falling_voices: (Default)
[personal profile] falling_voices
So. The Wedding.

I've loved a fair few things, was disappointed by a few others, and have mixed feelings about a couple of issues — especially plot wise. ONWARDS.


the fantastic;

  • the alternate universe, although a bit overused — it's too close to last season's finale for comfort, IMO — is a storyteller's dream. Everything is happening at once! the entire universe, every era that ever was, every fiction trope (hello steampunk sky trains, let me love you), every historical personality, all muddled up together and living in harmony. It's a sheer beauty of a paradox. The lovely fourth wall breaching in which Moffat places Charles Dickens, in his own place, as the showrunner of a christmas finale of a show we can only assume to be Inspector Spaceman Doctor Who is actually a double loop, since the story Dickens is putting together gathers ghosts from the past, the present, and the future — which is both the story of A Christmas Carol and exactly what is happening on screen right now. It's brilliant, I love it. (Not so fond of the Romans/Egyptians trope, but that's personal preference, so meh.)
  • BOTH WINSTON CHURCHILL AND RIVER HAVE HAD AN AFFAIR WITH CLEOPATRA. This is the truth, and no one will ever make me believe otherwise.
  • the train scene. The train scene! the golden light falling all over Eleven and Amy's hug, and the TARDIS cookie jar, and Amy drawing and drawing and drawing her memories from a life she didn't live but remembers anyway. Amy Pond, who grew up with a crack in the wall of her bedroom and can reboot universes, but can't see the love of her life standing right in front of her. How fantastic is this alternate world — Amy the secret agent boss lady with an office-slash-train, and Captain Williams, the best of the best, couldn't live without him, loving her from afar because that's what he always does. My beautiful, stupid couple. I love you so.
  • iDrives! IDRIVES. I LOVE THIS.
  • the entire time mythology in this universe is staggering, and I want more. 'It's going to be five oh two for all of eternity.' Clocks that never tick, always the same time, always the same date, and that woman in Amy&River's office, who has never known anything but fixed time for her entire life, suddenly seeing time moving. 'It's moving. Time's moving.' HOLY SHIT, YOU GUYS, I AM INVESTED.
  • very much loved the 'we forgot' scenes with Churchill — they were already amazing in TIA/DOTM, but this time we were genuinely going from surprise to surprise, understanding slowly setting in. 
  • speaking of TIA, the looping between both episodes were extremely well-done — the way we swap between the Doctor's narrative to Churchill and the scenes we first saw back in April, only we're looking at them with the new knowledge that we've gained in the episodes in between. Suddenly we are placed not in the position of the companion, where we, as viewers, are usually fixed, and thrust into the Doctor's mind, his version of the storyline.
  • it was the Brig's death that eventually made the Doctor realize that he had to face his own. Matt Smith's face. Actually, his face all the time
  • the final scene, the one in the garden. I've already said this, but a second viewing doesn't spoil it. I love that, despite the fact that Amy and Rory will never get to raise their little girl (and Amy acknowledging this instead of the state of strange shock/indifference we've had in the past makes me so happy), they've managed to find sensible family dynamics — or at least as sensible as can be when the daughter travels time and is older than her parents. Amy hears about a meteor shower two miles away and logically deduces that her daughter will visit, and so takes out a bottle of white wine. The colours as well — the blue and golden and slight red tinges, and the garlands and lamps in the trees — it's a gorgeous sequence.

the not quite as fantastic;

