I apologize for all the dramatics, tumblites. (tumbler-ites? tumblrers?) today has been an emotional day.
When people turn to fictional characters, it’s often because they want an escape. The stories of these people shelter us from the storm of our daily lives; they save us, if only for a little while. But when we really give in, become invested, let ourselves be vulnerable, something changes. We begin to feel that we know them. It’s no longer just an escape, but part of us, something that makes us who we are.
These characters teach us that incredible adversity can be overcome. That people can love each other forever. That life can be an adventure. That magic can be real. And even if these miracles have never happened to us, we begin to go through life believing that, someday, they could.
Thank you so much. It hurts my heart, because this has been my life for so long how, and I thank everyday for it. Because life is so much stranger when you have this life to live in, these worlds to discover and people to hold your hand and run with you and laugh with you and hold you tight; you find yourself caring about different things, and looking to the future in a different way, and living life so much more intensely; it’s so much darker, and so much madder, and so much better.
when you come down to it, every Doctor Who character seeks something, just like everyone else, and even though their world is so different to ours, we can still find their own quests paralleled to our own.
And we boldly go in the face of any danger, because we are fantastic! Allons-y!
I know I haven’t used this tumblr too oft, except for the posting of extremely emotional crisis moments relating to something very near and dear to my heart - my Doctor. But now I find I’m in an emotional crisis myself.
For the last few years, I’ve been losing my grasp on the all-encompassing ambition and drive I had when I was young. I remember always wanting to work and wanting to get ahead and being obsessively, unhealthily competitive. But now even with my wonderful Robotics team I love and work hard at, I just can’t feel the same way about my grades. and it shows.
My grades have been slipping for a while now. A missed assignment here, a test I didn’t really study for there, and then down and down and down. And now I’m a sophomore in high school, and I’m seeing my friends and teammates leaving for their futures and all the possibilities they’ve opened for themselves, and I’m running out of time. Running out of time to fix this mess I’ve been making for years now, this stupid hole I’m caught in that keeps sinking, and the light just keeps getting smaller.
And I’m grasping at roots and I rise a few inches, but the hole just keeps getting deeper - the retakes, the make-ups don’t make enough difference.
So, tumblr dear, please tell me I can do it? Because I have so many dreams, tumblr. and I’m sure I can find that drive and inspiration I had for school, and not just robotics and reading. But I might need a little help.
But I will do it. Because it matters too much not to. And because I am magnificent and no one can tell me I’m not. Not even me.
I rewatched this episode, twice. And I’ve got to say - I was a little disappointed.
That’s not to say that it didn’t have it’s moments. The parting of River Song was awful, as she was one of my favorite characters, and the sequence of Clara living a thousand lives as she touched the Doctor’s time-stream and saved him over and over again was brilliant by its implications alone. But even those were slightly flat.
I love Moffat. I love Matt, and Jenna, and I’ve been a die-hard Doctor Who fan for years now, but I feel like with the loss of our Amelia Pond, Moffat lost his anchor a bit for writing Doctor Who. This massive influence on the Doctor’s life has been killed off in a magnificent and emotional fashion, and he moved on, but I can’t help but feel that the writing is a little worse off for it, and thus the plot and acting suffered.
Hang on. This is going to be a long post.
Starting with just Clara in general, she’s gone through this very odd metamorphosis since her introduction. As Souffle Girl in the Dalek Asylum, she was witty, quick, charming, and intelligent as hell as a hacker, but also had so much immense psychological depth as a character because of her mental block of her new Dalek state. She was, for lack of a better adjective, totally serendipitously magnificent. My favorite companion was, and still is, Amelia Pond, but I was totally looking forward to this new companion because I knew Amy would be leaving soon, and was comforted by the idea that she would be taken over by an equally badass companion.
and then there was the Bells of St John.
