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[personal profile] eve11


Well, I quite enjoyed that episode. I found parts of it a bit silly, like the barking and the over-the-top staring at the aliens and such, but it was also a good character story for Clara, telling us more about her life. It was a way of humanizing her to a character who isn't just "the mystery to be solved." I thought it did a good job of introducing her parents in such a short time and I liked the backstory of "page one". It may seem creepy that the Doctor was following her life, but in the context of "who is this girl and why is she living over and over" I think it makes sense.

I found a lot of parallels to "the Beast Below" in the mood of the episode. The market scene and the first trip wonder. The contained nature of the story despite its attempt at large-scale trappings. The child in distress. This time around though, it's Clara who discovers the child and intervenes while the Doctor is swanning off enjoying glowy fruit. So it was interesting that while we see her back story as both mundane and fantastic in the way that Who always sets up human lives as both ("the most important leaf in the world"), that because of Clara's storyline in this episode, I found myself making comparisons with her to the Doctor. She's afraid a lot, but not of being lost. She sees someone who needs help and she goes after them. She's good at telling stories and motivating people. There is a contrast too: She saves the world with an infinity of what could have been, when all of what was, in the Doctor's past, is not enough to sate the Big Angry Sun God. And of course the Doctor says he came here with his granddaughter, so perhaps that is why Susan is stuck in my perceptions here. I am wondering if there is a connection though.

So, like in the Beast Below, it's the companion who saves the day. But in this case I think it was more an equals relationship than between the Doctor and Amy starting out. I think last time the Doctor got angry and just told Amy he was taking her home. He wanted nothing to do with her. She saved him from becoming something not himself by his actions. In this story Clara saves him after he gives everything of himself, and it's not enough.

There was again that feeling I had with The Beast Below, that this story was trying to be big and grand and not quite doing it. I think this has to do with the pacing and the trappings of television more than anything else. Only a few sets that can be used. Quite a bit of dialogue that needs enough time to go through. It wanted to be longer; it felt like a play even with the "Are you joking, it's massive!" bad guy. But despite that "smallness" to it, I still enjoyed the aesthetic. I liked the banter between Eleven and Clara, especially when she says, "You're going to fight it, aren't you?" and he answers with "Unfortunately, yes." I have to just handwave the plot aspects. The sonic was magic. The civilization was technologically indistinguishable from magic. The bad guy was a metaphor, and magic. And reminded me too much of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man set afire in Ghostbusters to be truly scary. But I imagine he would scare the pants of five-year-old me.

I liked the refrain of "we're all stories in the end", reiterated again with the notion of souls as stories, the singing to an angry god (And ah, I don't go to church but for funerals and weddings so I really do empathize with the "O-kay, we're gonna try and sing along now..." awkwardness, LOL), the Doctor's Carrol-Sagan-esque story to Marie, and the telling of a story to the beast. I like the line about "when we're holding on to something precious, we run as fast and as far as we can to get out from under the shadow." I liked that the Doctor was mad and brave and shouty and just a bit wrong.

And I think he should come clean and tell Clara exactly what is going on with her life (lives), and not just leave it at "you remind me of someone who died." Good for her saying, "you're traveling with ME now" but what happens when more of the pieces come together?

Date: 2013-04-07 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honeynoir.livejournal.com
It may seem creepy that the Doctor was following her life, but in the context of "who is this girl and why is she living over and over" I think it makes sense.
I was thinking about that -- in the context of the show, at least, it would probably have been weirder if he didn't? Melody just happened, I mean.

And I think he should come clean and tell Clara exactly what is going on with her life (lives), and not just leave it at "you remind me of someone who died."
V. true! I have a feeling he's not going to give up that illusion of control, though, and it'll come back to bite him. Or, idk, maybe he's learnt from his mistakes and will tell her?

Date: 2013-04-07 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
Yeah, because it didn't go well with the Flesh Copy of Amy, and it didn't go well with "Oh by the way, have you ever wondered why your life doesn't make any sense?" bit with Amy either. I suppose he could say he doesn't want to say anything until he knows stuff for sure. But yeah, what if things come to a head before he knows enough to say anything? This is where River needs to come in and speak sense to him.

Date: 2013-04-07 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honeynoir.livejournal.com
Heh, yeah -- River would go: "Remember that time you didn't tell me anyone you were in that Tesselecta?"

Date: 2013-04-07 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
LOL and then he'd have to hang his head and say, "And then you stopped all of time and space and I was stuck in the robot body for all of the alternate universe."