  • NO CANTON. BAD MOFFAT. 
  • I'm still not convinced by the Tesselecta. I find it uninteresting and uninspiring, and I wish the resolution of the story hadn't involved them — actually the plot resolution in general was pretty cheap. Everyone was making theories about the Ganger Doctor and the 32 minutes till his death, and instead Moffat simply disguised the Tesselecta as the Doctor. Sad to say, but I find the finale not quite convoluted enough, not quite clever enough. Not quite tragic enough, either. It's easy, and I was expecting something better after all the dark, terrible foreshadowing they'd given us this season. (The God Complex, anyone?) It's too obvious, it's not subtle enough, and it's pretty lazy writing.
  • who on Earth was Madame Kovarian, after all? why did she league up with the Silence? who are the Silence? why does Doriam know the oldest question in the history of the universe? what about the orphanage and its very strange owner in DOTM? why, in the end, did the TARDIS explode last season? we needed background checks on that.
  • I can't take either the Silence or Madame Kovarian seriously. The Silence are so awkward-looking; the actress for Madame Kovarian is just plain awful. More convincing foes next season, Moffat, thank you.
  • how could River even override the suit's functions in order to drain its weapons, if it's in control of her body? why can she suddenly revolt against it, when she couldn't just minutes earlier? seriously, big unanswered issue right there.
  • speaking of River, I really don't like the way Moffat insists on her being special, as compared to the rest of the human race, especially by the end of the episode — 'no one loves you more than I do' and 'if you die, I will suffer more than will the rest of humanity if they all die,' that was so heavy-handed I cringed. Why can't she be awesome and gun-happy and snarky as hell without being better than anyone else?

the stuff I'm fairly ambivalent on;

  • I'm of two minds on the Wedding itself. Its execution was pretty fantastic; it was a classic love/death parallel, between their kiss on top of the pyramid and River shooting the Doctor by Lake Silencio, with the added effect of the countdown growing faster and faster, and time once again moving forward. That was lovely, and it fit everything their relationship had been perfectly. The meaning of the wedding itself, though — what I liked about River and the Doctor's relationship was that it was kept, so far, very ambiguous; hallucinogenic lipstick kisses and death threats and heavy flirting and prison escapes, I liked all that. Maybe it derives from my dislike of the Doctor in any kind of settled relationship at all: I liked Doctor/Rose because it couldn't be, and I liked Doctor/Master because it was a love/hate, highly destructive relationship that would never come to any kind of peaceful agreement, and I liked Doctor/River because it was never what we assumed it to be, always ambiguous and two-sided. It was the marry/murder coin, and I was fond of it. Moffat all but resolved that in this episode — did away with the murder, and kept the marry, while using the opportunity to put River up on a pedestal. Their relationship'll turn rapidly boring for me if this goes on. (That said, Alex Kingston did hint at the idea that maybe it's not a marriage in DW!Confidential, so maybe this'll be tackled more subtly in the future. I certainly hope so.)
  • the oldest question in the history of the universe being Doctor Who? on the one hand, it's tacky as hell, unoriginal, and we saw it coming a mile away. On the other hand, I rather love it. Considering that Eleven has run into a lot of identity questioning during his run, I'm very interested in what Moffat will make of that — and yet don't particularly want to be given an answer. Hmmm.
  • yeah, okay, I don't like the Tesselecta, and I think the Doctor's escape is a bit of a cop-out, but hiding the Doctor within a Doctor skin is pretty brilliant when taken in the context of the general 'good man/monster' theme that's been following Eleven ever since The Beast Below. This Doctor has always balanced between the good wizard and the beast in the Pandorica, and the Monsters Of The Week — the star whale and the hotel's minotaur and the Dream Lord, even the TARDIS in The Doctor's Wife — have often been mirror images of him. It's always been about layers, about what's hidden under your skin, and flipping the cards around to stick the Doctor inside himself is, okay, pretty good. (Thematically. Plot-wise, it's still rubbish.)
  • and of course the TARDIS is inside him as well. That certainly answers the question a lot of people have been asking since the beginning of the season — where was the Stetson!Doctor's TARDIS? did he park it? did he leave it to gather dust the way Nine once asked Rose to, believing he was about to die? turns out he didn't; he put her inside himself. Where she's always been.

quotes, hello;

