see if maybe I'd like it more than season 8… And at least this way I'd finally get to see "The Husbands of River Song."

I confess to being largely disappointed by the quality of the episodes themselves: a lot of ideas with potential, but the execution consisted of way too much running down dim corridors for me, while key elements of plot and character were left muddied and muddled and underwritten. (I mean, I wanted to like "The Girl Who Died" / "The Woman Who Lived" so much! Humans who become immortal are one of my favorite things! Maisie Williams was delightful! And yet…I never quite felt that I knew Ashildr well enough to be totally invested when she forgets who she is and becomes Me, to actually feel the loss of her. Maybe if we'd spent less time on broad comedy about Vikings who can't fight, and more time establishing who she was and why she loved her village, I would have cared more when she couldn't remember either one.)

But I think my overarching intellectual and emotional disconnect from the season - and the last one - has to do with the nature of the Twelfth Doctor, too. It's no secret that I think Moffat writes his best Who when he's writing it as a comedy. Not just when he's writing humor - although one of the reasons that "The Husbands of River Song" is a welcome breath of fresh air is that Moffat seems to be back on his game, writing those screwball rhythms for River and the Doctor. But comedy: comedy is about hope, about dancing faster than death can catch you, about our better angels winning out. And seasons 8 and 9 are mostly tragic. Season 9 in particular is all about the Doctor going too far and being justly punished, and that's Greek tragedy; even if Moffat can't avoid putting a little fillip of death-cheating on top, for Clara, the cherry can't disguise the makeup of the whole sundae.

And in Twelve, he seems to be trying to write a Doctor who has Rules About Time - temporal strictures that shade into becoming moral and ethical ones. And breaking those rules leads to tragedy. (This seems to be what's going on in "Under the Lake" / "Before the Flood": the Doctor is tempted to break the rules of time to save Clara, even though he won't even do that to save himself. But the episode is - again - muddy enough that I can't figure out exactly what rule he's tempted to break, since Clara, unlike O'Donnell, hasn't yet died. It feels, in retrospect, like the episode is trying for foreshadowing that the setup hasn't actually earned.) And when the Doctor breaks those rules, he is punished, and he declares, in the S9 finale, that this is right. Moffat even brings in the Sisterhood of Karn to declare that the Doctor, in trying to save Clara, is breaking every rule he's ever lived by - to give that statement narrative weight and grandeur (weight and grandeur that I don't think it earns otherwise, because…well, see below).

Except…? Not that long ago, the Doctor was Eleven - and while I'm sure that Eleven has rules about time, his entire tenure as the Doctor is about figuring out just when and where one can bend and break those rules. One could certainly argue that it's only when he accepts his own death that the universe allows him to cheat its way out of it, so there is a moral angle to his bending of the temporal rules. And there are, of course, things that even the Doctor cannot change or "fix," the death of Vincent Van Gogh being one of the most memorable. But Eleven's rallying cry is "Time can be rewritten" - comedy, not tragedy - and how do you go from a universe where that is true, to one where it isn't, without ever giving a reason? How do you go from a universe where Eleven can unhappen the destruction of Gallifrey, to one where no one can be saved from death, without explaining what changed? How can I believe that the Twelfth Doctor's only recourse is to break every rule he's ever lived by, when the Eleventh Doctor would have slipped merrily out of those rules' grasp? (Or at least he would have tried and failed: that's more or less what happens in "The Angels Take Manhattan.") It's like Moffat wants to write a story about someone like "Waters of Mars" Ten, full of hubris and engaging in reckless, selfish tyranny against the laws of time (even if we are moved by why he does it), having forgotten that in between, the Doctor has been far more trickster than tyrant.

There seem to be a couple of deliberate callbacks to Ten in this series: the finale also touches on Ten's decision to wipe Donna's memory rather than let her die on her own terms - only here, he is (again) punished for his arrogance instead. And Twelve finally "remembers" why he gave himself a familiar face for this regeneration, that of Caecilius from "Fires of Pompeii": it's supposed to be a reminder to save the people he can, even if he can't save everyone. Only that backfires too: has he really saved Ashildr, or condemned her to something terrible? I'm not sure - but what really puzzles me is the decision to say "I need to be reminded to save people" in this episode, only to go on throughout the season to suggest that saving people is impossible, could fracture the universe, and deserves punishment. What?

(I should say that I think the critiques of the Doctor's decision are spot-on: Me's "We have no right to change who she is"; Clara's own "Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone, but I insist upon my past." I just don't understand the need or the decision to make the storytelling decisions that got us to that point - where the Doctor needs the critique - in the first place.)

