Torchwood: “The Gathering” & Doctor Who: “Let’s Kill Hitler”

Posted on September 03, 2011

It said something good about this episode (to us, at least) that we felt, for the first time in about 5 episodes, that we absolutely had to sit down and watch it a second time before even attempting to put together our thoughts. Having watched it a second time now, we’re having almost the exact opposite reaction; that is, it says something bad about the series that we had to sit down and watch this episode a second time.

For the first time in a long time, the plot moved quickly; there were revelations and developments left and right, a somewhat more defined idea of what exactly is going on, a heightened sense of excitement, and yet another raising of the stakes for pretty much every single character. That’s all very, very welcome but when you stack it up against all the previous episodes, it only serves to show how structurally flawed this series has been.

It’s become more obvious than ever, with only one hour of story left, that we all had to sit through a TON of pointless filler to get where we are now. But a well-structured story can actually handle a little bit of fluff and filler if the entertainment value is there and it doesn’t bring the story to a halt. When we think back on all the scenes of hospital gurneys, press conferences and supposed cults — as well as ENDLESS scenes of people sitting around a table and talking, we can’t shake the persistent feeling that there could have been far better ways to get the characters to where they are now. And we wouldn’t have had to sit through the rather stunning amount of exposition required to get this episode from point A to point B by the end. We’ll give the writers credit for managing to inject scenes of tension, humor and catharsis, but after watching it a second time, it’s amazing how much of the episode consists of people just talking to each other about what’s going on; in offices, around kitchen tables, and on the phone; in order to get the plot moving, everyone needed to talk and talk a lot. That’s why we had to watch it a second time; not because everything was so exciting and the developments were so shocking, but because except for a few confrontations, this entire episode was basically a series of lectures.

And that’s a shame, because we’re back to being very intrigued as to where this is all going. When we saw that old science fiction standby, the Big, Scary, Magical Vagina, was at the heart of the story… well, truth be told, we rolled our eyes…BUT we were also kind of relieved to see a return to old school Torchwood weirdness and completely flummoxed as to what it means. Did Jack’s blood carve a straight line through the center of the earth somehow? That’s so bizarre it almost makes sense. We doubt that’s the story, though. Rex’s wound started bothering him in Buenos Aires, so whatever the reason for Jack’s blood deciding to go for a walk in Shanghai, it might not be so simple that The Blessing “wants” Jack. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

For the first time ever, both Jilly and Oswald seem like intriguing characters whose decisions are going to have a major effect on how things shake out. Great. So why did we have to sit through so many boring and just plain stupid scenes with these two? Why couldn’t the story of The Families been sprinkled a little more throughout the story instead of infodumped in the last two episodes? Why did they wait until now to make the long-needed jump forward by at least a couple of months in order to convincingly portray a society collapsing into fascism? Because that last one was one of the biggest mistakes. They should have jumped at least 3 months ahead somewhere around the 3rd episode in order to make things like ovens and pretend-Nazis a little more believable. By the way, that cop obsessed with capturing Gwen’s immobile father was like someone from an Indiana Jones movie accidentally got dropped into the story. There are far better and more accurate ways to depict modern fascism than simply ripping the swastikas and accents off standard Nazi characters and clumsily forcing them into a 21st Century setting.

One final complaint: we totally get that part of the appeal of Torchwood is and always has been the team’s loud, bumbling nature, but when all the members who are ostensibly either in hiding or engaging in highly illegal activities phone Rex at the CIA, identify each of themselves by name, mention where they’re all staying, and then discuss all their deductions and plans so far.. well. Let’s just say they deserved having pseudo-Nazi burst through the door and take Gwen’s father away. How stupid can this team be? Oh, that’s right. Stupid enough to do all of the above in front of Oswald and then make him a part of the team. We can easily accept the Big, Magic Vagina, but Oswald Danes as a de facto member of Torchwood is just plain ridiculous. Knock him out with whatever heroin derivative they were injecting into Gwen’s father and lock him up in the basement, keeping the key from Rhys. The solution was right in front of them. An empty, ready-made cell and a method for keeping him unconscious for a good while. In fact, we assumed that’s where it was heading.