The Christmas episode was good, albeit the fact that it seemed incredibly easy to defeat the main baddie, but the Bells, the BELLS. It just ruined it for me. Clara’s incredible hacking intelligence, that feeling of respect I had for her mind that it could work in amazing ways, was totally taken away. Those skills had had to be inserted into her brain by another. She still had some of her charming wit, but that remarkable intelligence was fake. I was crushed. Pair it up with the fact that for the next five episodes the most intelligent thing she did was hit a machine with a chair, and I’d pretty much completely lost hope. I do recognize that the idea to electrocute the river in The Nightmare in Silver was very good, and that she provided several nice emotional problem-solving moments in those episodes (almost guilt-tripping the Ice Warrior into not killing (although I had SO many problems with that, because way too many episodes recently have ended with the Doctor and Clara using the power of love to defeat baddies for me to be totally comfortable), comforting the Queen from the Rings of Akhaten, and a few of the conversations from Hide), I was beginning to feel that she would be a redux of Rose Tyler, who also had her moments of intelligence, but who was mostly dead weight and a teasing could-be love interest for the fangirls.
And as the companion suffered, the writing suffered. The episodes, even since the beginning of season 7, has been a little lackluster. There almost seems to be a cycle of “mild fluff and exposition, then sudden intense danger, danger solved within seconds and maybe a nice emotional speech, mild buildup, new problem suddenly arises, solved within seconds, more emotional speech, and repeat” going on. This didn’t happen in every episode, and in fact several episodes from the beginning of season 7, like the Angels take Manhatten (for all it’s flaws *coughcough* STATUE OF LIBERTY’S AN ANGEL?!*coughcough), Asylum of the Daleks, and the Power of Three, but in some episodes, like Cold War, Hide, and Nightmare in Silver, I thought it was very evident. And then I saw it in the Name of the Doctor.
Jenny’s murder was a dramatic way to begin the episode, although I would have honestly preferred her to stay dead - not because I don’t like her character, I actually love her and Madame Vastra (although I do miss when they used to tease each other like in A Good Man Goes to War), but because I feel like the some of the dying on Doctor who is being cheapened, because they keep coming back. Anyway, after this, and Matt’s lovely and emotional breakdown in Clara’s living room, I had good expectations for the episode. But Trenzalore let me down a little. When Jenny looked out the window, there was a whisper, and suddenly Madame Vastra was there, I leaped out of my chair and practically screamed “SILENCE. SILENCESILENCESILENCE.” But alas. Only kind of lame, one third Silence, one third the Gentlemen from Buffy the Vampire slayer, and one third Ganger type creatures turned up, who didn’t seem as much creepy to me as badly computer generated. Then we had exposition about a great battle, which was intriguing and never mentioned again, and then “is his name Please?” and then OH WOW HE IS TOTALLY GOING TO SCREW WITH THE DOCTOR’S TIMELINE AND HE’S DYING ALL AT ONCE, and then two seconds later the problem is solved by Clara and a strange soufflé analogy that we could have done without that too way too long to say. And I did have problems with Madame Vastra’s scene about the past shifting and whole planets collapsing. I mean, all we got was a sort of Orson Wellesian “if the dots stop moving, no one cares” sort of moment - the stars are going out, but where’s the FORCE? where’s the shots of disappearing people and history, real planets collapsing and maybe even the shifting of old companions lives that would have made this cut so much deeper? and then there’s the sequence that everyone on Tumblr seemed to fall in love with - Clara’s living in a thousand pieces. I did like this scene, if only for what it meant, but it could have been filmed so much better! Especially if Clara feels like she is being ripped into a million pieces. I liked the scenes of her in the Doctor’s timeline, that was great, but if it could’ve felt more fragmented, if the clips could’ve been shorter, faster, louder, with less narration, interspersed with small periods of silence where we see Clara actually displaying emotion like I don’t know fear, and generally looked more like a million pieces and lives and confusion and “OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING” that I feel like Clara was feeling, then the scene after where she walks towards the Doctor and throws her arms around him would’ve had so much more weight. Because all we see is her falling down the rabbit hole with this absolutely calm look on her face. Sure, there’s fire, and sure she says she’s breaking, but it sure doesn’t look it.
