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.
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.
|THIS IS TOTALLY NOT LIKE THE BORG!|
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.
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!