  • 'Imagine you were dying. Imagine you were afraid, and a long way from home, and in terrible pain. Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, you looked up, and saw the face of the Devil himself. ... hello, Dalek.' (What's really brilliant about this bit is that you first assume that the Doctor is describing his own point of view. And then you realize he's talking about the Dalek's, and that the Devil is him. Good man, monster, mirror images, I love it.)
  • 'I could help Rose Tyler with her homework. I could go to all of Jack's stag parties in one night...'
  • 'Time can be rewritten.' 'Don't you dare.'
  • 'Pond. Amelia Pond.'
  • 'Amy, you'll find your Rory. You always do. But you really have to look.' 'I am looking.' 'Oh, my Amelia Pond. You don't always look hard enough.'
  • 'She said you're a Mister Hottie... ness. And that she would like to go out with you, for... texting... and scones.' 'You rrrreally haven't done this before, have you.'
  • 'But it could activate any second.' 'It has activated, ma'am. But I'm no use to you if I can't remember.' RORANICUS.
  • 'River didn't get it all from you. Sweetie.'
  • And my favourite, the one that actually did get me teary: 'Amy and Rory. The Last Centurion, and the Girl Who Waited. No matter how dark it got, I'd turn around — and there they'd be.'

Date: 2011-10-03 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katty008.livejournal.com
You know my feelings on what I love already, you know how much I love pretty much all the same things. Brigadier, you were loved and we hope you know that. That was the sendoff he deserved, and I hope Sarah gets something similar next season. (Or maybe SJA will film one last episode, or tack something on the end, and we will all be bawling.)

And YES, that is all my feelings on the Silence. As long as you can't see them and they're doing that time skip thing, they're terrifying, but once they come out of hiding they're complete dorks with rubber fingers and a flair for the overdramatic. And yeah, did not like how River was all teary, and then "Whups, look what silly little me did!"

Very interesting how this series, Moffat's continuity porn has grown to include new series stuff too. There's the parade of Holograms of Women the Doctor Has Screwed Up, and the mentions of Jack and Rose in this episode.

And DOCTOR WHO, I kind of like it, really. Yeah, it's obvious, but it makes all of those ridiculous titledrops all over everything make a little bit more sense. It's retconning every single silly "Doctor Who?" joke into something cosmically significant.

Date: 2011-10-04 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
As long as you can't see them and they're doing that time skip thing, they're terrifying, but once they come out of hiding they're complete dorks with rubber fingers and a flair for the overdramatic.

Exactly. The only thing that creeps me out about seeing them is that weird clicking sound they make. But otherwise, they're better and more frightening when you can't remember them. (Also, ugh, River. The problem is that I like her character but dislike her storyline. :/)

Two call-backs to Rose in one season, that's more than S5 had. I like it. I like that the Doctor doesn't forget, never forgets, any of his old friends.

It's retconning every single silly "Doctor Who?" joke into something cosmically significant. Oh my goooood hadn't seen it under that light. That's brilliant.

Date: 2011-10-03 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronamay.livejournal.com
THIS. ALL OF THIS. I had Thoughts on the episode but I don't appear to be able to be analytical anymore, so thank you for writing down my thoughts for me.

Date: 2011-10-04 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Are you still ill? D: but you're welcome, many thoughts were had. It was a very inspiring episode, even though I'm still torn between the fantastic stuff and the plot's discontinuity issues.

Date: 2011-10-04 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronamay.livejournal.com
Yeah, I'm still moderately miserable.

I think the problem is (for me at least) that the s5 finale was so mindblowing that this one doesn't quite compare. I'm sure there are plotholes in the s5 finale that are big enough to drive a truck through, but the impact more than made up for it. This one didn't have the same feel.

Date: 2011-10-04 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Baw. Here, have some tea. And a hug.

Exactly! I mean. I loved most of RTD's era, and I'm one of those disgustingly stubborn fans who have loved all of Nu!Who's Doctors, and all of Nu!Who's companions, but s5 blew me away completely. The Doctor's every enemy making an alliance, and the Pandorica, and the stars going out, and the universe!reboot, and the Doctor's goodbye speech to Amy, man, you don't get that everyday. But it looks like Moffat has been aiming for something even more grandiose this season, and didn't really succeed. It feels a bit artificial, in parts.

I just want a soft, understated finale for s7 now.

Date: 2011-10-04 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronamay.livejournal.com
LOLOL your icon, omg. ♥

Tea is amazing. Pretty sure it's replaced my blood at this point.

