Tuesday, August 26, 2014

And the Twelfth / Fourteenth / Whatever # He Is Doctor Arises

If there is one thing I've learned in my years of watching Doctor Who, it's never get attached to any one Doctor. So I haven't. In fact, I even love classic Doctors like Six or Five or Seven. Heck I even really like the Original Doctor, obnoxious old crank that he is. So, I would be hard-pressed to pick a true favorite of the entire franchise.

However, at the moment with the new set of Doctors, my favorite is Matt Smith. His eyes twinkle, he's laid back and just plain fun. He doesn't have zaniness of Nine or the broodiness of Ten, so I love Eleven. But, because I'm very accepting of new actors taking on the role of the Doctor, I was excited at the prospect of a new Doctor. That excitement doubled, maybe even tripled, when Capaldi was announced because he doesn't fit the modern mold that fangirls have come to expect. Capaldi is old and cranky with a lined face and grey hair. He isn't anyone's boyfriend. He is the Doctor and I'd like to think that maybe Capaldi will get the fan's focus back on him being the Doctor and far less on pairing him romantically with a companion.

Even though I knew he was older, I still didn't know what to expect from Capaldi until I settled down to watch Deep Breath with my sister. I love him. Already! It usually takes me several episodes to adapt to a new Doctor, but with Capaldi I just jumped right in. I love his snarkiness. I love that human beings are pudding-heads to him. And I love that he is Scottish (sorry Tennant, I know that frustrates you). I think he will be magnificent and a breath of fresh air from the "attractive" young Doctors. Maybe the show will win back some original viewers by having a Doctor who's more like the classic Doctors, while still maintaining the episode excellence fans have come to expect from the show. Those who love the franchise no matter what will stay on. The rest, well, adios.

As for the first episode itself, I was about 50/50 in liking it. I have no idea what happened to Clara. She didn't strike me as that whiny before, and like Charity's post, I agree that Clara hardly seems to be the bossy type. I mean, that's not what they show us, so why constantly say that she is when we know she isn't. Amy Pond was bossy, not Clara. So, it felt really out of character to have her whimpering about having an old Doctor, especially since she already met the War Doctor and had seen Eleven old. Seriously, it doesn't make sense, and I suspect that Charity's thoughts are right and that Moffat is pleading with the fangirls to understand and like this new Doctor. It's sad that he felt the need to stoop to that level of begging.

I'm also sick unto death of Vastra and Jenny. I could pick a certain reason for not liking them, but it's actually more of my frustration about Moffat using her as the "inspiration" for Sherlock Holmes when any Holmes fan worth their salt knows that Doyle used Dr. Bell as his inspiration. So, I'm mightily ticked at the audacity of Moffat, but then I shouldn't expect anything more from him. I just wish we could have one Victorian episode without Vastra and Jenny popping in for an appearance. Plus, this episode did not need Vastra and Jenny, at all. They didn't add anything to the plot other than being there. The plot itself, what there was of it, was excellent and incredibly freaky, and that is the brilliance of Moffat shining through the muck. When he's not pleading for viewers to understand his work or indulging his dirty fantasies, he's quite excellent. That plot was excellent. I just wish they'd given more thought to it.

As for Clara, well, once she's back to normal, which she seems to be now, I think she'll be a congenial match for Capaldi's Doctor. I suppose I should feel "sorry" for her that her young, handsome, virile Doctor got taken away, but I don't. The Doctor is 2000 years old. Don't fall for the face. It's what's inside that counts, and he's still the Doctor. I still saw bits of Matt Smith's performance in him, which I just loved. I didn't like Capaldi's regeneration as much when Matt Smith came aboard, but I liked it better than Tennant's. I don't think anyone can top Matt's first episode, quite frankly, so I was trying not to compare the two, but Matt's first episode was both brilliant and adorable on many levels, and Deep Breath is nowhere near the same achievement.

But as for Capaldi himself, as the new Doctor, he's a hit with me and I can hardly wait for the next episode.


  1. I liked the ten or so minutes of the Twelfth Doctor that actually appeared... as in, when he was in his right mind, so I'm interested to see what the next few episodes bring.