Date: 2013-04-07 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
I LIKED THE PART WHERE THE DOCTOR TRIED TO KILL A SUN GOD WITH THE POWER OF HIS ANGST.

I've really liked the start of this season so far. Part of it may be that me and roommate spend a lot of the episodes in wild speculation and wind up with conversations that go 'I'd kind of be okay with this entire season being that the Doctor finds a Clara and then she dies' and then 'it's because she's a time lord' and 'SHE CAN TOTALLY BE THE MASTER.'

Also, the fact that the Doctor has taken to wearing Amy's glasses is unspeakably sad and surprisingly subtle considering the nature of the show.

Date: 2013-04-07 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
I LIKED THE PART WHERE THE DOCTOR TRIED TO KILL A SUN GOD WITH THE POWER OF HIS ANGST.

Funnily enough, it's not the first time! Except well, I'm thinking of the 8th Doctor and Lucie audio Phobos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobos_%28audio_drama%29), where the Doctor defeats a giant wormhole-sized fear demon by saying, "You think you want fear? Yeah, have a look at what I fear..."

Also, the fact that the Doctor has taken to wearing Amy's glasses is unspeakably sad and surprisingly subtle considering the nature of the show.

I do like that, and for more than the aesthetics. But he must have left those in the TARDIS when the dog-lady was looking for sentimental currency.

Date: 2013-04-08 03:13 pm (UTC)
clocketpatch: A small, innocent-looking red alarm clock, stuck forever at 10 to 7. (Default)
From: [personal profile] clocketpatch
lmao


Also, the fact that the Doctor has taken to wearing Amy's glasses is unspeakably sad and surprisingly subtle considering the nature of the show.

Didn't even notice that, but now I am sad for Eleven and everything. D:

Date: 2013-04-08 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] giallarhorn.livejournal.com
I really liked that they focused on Clara's history and past, and how it actually did play a pivotal role in the plot for the ep. But I guess that there was a sort of short, not really proper confrontation at the end in regards to why he was following her and it did kind of address it at the least?

Hm, there were bits of the ep that struck me as familiar, and I suppose that it is pretty close to The Beast Below.

Yeah, I got the feeling they were much more of equals in terms of the plot's resolution- moreso that it was Clara who offered potentiality, so to speak, while the Doctor only had his past.

I'm not entirely sure of why he never thought to himself that he should just come clean, since he didn't with Amy (and that turned out so well) because it just doesn't strike me that anything good ever comes of just keeping her in the dark.

Date: 2013-04-10 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
moreso that it was Clara who offered potentiality, so to speak, while the Doctor only had his past.

I did like that contrast very much.

I'm not entirely sure of why he never thought to himself that he should just come clean, since he didn't with Amy (and that turned out so well) because it just doesn't strike me that anything good ever comes of just keeping her in the dark.

It would be a good idea. What happens if, in future travels, they run into Oswin Oswald before she left on the doomed starliner? And then the Doctor would have to be all, "Oh yeah, remember what I said about the person who died? She, um, died twice. And was exactly you."

*sighs*

Date: 2013-04-08 12:49 am (UTC)
ext_3557: annerb icon with scenes of all team variations, my OTP (DW Clara & Doctor)
From: [identity profile] aurora-novarum.livejournal.com
I think the whole thing was a test by the Doctor. Well not the girl stopping singing and the vampire/sun going all evil, but the Doctor leaving Clara on her own and seeing how she interacted with Merry.

The Doctor knew Merry's name, not just Queen of the Seven Times or whatever her title was, and I don't recall Clara telling him (unless she did offscreen--there was a lot of plotholes in this one, so that could be true too, heh).

But he kept trying to get Clara to give something sentimental a memory or something. Because really, the only thing he could've given was his screwdriver? Clara is almost more puzzle than companion to him. With Amy there was trust and connection. With Clara...she's more like River (early River) in that there's something going on with her and I kinda like her but she's a bit off too.

I was reminded of that episode with Ten and Rose where the "devil" was a the bottom of some asteroid being eaten by a supernova and I kept wondering if the Sun was some cousin of that monster.

Date: 2013-04-10 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
Hm, the test seems very Seven, doesn't it? While I do see echoes of Seven in Eleven, I don't know that he would be so blatant as to test Clara like that. It would make me like him less if that were true, the same way I'm annoyed at him for not coming clean to her about who or what she is (even if he doesn't know all the specifics yet). Then again, she is a mystery and an important one.

Clara is almost more puzzle than companion to him.