My issues with Nu!Who are mostly related to the Pretty Young Companion In Love With The Doctor dynamic, because no. So I also have problems with the apparent confirmation of the Doctor/River stuff. (Also, I got into Who via the Eighth Doctor BBC books, so things like the Doctor getting amnesia, or becoming temporarily human, or the idea of a human TARDIS are not new to me because they were all explored with Eight in print. ALSO also, the Doctor is not nine hundred years old. He's well over a thousand, because yes, EIGHT HAPPENED. And Eight spent a hundred years trapped on Earth as a human, and THAT COUNTS, DAMN IT.)

(Sorry. I get ranty about this. Ask me about my canon rage regarding the Master sometime.)

ANYWAY. Yes, the Pandorica pretty much beats all--how do you top rebooting the universe? (Again, also explored in the Eight books, but in a different way so it still feels new.) And, y'know. Rory fucking Pond.

LOL. Soft and understated? Two words I have never associated with Who, alas. But hope springs eternal. I'm very much looking forward to the Christmas special in the meantime.

Date: 2011-10-05 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Isn't it amaaaaazing

I think that quote every time I watch this episode — which is embarrassingly often.

I'm relatively okay with Doctor/Companion; so long as said love isn't actually consummated/eventually impossible. I liked Doctor/Rose, but I was rather relieved when Ten.2 came along, because the power/age dynamics felt so much better. Honestly, though, I'd have been pretty okay with the two of them as BFFs for two seasons. :/

... do tell me your canon rage about the Master. I've yet to see more than one Classic!Who episode with the Master in it.

Also, man, ask me about how much I love Rory (and Rory&Amy), I'll write you a entire dissertation. The Big Bang was everything I'd wanted and more. Gosh, I just love that season. ♥

Soft and understated? Two words I have never associated with Who, alas

Precisely. What better surprise? but yeah, Christmas Special, and possibly Easter Special? Plus Sherlock in December/January? /excitement everywhere.

Date: 2011-10-08 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronamay.livejournal.com
When it comes to the Doctor, BFFs > love interest for me, 99% of the time. I have been guilty of writing Doctor/Companion fic, but to be fair it was Eight/Fitz and the Doctor kept kissing him in perilous situations and there was that one book where they went to the planet that was ruled by dogs and they were all forced to strip naked and go about collared and crawling on all fours, so really, what else was I supposed to do? (No, I'm not kidding. That actually happened.)

OKAY. Master. Canon rage. See, the thing is, the Who TV movie in 1996 ended with the TARDIS more or less eating the Master. He falls into the Eye of Harmony at the conclusion of the big dramatic confrontation between him and the Doctor (this is akin to falling into a black hole, only this particular black hole is contained inside, and is the power source of, the TARDIS). A short while later, the TARDIS burps. I take this as conclusive evidence that the Master is, y'know, pretty bloody dead. EATEN BY TARDIS. (Especially since he'd only been alive in the first place because he was bodysnatching from humans and then tried to suck the Doctor's remaining lives out of him <--- basic plot of the movie.)

So you can probably imagine I was less than pleased to see John Simm prancing around in series 4 as if nothing had happened. I know everyone thinks the TV movie was shit; I happen to agree, for the most part. But a LOT of Who canon is shit, and it still counts. The TV movie counts. RTD didn't like it, so he pretended it didn't exist, and so there's a whole chunk of the Doctor's existence sitting there ignored and infrequently referenced and it annoys the living hell out of me because Eight is MY Doctor, damn it, and he's a bloody good one, and you don't get to ignore a whole regeneration just because you don't agree with it. ESPECIALLY if you're going to then pick and choose bits of it to recycle into plots for the new series.

... I told you I get ranty.

TELL ME OF YOUR LOVE FOR RORY.

Date: 2011-10-03 09:20 pm (UTC)
ext_82470: (Default)
From: [identity profile] maikichelorrain.livejournal.com
Plus au moins pareil.
Au final, les aliens desservent le plot, et c'est tout - ils n'ont que cette fonction, et c'est bien dommage.
J'ai bien aimé le 'Doctor Who?' même si le fait que ce soit la question la plus important de l'univers me laisse un peu perplexe.
Et puis River... je me suis rendue compte que ce que je n'aime pas chez River, ce n'est pas tant River en elle-même, mais tout ce qu'il y a autour et qui est fait dans le seul but de la rendre 'spéciale' comme tu dis (dans une fic, ça sentirait un peu le Mary Suism à force d'insister comme ça XD) . Sans compter que certains passages sont un peu foirés.