    I like Jenny and Vastra a lot, but not what Moffat is doing with them. He's shoving them down our throat and he's turning Vastra into a thoughtless womanizer, which isn't nice. As one person on IMDB put it, why does Jenny stay with that green witch? Vastra treats her like crap. =P

    1. I know you like Vastra and Jenny. For me it's the same thing with Willow and Tara. I like them both individually, but I can't accept them as a couple. Especially since they're not real people and I don't have to be tolerant of the relationship. Although, I admit that I didn't see Vastra as a womanizer in this episode. I might have missed something, but I just didn't pick up on that vibe. She seemed much the same as she always has been. As for Jenny, why would she have picked Vastra in the first place? Because I don't see it, at all. I'm sorry, you pick a lizard woman with green skin when you could marry anyone else? Nope, not a logical choice at all, and that just seemed like Moffat pushing something on the audience, like he did when he created Harkness. I don't appreciate that being foisted on me in an otherwise child-appropriate show. Ah well, you know, sometimes my SJ can't see beyond the end of my own nose and this is one of those moments.

      And yeah, Capaldi wasn't in the episode nearly enough. It's his story, his beginning, not the story of everybody else who don't really matter to the plot. I loved what I saw of him, but now the show can get down to brass tacks and the writers will be forced to not meander so they can fit their plot into their 40 minute span of time. This episode was way too long and not nearly concise enough. A shame really because if you cut out the superfluous stuff it would have been brilliant!

  2. You and I share that sentiment, when it comes to Tara and Willow, or Vastra and Jenny.

    Vastra openly flirted with Clara in this episode, and then implied that she wanted to use her for “eye candy” by saying, “Oh, good, Clara, take off your clothes!” when Clara entered the parlor after having a conversation with Jenny about Jenny standing there in her under things, purely for Vastra’s enjoyment, while she worked on a project other than art. The message was: I need mental stimulation, and both of you are here for my enjoyment; you are both objects to me, and I am objectifying you.

    They are an alternate-sex version of Sherlock and John, and he is placating and teasing the fans by having them involved in a same-sex (but cross-species) relationship. Yes, that is Moffat’s fault, and yes, it’s an agenda (but an insulting one, if you think about it too long, from the point of view of a bisexual or homosexual standpoint) but you can’t really foist Jack Harkness off on him, since that was Davies’ character and he merely asked Moffat to outline him, for him. (Had Moffat “created” Harkness on his own, I doubt Davies would have went on to create an entire spin off franchise about him. That’s why he wrote Donna off the show, so Moffat wouldn’t use her.) I do agree, however, that the homosexual agenda promoted on this show (in many, many episodes and in different ways) is annoying and makes me hesitant to recommend it to people who I know would be offended by it.

    I… will watch it again. I feel I can be more attentive now that I know where the plot is going. But in some ways, it reminded me of Ten’s first episode… wasn’t he unconscious through a large chunk of it? I don’t like that episode, and find it bland, for that very reason!

    1. Hmm, was Ten unconscious through a lot of his first episode? I totally can't remember, which goes to show how long it's been since I've seen it. Ooh, probably at least 5 years and my memory for shows only lasts so long. I am starting to think I should just rewatch the entire series since Netflix has them. There's no reason not to and I do like Doctor Who an awful lot. I even use a 9/Rose mousepad at work!

      So Moffat and Davies collaborated on Harkness? Somehow that escaped me. I just am frustrated that as soon as we get rid of Jack (which did not happen quickly enough for me), we end up with Vastra and Jenny. The show really isn't all that Christian friendly, and that's the shame of it. You could watch the original show without guilt because there was none of this fear that homosexual innuendo might pop up. They've done the Doctor a disservice in this regard, giving him values and opinions that he never had before.

      You know, I think I'm more cognizant of male/male flirtations than with female/female. Vastra's moments of innuendo totally slipped past me until you spelled out the specifics. So she was worse in this episode than in prior ones. Who has their spouse standing in undergarments while they pretend to paint them but are really working on a project? That's no way to treat someone you're supposed to love, and you've definitely not supposed to be flirting with someone else in their presence.

      *sighs* It's so strange to really enjoy a show so much, but feel a little guilty about it at the same time. I don't really feel that way with anything else I've been watching lately. The only other thing that comes close is the first two seasons of Sherlock with all of its innuendo. That's why I love the 3rd season, because John bloody well got himself married!


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