I can understand feeling the need to scale back on the idea that time can be rewritten - or even just to want to try your hand at writing something new. But you still need to set up the new rules in a coherent way, first, and I don't feel like that ever happened with Twelve.

Also…I'm just going to quote myself here, because it's easier. From my post on the S8 finale:
If season 5 ends with the myth of Pandora's box - as I said back then, "a box full of monsters and hope," so very like the TARDIS - season 8 ends with the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. If Amy is Sleeping Beauty inside the Pandorica (though waiting for her own childhood self, not the kiss of a prince), the promise of that story is that Sleeping Beauty eventually awakens. And Amy and Rory have always had "Tam Lin" echoes for me, because Amy loves and claims Rory so stubbornly that nothing can take him from her, not even time. But Orpheus and Eurydice is about the fact that the dead cannot return, no matter how much you try to win them back. The Ponds are miracle-makers, even if those miracles are sometimes imperfect (Amy and Rory do get to raise Melody in some way, even if it isn't the way they wanted), but there's no miracle for Eurydice. Clara doesn't get Danny back.

So what's the story of S9, then? In some ways, it's still Orpheus and Eurydice. And that's very much a story worth telling - but it's also definitely not a comedy or a fairy tale. And Moffat's telling that story in seasons 8 and 9 still feels like an arbitrary switch-flip - "okay, the universe is now like this" - rather than a set of situations carefully constructed so that these stories had to turn out this way. I'm sure I'd still be pretty Not My Scene about the change, but it would feel like it made more sense to me, at least.
tempestsarekind: (eleven)
Hmm. one-sentence spoiler )

This morning I was thinking about episodes that, for whatever reason, feel to me to “belong” specifically to their Doctors – an episode with Ten that I can’t imagine Nine in, etc. The first of these to come to mind was “Vincent and the Doctor,” because I’d already thought of the episode in those terms before: I’d said that I couldn’t imagine Ten being kind to Vincent in the way Eleven is, not given the way he’d treated the people who should have been closest to him, like Mickey and Martha and Jack. And after “The Day of the Doctor,” I’m even less able to imagine Ten giving Amy Eleven’s “pile of good things” speech, because Ten can’t think that way; still mired in his grief over Gallifrey, he’s horrified by and scornful of the mere idea that Eleven has found a way to come to terms with that loss, because he can’t imagine a way of healing that doesn’t entail forgetting. How could he ever say to Amy that the bad things don’t make the good things unimportant, when he can’t imagine anything beyond the terrible thing that’s happened to him?

(Weirdly, even though I know that the plot was originally developed in a comic starring Ten and Mickey, I can’t imagine Ten in “The Lodger,” either – this time because so much of the episode is about how alien the Doctor is, and Ten spent so much time trying to pretend that he knew everything about humans and could easily “pass” for one. Can you imagine Ten racing to defend Craig still shower-slick, hair in wild disarray, wielding an electric toothbrush instead of the sonic screwdriver? Or saying, “Can you hold, please? I have to eat a biscuit”? Can you imagine him being so unselfconscious about how uncool he’s being in those moments? – It is also the case that I can’t imagine him gently taking care of Craig and telling him that he’s important, either, even when Craig has no desire to travel to London let alone the stars: not Mister “Not her; she’d only hold us up” and “You’re not special, or important,” but I am actually trying to let that go, despite appearances.)

The point of all of that, though, is that I can’t quite imagine Eleven in either “Listen” or “Time Heist.” stuff about Listen )

stuff about Time Heist )
tempestsarekind: (eleven wears a fez now)
(I haven't seen the new Doctor Who episode yet, so there are no spoilers in this - just a few goodbyes.)

