Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nightmare In Silver - DWreview

Well, I wouldn't have believed it if anybody had told me beforehand.  Even though Neil Gaiman wrote it, I was still down about being out of a relationship and thought very little chance of being entertained by this past Dr. Who, but damn if it wasn't awesome.

So awesome I'm going to skip talking about the rest of season 7.2 except to mention that the thing that is making this half of the season terrible is Clara.  The companion.  The companion is integral to The Doctor.  Sometimes they stand up to him, question his decisions and choices.  Sometimes they save his life.  Sometimes they run.  But always, always you like them in the end.  Even that screeching harpy Donna turned enjoyable towards her tragic end.  Every one of them likable, except Clara.

I can't give you a reason why.  Maybe it's because she feels like a mystery shoe-horned into the Doctor's life just to be a different type of companion.  Or, maybe she just sucks.  Or maybe what she's been given to do sucks.  But I haven't warmed up to her yet.

I've made predictions about the show before, none of which came true (but that I think were very clever).  So I'm hesitant to do this, but I think we'll find in the next 'sode that whatever is causing Clara's "condition" is either directly because of the Doctor, or because he chooses to do something that puts him in danger and Clara steps in to save the day by sacrificing herself.

If you think about it, that's kind of Moffat's whole schtick:  the Weeping Angels are practically unstoppable, as long as you're not looking at them, but if they look at each other, they can be immobilized for eternity.  You can't remember the Silence, but they can plant post-hypnotic suggestions in your head that you will (unknowingly) obey... even if it's about killing the Silence themselves.  Take the enemy's strength and make it their weakness as well.

A fine and time-honoured trope that appears again and again in the genre, so I don't mind it.  Still, like the TARDIS, I don't like Clara that much, yet.

GIRL, werq!

Still, this episode did to amazing things.  It let me not dislike Clara, and it also made the Cybermen actually seem kind of threatening.  It also managed to not feel like a typical Neil Gaiman story (unlike The Doctor's Wife, which absolutely did).  I should note that, while I am a huge Gaiman fan, I have not placed him on an unreachable pedestal.  He can write boring but award winning stories about teens realizing the chicks they're hitting on at a party are aliens or something, and then he can write things like "When the Saucers Came" which makes me hate him for being an actual talent and able to give a twist to a story that makes M. Night Shyamalan blush with jealousy.

I'm sure you can find the whole thing online somewhere.

Anyway.  Two incredible performances in this 'sode.  One from Matt Smith himself, playing the Doctor and the Cyber-infected Doctor at the same time.  I kind of love these schizophrenic kind of performances, but I really wish more people would follow Peter Jackson's idea of filming the two disparate characters separately and jump-cutting between their perspectives.  I just think that's cooler.


The other incredible performance was from Warwick Davis.  Man, he would have been awesome in Game of Thrones.  As emperor of the galaxy, he was pretty fucking good.

Emperor Davis
So next up is Trenzalore and the question which must never be asked, and the explanation of Clara.  I hope it makes me trip balls.  Like this!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Doctor Sucks

"You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and you actually talk to them and five minutes later they are solid as a brick. Then there are other people then you meet them and think, not so bad for ok. Then you get to know them and their face just sort of becomes them, like their personality is written all over it... and it just... turns to something so beautiful"

At first, I was absolutely sure I knew what was wrong:  I wasn't enjoying it because my partner wasn't here with me, and I kind of knew he wouldn't be coming back.  I had always enjoyed the show before we got back together, but now I had to re-learn how to enjoy Dr. Who alone, again.  It wasn't coming along.

I thought, maybe, like the Doctor, I needed a companion, to enjoy the show.  Since my brother had built his dream house after moving back home, I elected him to be my surrogate Dr. Who companion.  I go home most weekends, and we try to watch it together, although he usually falls asleep on the couch.

But that wasn't the problem.  This season, particularly the second half, has just plain sucked.

Asylum of the Daleks

This 'sode was not a knock out of the park, but it was pretty good, especially for setting up the Doctor's new status quo as an unknown variable, as opposed to the most feared being in the universe.  Also, the perfect couple being on the rocks?  And then seeing them grow together again?  That was pretty good.  If you've ever given somebody up because you know you'll never be able to give them what they truly want, Amy's speech about children was probably pretty touching and effective.

I'm not a big fan of westerns, aside from Tombstone (of course), but this sci-fi take on the genre was good.  But again, it was a western... I'd watch it again, but not go out of my way, necessarily, to do so.

A fun romp.  This kind of sounds like somebody came up with the title before having any idea about a plot, but it was fun.  Rory's dad was a good addition.

Apparently the power of three is to bore the audience to tears.  Ugh, how boring this was.  That's when the cracks started appearing in the Doctor's facade for me.  But we still had the big,  bad Weeping Angels appearance to get through....

...and "getting through" it was exactly what you had to do with this one.  At best, a mediocore 'sode that should have been an excellent one, seeing as how it was a supposedly farewell ep for Rory and Amy.  It was one of the few times that I would agree with friends who point out the illogical in certain tropes.  "Well, why couldn't they just arrive in Jersey and take a cab if the fabric of space-time was preventing them?"  Normally I'd dismiss this with, "Yeah it's so illogical that this time-traveling immortal couldn't figure that out, it's so unrealistic..."  but they took way too many liberties with time travel, paradoxes, Angels (honestly the Statue should have been a huge shocker but it was yawn-apalooza)... Just not really all that great.

to be continued soon with reviews of the second half of season seven