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So anyway,
Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
Driller killer 
30th-May-2010 09:57 pm
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Maybe it's the fact that I've been busy most weekends this month, meaning Doctor Who hasn't been the highlight of my Saturday, but The Moff/Matt Smith's first year seems to be having a mid-season slump. I was never convinced giving Chris Chibnall a two-parter was a good idea, but having seen "The Hungry Earth" and "Cold Blood" I'm not sure if it's the writer's fault or director Ashley Way's that I had trouble caring much of the time, as a lot of the problems seemed to be with pacing. The whole thing just drags, and I do prefer to watch each episode twice so I can review them but yeesh, the second viewing is a chore this time around.

It seems like a really half-hearted attempt to bring back an original series creature, not helped by the fact that the first episode looks incredibly cheap - it seems like the whole budget went on the Silurian City sets for part two. I really don't have much to say about the story itself. There's a few nice moments, of course, many of them involving Meera Syal; Nasreen's reaction to the Doctor telling her to be extraordinary was a favourite. And the fact that the Silurians have been redesigned nicely fitted into the original series' mythology - them being a slightly different species works as that's what the Sea Devils were.

Another interesting point to note, although I'm not sure of the significance, is that all the aggressors in this episode are female, from both species' side - the two military Silurians both played by Neve McIntosh, and Ambrose (who distracted me by looking so much like an older Felicia Day) who clearly felt killing Alaya wasn't enough so decided to deploy the drill as a WMD to make sure the Homo Reptilia were properly pissed off. Maybe there's no reason for it other than as a different gender balance than usual.

Ultimately this is two episodes of meh to get to the great last five minutes, and killing Rory off. Not that it was a surprise - I've been predicting it for ages because of The Moff's love of Peter Davison, the last doctor to lose a companion (technically - although like Nicola Bryant herself I prefer to ignore Peri's retconned resurrection) and the two-parter itself was full of hints that Rory was for the chop. Still a shame though as Arthur Darvill's done a great job as a companion for a few episodes. What with him being gone, and us getting a glimpse of what it might be like if Meera Syal was a companion only for her to hibernate for a millennium, that's two much better options gone by the end as we're stuck with Amy bloody Pond. (Although to be fair Karen Gillan did up her game a bit in the scene where she didn't want to forget Rory.)

Still, four episodes left, plenty of time for the series to up its game again - and a very unusual choice of guest writer next week...
Comments 
30th-May-2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
This series is weird, on the one hand I'm finding myself taking Amy for granted much like I did Rose until the Parting of the ways but at the same time I haven't rewatched New who episodes as much as I do this series for years.

I was pretty much waiting for Rory to die throughout the second half of this two-parter which didn't really help it but I still liked how it went. I'd still rather have Rory around as I find myself liking Amy more when she is with him.
30th-May-2010 10:54 pm (UTC)
I do think it's Karen Gillan I have a problem with more than the character, but I suppose to an extent it may also be disappointment because after the first episode I was really excited at the prospect of a character who's not only a bit damaged, but damaged entirely because of the Doctor's first visit. Somewhere along the way that's not really been coming across though, which may be one of the reasons I just can't warm to her - if you forget the context to her sometimes obnoxious behaviour, then it's just obnoxious behaviour.
30th-May-2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
I think that's a big reason why I liked having Rory around. I do believe Amy really does love him and Karen has shown that beautifully at times (in my opinion) but Amy hasn't told him, not ever and he has died twice. Much like the Doctor in a way, I'll not pick out any companion (as I'm in the he loves them all club) but you would think after they or he almost died the first few times he'd be able to tell them how much he cares for them. Amy doesn't seem to have many connections in her "real life" and it is because she spend 14 years waiting for the Doctor. Rory highlighted than perfectly for me.

As for her obnoxious behaviour, I kinda like it in a way, Amy comes across as a normal 22 year old women in those moments. I had a big problem with Martha because it felt like they were always telling us how perfect she was. I still think after this series ends I'll appreciate Amy a lot more than I do now, I did with both Rose and Martha. It feels like I'm still waiting to see how all the pieces to Amy fit together at the moment.
30th-May-2010 10:56 pm (UTC) - *sigh*
I truly don't understand hatred of Amy. I've loved Amy from her first appearance. I think Gillan's performance has been spot on the entire series. I was genuinely stunned when I went online and saw lots of hate for Amy. Just don't get it.

So you don't think that whatever's coming up in the finale isn't going to undo Rory's death in some way? Right now, we're dealing with several paradoxes (such as: if Rory had never existed, then who prevented Evil Lizard Lady from shooting the Doctor?). And if the Moff wanted to replicate the death of Adric, wouldn't he have killed off a companion who'd spent a large amount of time with the Doctor? Rory's death was indeed stunning, especially coming on the heels of "Amy's Choice," but I'm not sure it has the same impact as killing off a companion who's been with the Doctor a while.

I agree that this two parter didn't have quite the oomph I wanted it to but it's still head and shoulders over stuff we've seen in previous seasons. While I've found the crack meme interesting, I'd rather hoped that Moff would get us away from seasonal arcs. Do we really need them?
31st-May-2010 11:27 am (UTC) - Re: *sigh*
I truly don't understand hatred of Amy. I've loved Amy from her first appearance. I think Gillan's performance has been spot on the entire series. I was genuinely stunned when I went online and saw lots of hate for Amy. Just don't get it.

I was a bit like that with Martha, so I know how you feel, I loved Freema's performance and couldn't see why she got all the hate. With Karen Gillan I think she's fine in the comedy scenes and when she has to be snarky, but any other emotion and she seems to resort to *wide eyes*. But like I say, she was much improved for Rory's death.

So you don't think that whatever's coming up in the finale isn't going to undo Rory's death in some way? Right now, we're dealing with several paradoxes (such as: if Rory had never existed, then who prevented Evil Lizard Lady from shooting the Doctor?)

Paradoxes always seem to have been ignored a bit in Doctor Who though, don't they? I've heard all sorts of rumours about how Rory/a version of him will come back in the finale so I'm just happy to wait and see on that front. Be glad if he does - supposedly Arthur Darvill's signed up for next year but that could be deliberate misinformation.

And if the Moff wanted to replicate the death of Adric, wouldn't he have killed off a companion who'd spent a large amount of time with the Doctor? Rory's death was indeed stunning, especially coming on the heels of "Amy's Choice," but I'm not sure it has the same impact as killing off a companion who's been with the Doctor a while.

It probably depends on why he would want to replicate Adric's death - another similarity between Doctors 5 and 10 is they both followed a Doctor who'd become almost god-like by the end of his run, and if Moffat wants the death to add to the sense of peril then he'd go for it sooner rather than later (and he's definitely been making it clear throughout that this isn't a particularly "safe" Doctor to be travelling around with.) The fact that the people lost in the crack are forgotten is also established which makes it easier to have a "surprise" midseason death - if the remaining companion still remembered the one who died it'd be hard to go on next week and have another fun adventure.

While I've found the crack meme interesting, I'd rather hoped that Moff would get us away from seasonal arcs. Do we really need them?

I don't know whether we need them but I do think this one's been done in a much more interesting way than previous ones - again, it's all to do with how it's spaced out throughout the series rather than just repeated every episode just for the sake of building up anticipation for the finale. It actually is an arc rather than just a repeated meme.
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