I was away for the weekend, so I haven't gotten to see the new episode of Doctor Who. Instead, when I got home yesterday, I went back and watched “The Time of the Doctor” again – and realized that yes, I have been digging my heels in about Eleven’s departure, just sort of pretending that it hadn’t happened even though I’d seen his last episode months ago with my very own eyes. Part of that – probably the greater part – is that Eleven is my beloved space idiot, and Matt Smith brought such wonderful shadings to the role; I’ve written so much about both Eleven and Matt that it would be superfluous to repeat that here. But some of it is that in my mind, the Eleventh Doctor is so closely associated with Moffat Who, and particularly the things I’ve loved and valued so much about Moffat Who: the way that the show has leaned back toward joy and hope and redemption and possibility – regeneration, recreation – instead of trying so hard to turn the Doctor into yet another Tragic Hero. It means so much to me that despite the fact that Eleven is a trickster who will dodge death when he can, he also, nevertheless, faces his death at various points with acceptance, with gratitude for what he’s experienced in his long life, with tenderness toward the people he’s cared about – from cleaning up Craig’s house so he won’t get in trouble at the end of “Closing Time” to wanting to protect Clara one last time in “The Time of the Doctor.” It matters so much to me to have been given a Doctor who can call life a pile of good things as well as bad things and try to offer hope to Vincent van Gogh; who can comfort a grieving widow by telling her that her children’s happiness still matters even if – especially if – they’re going to be sad later; who believes that time can mend us instead of just destroying us; who promises in his last moments to remember who he’s been before embarking upon a new self, instead of comparing change to death and whimpering that he doesn’t want to go. It’s so important to me that the strongest thing the Doctor’s companions and friends often bring with them is love: love strong enough to face down Weeping Angels, to remember lost people back into the universe, to scatter themselves throughout time and call an entire unseen planet of Time Lords to account. They don’t need to take on some other power outside of themselves; they only need their own fierce and willing hearts. (“I won’t let them take him. That’s what we’ve got.”)

Faith, hope, and love, right? Those are the big three, and Moffat Who, for me, has had them in spades. An abandoned little girl who’s always afraid that everyone will leave her learns to stop running and believe that people will come back. A plastic Roman keeps a centuries-long vigil outside of a box, with all the steadfastness of his plastic human heart. And a lonely old man finds a place set at the table every Christmas in expectation of his coming, a village of children to dance the “drunk giraffe” with, a young woman who will pull open the Christmas cracker for him when his hands are too weak to do it on their own. (Did you ever notice how RTD’s Christmas specials were disaster movies, and Moffat’s are It’s a Wonderful Life?)

Anyway. What I realized is that somewhere in my subconscious, I think I’m worried that the end of Eleven-era Who will somehow be the end of all the things I’ve valued about Moffat Who - that changing the Doctor will mean changing the show in ways that I don’t want to happen: that it will become flintier, and colder, and less full of joy.

I did want to say one thing about “The Time of the Doctor” itself, though, that occurred to me while I was watching. We’ve seen a lot of examples of the way the Doctor hops in and out of people’s lives in Moffat Who, while others are stuck on the “slow path”: “The Girl in the Fireplace,” of course, from whence that phrase comes; “The Eleventh Hour,” where the Doctor breaks little Amelia’s heart by leaving her for twelve years when he only means to be gone for five minutes; “A Christmas Carol,” in which the Doctor leapfrogs from Christmas to Christmas in Kazran’s life, playing an ageless Peter Pan to that young boy’s changing Wendy; and on the grandest scale, the way the Doctor casually moves from moment to moment of the earth’s decay, in “Hide,” like the pages of a flipbook. We even see this a bit in “Blink,” where it’s Sally Sparrow who has to remind the elderly Billy Shipton that the rain outside his hospital window is the same rain in which they met, so many years and also only a few minutes ago.

So one of the things I really love about Eleven’s final episode is that for once, the tables are turned – it’s not just that he takes the slow path this time, but that for Clara, those hundreds and hundreds of years are happening in the space of a single Christmas dinner. How long does the Doctor protect the villagers on Trenzalore? Depends on how you decide to frame your answer: several centuries, and also about as long as it takes to cook a turkey.


Dec. 27th, 2013 12:08 pm
tempestsarekind: (clara and eleven and shards)
I was going to write an actual post about this, but accidentally blurted out my feelings in comments on [livejournal.com profile] sadcypress's post instead. So I'm just going to reproduce the comment, with edited extra remarks:

I was having all of these "Moffat writes Who like a comedy" feelings this morning about the 50th, because spoilers for the 50th, but not the Christmas special )
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: (eleven wears a fez now)
I’ll admit it: I wasn’t particularly excited for “The Day of the Doctor.” There is a 'but' coming )
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

(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 )
tempestsarekind: (eleven and amy)
Actually, two thoughts.

spoilers for aired episodes and 'Pond Life,' but no spoilers for 7x05 )

In news that is actually not as related as it looks, I stopped in at the bookstore yesterday on my walk home because...of reasons?, and found a lovely 50th Anniversary edition of A Wrinkle in Time in the children's section. I didn't buy it, but I really, really wanted to have someone to buy it *for*. Anyway, I found myself thinking about how much I loved those books, especially A Swiftly Tilting Planet - and suddenly it was like someone had hit me upside the head with realization, and I had to stop myself from exclaiming "Time can be rewritten!" out loud in the store. Of course I love that storytelling move of Moffat's so much, when I read that book so often and loved it so dearly. It's obvious, when you think about it; it's embedded in my narrative DNA.
tempestsarekind: (amy and her boys)
The adorable stupidfaces, aka Karen and the Babes, aka Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill, were at Comic-Con. Which is an introduction, basically, for a picture that is so hipster it hurts:

(You can't really see the bizarre horror that is Arthur's cardigan in this photo, but trust me, it is inexplicable and terrifying.)

