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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.'
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