Lurky McLurklurk (ionlylurkhere) wrote,
Lurky McLurklurk

Forest of the Dead

  • Obvious plot is obvious, as someone titled their predictions on the anon meme. I think fandom had collectively guessed almost all of that (kudos to peeeeeet for working out quite how literal "Doctor Moon" was). CAL being an actual child I'd sort of guessed from Lux's reaction, but it's a bit of a new series theme what with the Controller in Bad Wolf and the clockwork robots wanting Reinette's brain. But I had quite a few problems with how all the resolutions actually came about (and I'm not convinced it's nearly as happy an ending as it portrays itself as, overall). There was a lot of completely pointless running around in between plot revelations, the sort of thing even old school would be ashamed of. Sure, it was quite pretty action-set-piece-y running around at times, but it all felt like so much padding. And there was NOTHING in there that needed to be set in a library instead of, say, a leisure planet or whatever.
  • Worse than the pointless running around, though, was the pointless Donna plot. All it served to do was illustrate the "they've been saved" thing and break up the exposition between the Doctor and Miss Evangelista, which is completely unnecessary when everyone and their gran has seen the Matrix. It would have been trivially easy to tweak the plot so that there was something that needed to be done from within the simulation to help with the solution that Donna would have had to fight against all the "just live your life" stuff to do, and it does make me think there's something to the criticisms of Moffat as pushing the companions aside in favour of his own characters, given that River gets the Big Sacrifice Moment of, er, being an extra RAM chip.
  • Making fun of stammerers is a bit childish. Having a "joke" of him not being able to attract Donna's attention is just cruel. And that bit about "perfect bloke for me because he never talks" was fucking horrible, especially the Doctor's "everything". It's like Moffat wrote this without receiving any information about Donna's character development after The Runaway Bride. Fuckit, it's like he wrote it without even noticing Donna's character development during that story. (But hopefully these things go away when he's writing his own companion.)
  • I didn't mind Miss Evangelista's one-note-characterisation "slightly dim pretty person" thing last episode too much, because such people do exist and the whole crew were archetypes. But this time round we pretty much got an explicit thing that you either get to be pretty or clever, but not both. Which was fucking horrible, and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts doesn't apply to men. All that "brilliant and unloved" stuff, wtf?
  • Doctor/River, OTOH, was good, though she still makes me miss Benny. It's the sort of story Doctor Who should do, I'm firmly convinced of that. But I really don't see this as elevating them to canon OTP status or anything, even if they do get married. It's just another complex relationship of the Doctor's with someone who doesn't travel with him, and in particular I don't think the fact that the Doctor has relationships with such people devalues the ones he has with his companions. You could write down the Brigadier's story in a way that made it look pretty fucking similar to River's, if you were inclined to, especially if you're an everything-is-canon type like me because all sorts of shit happens to him in the spinoffs. And Eight used to go and make Grace breakfast in bed and what have you. Yeah, doesn't bother me at all, but then I'm coming at it from a position of multishipping anyway.
  • What did bother me, all in all, was the Spoilers. The picture of the Doctor she knows that River paints -- swaggering away after facing down whole armies, opening the TARDIS doors with a click of his fingers -- is not one I like very much, and I don't think it's unreasonable as an indication of the direction Moffat might take the character. My issue with it is that it turns the Doctor from a quirky, offbeat sort of hero into more of a traditional superhero type who you're meant to think is "cool" and cheer along with when he's cocky about it. I've got no problem with facing down whole armies, but I want him to have a more complex reaction to it. Not that the Doctor isn't arrogant, but it's generally portrayed as a negative trait, and however hubristic he's got in the past (and I am a Seven fan), he, or more importantly the series, has always remembered that hubris is supposed to be followed by nemesis.
  • And I wish we could drop the obsession with the Doctor's name. It's like Moffat has seized upon it as this big thing ("more than just a secret" in GitFace) and I've never ever seen it that way. In terms of things that are mysterious about the Doctor, for me it's down with the fact that we don't always know what colour his socks are. But I have this horrible fear it's going to become a recurring theme in S5 onwards.

I'm sort of slightly dreading the Moffat Era now because of those last two points, which is unexpected. And also massively unfair, because it's like saying I'm hating every second of RTD!Who because of the self-indulgent Doctor-as-Jesus bits, or that thing that bugs me where the Doctor always gets let off the hard choices, which isn't at all the case. And I've always said that it's going to be more that Moff has different issues than he's magically going to be everything everyone wants, but until now I didn't have a specific thing to hang my concerns off and now I do. But I'm sure Doctor Who will continue to be Doctor Who, and it will continue to have plenty of things to make me happy.
Tags: doctor who, ep reaction

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