Sunday, 8 June 2008

Forest and Vashtas and Screwdrivers, oh my!

So I missed my write-up of last week’s ‘Doctor bloody Who’, namely ‘Silence in the Library’. But I’m making room, space, Time and excuses to be able to post about last night’s conclusion of the two-parter, ‘Forest of the Dead’ – cos it were just that bloody ace.

I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles
And the heavens open every time she smiles
I’m coming to her, that’s where I belong
I’m running to her like a river song…

Sorry, where was I? Got a bit distracted there. Oh, Doctor Who, right then…

Where do you start with such a bloody fab episode? So part one were all tingly Columbo more questions than answers, and Donna getting saved – just not in the way we think – and everyone else being picked off one by one. Which was pretty cool. I mean, shadows eating people? Excellent. Trust a genius like Steven Moffat to take the ordinary, the mundane, and make nightmare material out of it. Loved the fact that books are still around and being kept like that – and it’s a family business. But more of that later, I’m sure.

The extra characters were all fab and needed – loved that the dumbass dappy bint kinda saves the day a bit toward the very end. And Proper Dave and Other Dave? How fucking ace is that? Knowing two Daves myself, they’re given two names too – Our Dave and Her Dave. So finding other people strung across the far reaches of some fictional universe also do this is just hilarious. It’s a small universe after all. But Professor River Song – all professional and confident and clever and just really, really fab. How fab was she? Well she had to be, really, or she wouldn’t end up being told the Doctor’s name. And the one time he can actually tell someone his name would be what, exactly? Hmm… A few hundred guesses abound here, and some vague clues were scattered about like M&Ms marking the path of a wandering hero. And her not being awed by him, cos he’s not as grand, mighty, amazing or simply Doctor-ish as he will be one day – far in his personal Timeline, I’m assuming. (Loved the snapping of the fingers to open the TARDIS at the end. See? He doesn’t know everything. But then, that’s why he travels, right?)

And the little girl-cum-computer has my wee sister’s name! So my sister ends up in a library with all the books she could possibly hope to play with? I assume there’s an entire section devoted to photo-books and biographies of Johnny Depp, or she’s not going to like it much.

So The Doctor’s real name, then? I’m assuming that finding out what the name is, is astronomically less important than finding out that he’s actually told someone what it is. In a ‘Ronin’ kinda way – we don’t need to know what was in the case, just that it was a MacGuffin, or a case of self-sealing stem-bolts (and thanks again, Mr *, for teaching me this phrase!). Of course, most people who knew this series before New Who would already know his name – at least, the name he was supposed to have before ditching it like it burnt his fingers, way back in his Academy days – am I right? The days when even The Master had a real name, too. But that’s another story…

Talking of names: Donna Noble. Ain’t she just? I’m so very, very glad Catherine Tate came along for the ride – and that the writers team over there know how to write female characters – and especially one for her. She is ace, and my mate MSP is right – she could well have been Doctor Eleven had things been different. The after-math of the whole recalling all saved people shebang, and her being wise enough to know when poor Ten is so not alright, was lovely. The little looks between them and their chemistry is wonderful – and it’s all about being friends. That’s what I like – it’s all about the running, giggling, screw-drivering, mysterying, fun stuff. Not the angsty romance cack.

And spoilers – how excellent. How perfectly superb of Mr Moffat to bring in something that fans fight over, and with, all of the time. Whether it’s on fan forums or fan-to-fan, word of mouth or whatever, doesn’t everyone, at some point, agonise over whether to read that spoiler that came in or not? I know I did it at the end of series three, and I’ve been careful to only get sketchy details for the end of this current series four. And I’m adamant, absolutely adamant, that I will most definitely not be reading ANY spoilers for the coming season four of ‘Supernatural’, as I really, truly do not want to know what’s coming. I have faith in Sam, and in a perverse way, Dean, too. NO – not that meaning of perverse – the other one! Easy tigers! (Although.... No! Stop it!)

Anyway, spoilers being a recurring theme was clever and aimed right at fans and non-fans right across the Whoniverse. Another thing we’ll love Steven Moffat long time for. He knows what most people want, and he knows how to wrench everything he can from his audience. Not with a whimper of sentimental crap, but a bang that The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe’s other branch, the Big Bang Burger Bar, would be proud of, and rightly so. That’s how you make your audience cry with sorrow, relief, and happiness. That’s how you make people buy into the myth, the man, the legend that is The Doctor. And that’s why I watch New Who – cos sometimes, just sometimes, when Russell T. Davies int doing his best to pour saccharine all over it, it’s the best damn telly we’re ever going to get from the Beeb. No question.

When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it will never end. But however hard you try, you can’t run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies, and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call… everybody lives.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


antarcticmango said...

Odd didnt like the first part of this two parter, but the second was superb.

* (asterisk) said...

I thought this was a good one. I loved the little Tardis-shaped notebook that Corday had (she'll always be Elizabeth Corday to me).

And the spoilers and the whispers in the ear and the Daves (I know someone called David not far from where I'm sitting, if you catch my drift).

But there are just too few eps left, and Saturday nights will be dull once again...

(Thanks for the nod!)

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