(This post is not inspired by any actual spoilers. Just me failing to be a real human and caring too much about fictional characters when I ought to be doing something useful with my time and emotions.)

On Sunday I went out for drinks to celebrate a friend's birthday, and at one point I said "fezzes are cool" as a reflex. Luckily this friend had started watching Doctor Who, at least from season 5 (I am a pusher...I don't even *mean* to be), so she didn't think that was weird. She mentioned, instead, that she hadn't finished watching season 6 because she was worried something horrible was going to happen to Amy Pond - and when I said nothing did, she muttered darkly, "yet."

At the moment, there is not that much that Moffat could really do to turn me completely off the show; I have a reasonably high tolerance for brushing off ridiculous plots with "LOL what" by this point, as long as the emotional underpinnings are decent. ("Last of the Time Lords" would just be funny and embarrassing if it didn't reflect the recurring deification of Ten.) But if my Ponds don't get a happy ending, we might have to break up. I have really strong Pond feelings, okay. But it's also that the Ponds have been a welcome challenge to the RTD-era ethos that The Doctor Is Always Alone, and that this is The Burden of the Time Lords. Eleven has gone from being a little girl's imaginary friend to being a member of a family; the entire point of the most recent Christmas special (the ending, anyway) was to say to the Doctor that it's not *right* that he should be alone, that there are people who set a place at the table for him. And over and over, the show seems to emphasize this, from Amy's stubbornly dragging him back into the world again when he says he doesn't belong in it any more, to River's turning up the sound of the stars so that he will know that he's loved. He seems to be re-learning, bit by bit, that the fact that he can't save or protect everyone, even just from ordinary death, doesn't mean that he can't love them in the moment. (Obligatory flail for "Vincent and the Doctor.") River has been instrumental to this, given how they meet, but Amy has, too - because he has failed her, and let her down, and she still loves him. He doesn't have to be the Doctor, Savior of Worlds; he can be her best friend instead of just her imaginary one. And that hopefulness and generosity has been so important to me over the last two seasons, even when Moffat has bitten off more than he can really chew in terms of the narrative.

So it's not *just* that it's my Ponds, or that seriously, Rory has to stop it with the dying, or that they have really suffered enough as a family already. It's that if the Ponds don't get a happy ending, I'm afraid that the show will go back to being a show about the Lonely God instead of the madman with a box, and the lesson will be that the Doctor should keep closing himself off, because his story is always a tragedy. And I don't know if I could deal with that, after the comic possibilities of seasons 5 and 6. (Hey, they both end with a marriage.) I'm not saying I would never watch the show again...but I'd probably go back to watching it like I watched season 4 and the specials, without my heart in it.

(Also, I *really* could not deal with the Doctor being a jerk to the next companion because something bad happened to the previous one, if that happened. Been there, done that, still mad about it.)
tempestsarekind: (eleven and amy)
I'd forgotten that I put together a "year in review" post about things I loved in 2011, and then never posted it because the list seemed so short, and I wanted to see if anything else came to mind. It wasn't a fantastic year for falling in love with new things, I guess. I read 38 books, which I know is barely a sneeze to some of you speed-readers out there, but is a decent sum for me. And I quite enjoyed quite a few of them. 2011 was the year that I finally read A Room With a View (which I liked, but perhaps not as much as Howards End) and We Have Always Lived in the Castle; and I read the odd little book The Brontes Go to Woolworths, and I liked Connie Willis' Blackout and All Clear, and Cat Valente's Fairyland. But I didn't read or watch anything much new that I felt the need to buttonhole people about, and that's generally my standard for a good media year. I didn't have a due South this year, or a Tamsin. Still, what there is, come see. (I have been spending *way* too much time with As You Like It lately, seriously.)