Date: 2011-10-04 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Doctor Who. I don't watch it for the plot.

Mais oui, c'est clairement ça, re: River. J'aime bien River — et je pense que c'est pas mal dû au fait que c'est Alex Kingston qui la joue, j'adore cette actrice — mais Moffat en rajoute encore et encore et au final ça fait forcé.

Et oui, pourquoi Doctor Who? je comprends que ce soit la question la plus importante pour le Docteur, mais pour l'univers en entier? :/ je suppose qu'on n'a plus qu'à attendre ce que Moffat a en réserve de ce côté-là. (Comment ils vont la rendre en français celle-là? ils n'ont quand même pas déjà traduit le titre par Docteur Qui...)

Date: 2011-10-04 03:36 am (UTC)
gladdecease: (little dalek <3)
From: [personal profile] gladdecease
Oh dear, I am with you on so many points here. (Especially the sky trains, wow did I love those. And that the Tesselecta was a bit of a cop-out after all the far more clever fan speculation. And that River being put up on a pedestal is a bit distasteful, especially after RTD was accused of doing the same with Rose.) Your selection of quotes is particularly wonderful.

And watching this finale I'd presumed the TARDIS exploding was a previous attempt by the Silence to kill the Doctor. I figured the assassination attempts would increase in frequency up to the day Dorium kept talking about, and the TARDIS was just the first one (or the first one that got close, anyway).

Date: 2011-10-04 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
SKY TRAINS THO. And Churchill has his personal mammoth, which I find endlessly endearing. o/

Re: the TARDIS exploding, that's actually a very good theory. I just wish Moffat would make it clear that either he's not explained it fully enough, or it'll be a plot point in the future, but — gah, I just don't like it when threads remain loose at the end of a season. There's preparing a future arc, and then there's leaving some issues wide open without any resolution.

Date: 2011-10-04 06:42 pm (UTC)
gladdecease: (all together now)
From: [personal profile] gladdecease
They were just so pretty, and I love when things are beautifully functional (very present in well-designed steampunk).

Churchill's comment about downloads has me wondering how other technologies intersected. If they all exist at once, do people buy Betamax or Blu-Ray? Also, I really want to see other cities from this universe. New York: part skyscrapers and food carts on every street, part immigrant city, part New Amsterdam, part forest used by Native Americans for cultural practices. The Empire State Building always in the process of being built, with tour groups coming up to view the sights while workers eat lunch on hanging beams?

I agree, it completely ignores that unspoken contract with the viewer, that unless there's a cliffhanger, everything from this series should be resolved in the finale. And if there is a cliffhanger, it should get resolved in the next series's opener. Instead, we got the Doctor wondering "Hmm, who tried to blow me up, and what for?" and it's just left at that.

I want to hope it'll be addressed in the coming series, but I'd thought the same about this series, so.

Date: 2011-10-04 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
YES! the way the cars went up on balloons too, it felt remarkably real. And dinosaurs in Hyde Park...

I want fic about the alternate!universe. I want Amy&Rory fic, I want Paris!fic, I want the story of how they allied up against Madame Kovarian and imprisoned(ish) so many Silents. I want the story behind the office/train and the Area 52!pyramids and Churchill vs. Cleopatra.

Mentioned this upthread to [livejournal.com profile] veronamay: it feels like Moffat has been trying to outdo the grandiose s5 finale, by putting in loose plot thread and loose plot thread and loose plot thread, and then... forgot about tying up some of them altogether. Just. What. Many things just don't many any sort of sense.

Date: 2011-10-05 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misha0529.livejournal.com
Just popping in to say, I WANT TO READ THIS SO BADLY.

Date: 2011-10-05 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
THEN WATCH THE BLOODY EPISODE. :D

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