And then, of course, there was just the build up of Trenzalore that felt like a let-down. “On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the eleventh, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a Question will be asked, a question that must never, ever be answered.” When was the “no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer” part of this episode? Because when I first heard that prophecy, I thought there was going to be this strange psychological field on this strange planet where all people were psychologically made to only tell the truth, but there was nothing! I mean, the circumstances might’ve been forcing the Doctor to tell the truth if he had been the one to answer (but River was conveniently there to solve the problem), but “no living creature?” The Doctor “failed to answer”, and you were allowed to lie on that planet! (this part is mainly a quip on my part, but I still feel that Moffat wasted a fantastic opportunity to created a bigger, stranger psychological chessboard out of Trenzalore, which for Moffat should have been like Christmas). AND WHERE WERE THE SILENCE? They were responsible for the entire INTRODUCTION and IMPORTANCE of Trenzalore, and they’re not even THERE?!
And then there’s John Hurt. Oh my gosh, the room tilted for me when he came on screen (as a die-hard Harry Potter and Merlin fan), but I still left his introduction feeling like “well how is that going to come back in the future?” Moffat’s promise of Trenzalore at the end of season six promised us a time when the Doctor would be faced with this immense trial, all this promises us is that sometime, in the vague future, this will be explained.
Okay. great. I look forward to it, and the shock was monumental, but really, I don’t have any bearings as to how he’ll be reintroduced, so the anticipation’s not as biting as it could have been.
And now, NOW, at the end of this enormous rant I must pay tribute to River Song.
I hated to see her go. River has always been this tantalizing character, the center of so many plot devices and mind-bending time-twisting expositions that I can hardly imagine how Doctor Who will make up for the sudden hole where more audience confusion could be. And she was amazing. She was sassy and witty and flirty and badass and so, so broken sometimes that it was hard to look at for too long. Her own metamorphosis from the hand-made assassin for the Doctor to his wife, just the incredible emotional journey has been fantastic to watch. And if this is her last appearance, which actually it very well may not be considering their timelines are back to front (which can I tell you has been AMAZING to conspiracy theories all round), I will miss her immensely. When I saw her go, it hurt. Not the least because she died in a similar fashion to her mother, which was just too much pain and MOFFAT WHY to deal with on top of that whole episode.
That kiss, and that affirmation that the Doctor has always seen her there, in his life, through all his adventures since their meeting, and that still, at the end of everything, she would still tease him about it, was just so painful but beautiful to watch. But I still have to rail against the machine and wonder why did she have to go out like this? This vanishing act seemed so unnecessary! And the most tragic deaths are always the most unnecessary. Why did River have to die here? Because the Doctor told her she needed to rest? What was the urgency? Where was it written that River Song had to make that choice now? Amy’s death was so incredible and heartbreaking not only because of who she was, but also the circumstances of her death - the choice she had to make she had to make with only a moment to think, and with full consequences on either option, and it broke me in two to watch her go that way. River’s death didn’t seem to have any urgency - she faded away to find peace, which was fantastic and everything and I’m glad she gets to find peace, but she’s not breaking, she’s not showing any exhaustion being a digitized version of herself, so why did she have to go?! But oh god River Song I am going to miss you. So much.
Wow. This really did get long.
I hope to the people who might read this that I don’t seem like a member of the fandom who hates against the fandom she’s in purely for the purpose of hating - I love Doctor Who, and probably always will, but it just hurts to see whenever I feel like the amazing writing quality I know Moffat can achieve seems to go down, and I like writing about how maybe it could be fixed because maybe on some strange, rainy afternoon Steven Moffat will read my post and it’ll get better?
I recognize my delusions.