Year in review 2011

--THE PONDS. I've found myself saying lately that "all of my feelings are Pond feelings," and it's perfectly true. Doctor Who is beloved to me generally, of course, but this year has especially belonged to Amy and Rory. I love that their relationship has developed in s6, that Amy is more comfortable showing tenderness to Rory, that they are a love story in every universe. And I love that their relationship with the Doctor has grown and changed, too, that their bonds have deepened and been tested, and that they remain a strange, wonderful family. (*Christmas special flail*)

--honorable mention to Matt Smith, of course, whose face still exists and therefore has delighted me all season. Special kudos for his double act in "The Almost People," which I'm pretty sure I referred to at the time as giddy-making. And oh, that scene with Alfie (aka Stormageddon) in "Closing Time"...I don't want always to have Beat Up on Ten Corner, and that isn't really even how I mean it. But Eleven faces his death with the ability to focus on the good, to remember what he's loved as well as - or more than - what he's lost, and I'm so grateful for that. It's become a commonplace to talk about the way that Matt can suddenly turn so old in scenes like that one, but I think it's partly to do with the way he manages to make one believe that he's actually capable of reflecting on hundreds of years of experiences - sometimes to be made weary by them, but more often to be grateful, even if that gratitude comes with a tearful edge.

--another honorable mention for "The Doctor's Wife." Because Neil Gaiman wrote a love letter to the TARDIS, and it was beautiful. Hello, TARDIS. It was so very nice to meet you.

--And just one more for "Good Night," one of the minisodes on the S6 DVDs (aka the one where Amy and Eleven go get timey-wimey ice cream). This encapsulated so much of what I love about the Moffat era so far: its insistence on the benevolence of time, even in the face of its tragedies, but a benevolence that stems from the way that people orient themselves toward others, and choose to care for each other, as much as from time itself. (I still love the fact that ultimately they don't go back in time to save Vincent van Gogh, but to befriend him. Even though they can't change his fate, they can change his life.) The Doctor can't fix Amy's life; he can't make time travel make any sense. But he can give her the gift of perspective, a little touch of reparation for a childhood sorrow that becomes an answer for her current dilemma. In the face of the inexplicable and the unfathomable, this Doctor puts his faith in the grace of the moment. "Cheer up. Have an ice cream."

--going to London this summer with my friend. Also, theater-stalking several favorite actors: David Tennant, Samuel Barnett and Jamie Parker, and Arthur Darvill.

--(this gets its own line) the Summer of Jamie. This began in London, watching him and Sam in R&G Are Dead, which was like magic (oh, my boys). Then his brilliant turn as Hal in 1 and 2H4, which made me feel so much for Hal for maybe the first time: he was so immediate and in the moment, really piecing together his princehood through the course of the plays. And it's no exaggeration to say that the knowledge that he's playing Henry in H5 has brightened my life so much over the last few months: I so want to know where that journey will have taken him.

--very honorable mention for Roger Allam, who made me enjoy Falstaff. I did not know such a thing was possible.

--Passenger by Lisa Hannigan. I discovered this CD during the lees of the year, and it's quirky and enveloping. (I also bought a copy for my high-school Spanish teacher, as a Christmas present.)

--The Hour. Despite a sad paucity of Jamie Parker, this series was engrossing, and I rather fell in love with the rich textures of cloth it put up on the screen. (so much tweed. <3) /shallow There's also the relationship between Bel and Freddie, which I loved: I don't even necessarily need them to get together romantically (though because I have seen television before, I'm pretty sure they will), so long as they remain so important to each other. They're comfortable together, in a way they can't be with anyone else - particularly Bel, who spends so much time protecting herself emotionally, for all that she's reckless sexually when it comes to Hector, wanting to play by the same rules as men, who can have affairs and not be thought the worse for it. With Freddie, she gets to be both playful and childlike, and motherly and nurturing - because it's also always clear that Freddie couldn't make it without her; he's completely fearless, and he also doesn't have enough sense to come in out of the rain: he's got no instinct for self-preservation, literal or social. They've grown up together: she's proud of how she's molded him, and exasperated by his stubborn obliviousness; he knows her intimate habits, and can be scathing and unfair when he thinks she's playing it safe. It's interesting to watch them both try to grow past that old relationship they share, and yet to continue to need to come back to it. And it occurs to me, incidentally, that the way I respond to their relationship, especially when compared to my response to Bel/Hector, is completely telling about my priorities: the relationship that's supposed to be hot-and-heavy, all passion first and foremost, never interests me like the ones where two people find a resting place or haven in each other.

--Luther s2. I didn't love it quite as much as s1 (needs more Alice!), but I would watch the "Luther does domestic and awkwardly protective" show all day, every day. He's so bad at caring for himself that it's startling to see that he knows the offhand, ordinary routine of caring for someone else - not just protecting someone else, because that's part of his job, but the daily activities of cooking breakfast and nagging someone to go to the job center. It makes me wonder about or imagine the possibility of some occluded history of kindness in his life: who took care of him, when he was young and needed it? Did anyone?
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: (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 )


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