But I think part of what this episode set out to accomplish (given Clara's talk at the end too about "I'm me"), was that she may be a mystery but that should be in the background, and that she is also an individual with her own goals and such.

Date: 2013-04-08 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-phoenixdragon.livejournal.com
I definitely loved the episode. I find it parallel with 'The Beast Below' only because it is (in so many ways) exactly the opposite. Really, I think there would have been a better place to break in a new writer - as some of the dialogue was rather clunky. Matt and Jenna did it all beautifully, but there were some areas there that seriously needed work.

But why is it an 'opposing parallel' to me? Because Clara may have gotten some basics about the Doctor, but she learned more about him in the previous episode than she did in this one. This was more 'audience learns about the Companion we see things through' than 'Companion learns about the Doctor'. I think we'll see that episode soon, but this was not the episode. I think the more the Doctor (and the audience) learns of HER the more SHE (in turn) will learn of HIM.

In a rather roundabout way, they've turned the presets of Doctor Who on its head. We identify with and learn through the Companion. But this time, we identify with and learn through the Doctor himself.

Rather interesting and unique, really.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Is it in my top ten? No. But I certainly won't object to seeing it again (even with some of the clunky and the singing, lol! Which is totally not the actors' fault...) But then, what I found clunky, some others may not. Beautifully constructed. Very Old Who with awesome elements. And the mention of Susan (where he would normally NOT mention her - especially to someone as 'new' as Clara) is very telling. Very full circle in a way...

*HUGS*

Date: 2013-04-10 12:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
In a rather roundabout way, they've turned the presets of Doctor Who on its head. We identify with and learn through the Companion. But this time, we identify with and learn through the Doctor himself.

Oh, I like this! :) Very true. And yes, the mention of Susan made my heart melt a little bit, especially because he was just so smiling and happy and excited when he said it.

Date: 2013-04-08 03:12 pm (UTC)
clocketpatch: A small, innocent-looking red alarm clock, stuck forever at 10 to 7. (Default)
From: [personal profile] clocketpatch
Personally, I found the Carrol-Sagan-esque story a bit, well... but I think that's more my upbringing taking hold than anything else. I continue to love every time Eleven interact with a child because he does it very well, without talking down or looking dorky. That's a skill that many actors (and people in real life) are utterly lacking.

I was thinking of Beast Below while watching it as well, but couldn't completely pin-point the reason (other than it taking place on an asteroid). I thought it was because it was something that I didn't find scary but would scare the pants off kid!me, but your summary of the parallel is much more poetic. I like to think that Eleven being willing to give so much away, and to so readily mention his grand-daughter and his life, means that he's healed some since his first episodes (and, just thinking of it, didn't Amy ask Eleven if he had had children in Beast Below?)

Date: 2013-04-10 12:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
Maybe it's a perspective thing; I don't find anything particularly atheist in telling the prevailing scientific origin story, as the question of "why" is still there. I think DW generally has a secular world view and while it can be argued to be skeptical of religion, it is rarely anti-faith. But then, from a world view that starts with the idea that there's nothing perfect in the world, the story often re-told is, "Be wary of what you put your faith into." Even the Doctor is flawed, and Rita points that out so well in the God Complex.

What is important and true: souls and stories. I can imagine the imagery in this particular episode may have hit closer to home for people who grew up going to church. But the message here is more establishment than faith; the peoples' stories were no less precious because they got the origin myth wrong. If you take the faith out of religion all you are left with is the trappings, and I think that message is important.

My 2 cents with the caveat that I was raised completely areligious and won't ever be a theologian. I do empathize though. I got uncomfortable listening to one of the Big Finish audios that I thought went too far on the "all corporations are evil!" anti-capitalism preaching. It's like, "well, all the nuances to that world view got left on the cutting room floor!" It's clunky, preachy like you said, like sitting in a lecture or sermon and not being able to stand up and say you disagree.

I continue to love every time Eleven interact with a child because he does it very well, without talking down or looking dorky.

I also think that Jenna-Louise Coleman did a good job at this too, talking with the little girl.

In the Beast Below, Amy asked if he was a parent, after the Doctor mentioned that any parent would know that a child is crying silently because they can't stop. But he didn't answer her. I think Eleven was much more child-like enthusiasm this time around. In the Beast Below, nearly the first thing he says is "isn't it wrong?" and points out why it's a police state. In this one, he's just enjoying the marketplace. I don't know though; I think little strips of paper are a way better system for exchanging goods than giving up things of sentimental value. Those things lose their value, become nothing but currency anyway as soon as they are transferred from the one who treasured them.

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