Amelia Pond was my first ever companion. I started watching Doctor Who just as Matt Smith started as the Doctor. And I fell in love with Doctor Who as soon as I saw the TARDIS crashing through London in the Eleventh Hour. And I fell because of Matt, and Karen, and Arthur. I’ve gone and watched all the episodes of New Who since then, while keeping up with all the new episodes, and it’s been amazing.
Amy Pond is still my favorite companion. Matt Smith is still my favorite Doctor.
Maybe I’m biased, because she’s my first, and you never forget your first companion, but I really love her. She’s the girl who saved a Star Whale, and knows the Doctor better than he knows himself, and who kept herself alive for 36 years on an alien planet, and brought back the Doctor, and saved him and stopped him and was always so…fierce and clever and brave and just embraced all the adventure that life with the Doctor always gives. She ran with the Doctor, and she did more than keep up, she dragged him faster sometimes, and saved him and protected him and she was magnificent. The Girl Who Waited, and wasn’t afraid to set the Doctor straight and tell him he was wrong. And her and the Doctor, they are glorious together.
And Rory. Gawky, awkward, funny, self-depricating, brave, loving, fucking bad-ass Rory Arthur Williams. The Last Centurion, the Boy Who Waited, RORY THE ROMAN. He’s brave, he’s clever, he’s so good-hearted, and he loves his wife with all his heart, and like her he isn’t afraid to tell the Doctor off when he’s wrong.
When I was sad, it’s them I thought of. My Doctor and my friends. I imagined being with them.
And now they’re gone.
And I cried so hard.
There’s almost a casual sense of massacre in my room now where I was watching that episode on my computer. Nothing’s changed since I had opened my laptop this morning to watch The Angels Take Manhatten. Everything’s still in the same place, except for that thing I threw and those things I knocked over. But it’s changed now, somehow. Because now I know my friends are dead.
And I think I should be happy, because Moffat has been slightly merciful - he has given Rory and Amy their lives together. But all I can think of is that the Doctor lost his best friends today -Ilost some of my best friends today. And I’ll never see them again, running, laughing with the Doctor. And the Doctor, MY Doctor, is crying and broken on the inside because I know him and I know he’s feeling guilty right now for reading that DAMN chapter title.
He looked in the box, and the poison was broken open, and the cat was dead, and he didn’t have to look in the box.
And Rory didn’t have to look at that gravestone. He could have walked in the TARDIS with Amy and the Doctor and River and they could have gone to the pub and everything would have been fine.
Don’t open the box. You can’t see the cat, you don’t know how it is, it could be alive and it could be dead, and you KEEP IT THAT WAY, you lock it inside and you never open it and you lock it away and you go have more adventures with Amy and Rory
But he can’t anymore. He already opened the box and he saw the cat and there’s no way of shutting it anymore.
So I’m sad. And I’m still going to be sad when people tell me it was just a show. Because they weren’t just characters. They were PEOPLE, they were my FRIENDS, and I loved them. And I’ll always love them.
But all I can remember now is how aboslutely amazing they were, and how happy they made the Doctor, and how much they loved each other, and it’ll be almost okay.
GIVEAWAY TIME: This time it’s Sherlock’s Eschenbach Folding Magnifier!
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Hoping against hope…
I need to find a particular quote. (It’s for a biology assignment, believe it or not.) Basically, a Companion (I think it’s Amy, but I’m not sure) asked the Doctor (I think it’s Eleven, but again I’m not sure) if he just forgets the Companions once they’re gone, and the Doctor replies with something like, “I remember all of you.” If you can tell me what the quote is, I will seriously love you forever. Please? :)
Anyone want to answer her?
It’s from one of the Night and the Doctor mini-episodes, Good Night.
Amy: We’re all such tiny parts of your life, aren’t we? All the friends you make just… flicker in and out. You must hardly notice us.
The Doctor: Amy, you are enormous parts of my life. And you are all I ever remember.
So yes. Hope that helps!