Having bitched about all that, we just want to say we do love seeing Gwen in Wales. They really should have kept her there for most of the story. It’s fun for a second to see her navigating American culture, but she’s a Welshwoman through and through and she just works better in her own country and culture. They spent too much time in America with this story. Now that the focus has gone global, we’re struck by how much it should have been global all along.

But we’re excited for the finale, to our surprise. This really was a fun episode and they’ve finally given enough backstory that we’re curious about where it’s all heading instead of somewhat bored by the question. Really, this should have been five hours long, like Children of Earth was.

In Doctor Who news, since people have been asking us to do reviews but it’s just not a good time of the year for us, we’ll offer the following points for discussion regarding “Let’s Kill Hitler”:

There are five dominant themes and motifs running through Steven Moffat’s tenure: the concepts of perception and memory are two of them (The Silence and The Weeping Angels both embody these concepts, and the crack in time removed several people from Amy’s personal timeline and memory, among many other examples). The third is the recurring motif of a death scene. Every character – The Doctor, Amy, River and of course, Rory – has had several death scenes during this run. Note that River’s story (from our perspective) starts with her depicted death and the Doctor’s story (from our perspective) is due to end with his depicted death. Add the fourth recurring motif, which is the phrase, “Time can be re-written/unwritten,” what do you think the possibility is that the end of the Pond-Williams family saga will result in a rewriting of everyone’s fate and that everything we’ve seen, from River dying in The Library to the Doctor dying at Lake Silencio, is not as it seems? Especially when you consider the fifth recurring motif, which is the use of doppelgangers (Auton Rory, Tesselecta Amy, Ganger Amy, Ganger Baby Melody, Ganger Doctor). Every character has had a death scene AND every character has had at least one doppelganger.

The reason we’re throwing this out there (aside from the fact that we think it’s a pretty good deduction) is because with the revelations of “Let’s Kill Hitler,” there’s simply no way for the Pond-Williams family saga to be considered anything but a rather horrifying tragedy for them all; one that practically requires some sort of heroic intervention on the part of The Doctor simply to rescue the character from looking like an utter villain for letting it happen. Getting dumped on an alternate earth with a windup sex toy, having to walk the earth for a year while your family is in captivity to an omnipotent madman, getting all memories of your best, most life-affirming and defining moments cruelly ripped from you — these are all pretty horrible fates for past companions, as this episode readily pointed out, but having your baby stolen from you forever, that’s a far darker and more psychologically damaging fate for any companion to have to bear, let alone two of them. They’ve painted themselves into a narrative corner but we’re more convinced than ever that it’s all part of the plan.

Discuss.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=614423102 Sara Nolan Collins

    This is more about Doctor Who, but Stephen Moffat has been hinting and so did “Let’s Kill Hitler” that they want to have the doctor reconcile the fact that he has screwed over every modern companion he has been with.

    Rose – Sucked onto an alternate dimension, left with a psuedo-doctor that will age and die.  But the kicker is – he isn’t the doctor, he’s just a copy.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      That’s come up before — I mean, if you watch the Stolen Earth and Journey’s End, a lot of that was about the Doctor’s effect on his companions.  He was essentially confronted with EVERY companion (current run only) he’d had showing an absolute willingness to commit genocide, before his copy actually did so.  This has been coming for a long time.

      As for Rose, I think she got the perfect ending — he’s not JUST a copy, he’s an EXACT copy.  Everything that makes the Doctor who he is was translated to the new copy as well.  But he’s human.  Rose can have the best of both worlds: she can still have her doctor but without committing to a relationship of complete inequality.  They can age together.  They could have children together if they choose.  They can have the kind of relationship Rose would have expected her life to end up in before she met the Doctor.  And she can do it all in a world with her family — remember, she has her mother, she has the father she had lost, and she now has a little brother as well. 

      And she CHOSE the human Doctor.  At the end of Journey’s End, she turns to him rather than fighting to stay with her Doctor.  Yes, she was still protesting, but that’s only because she hadn’t had time to really think on it;  it was more an instinctive reaction than a real complaint. 

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for that!  I always feel like people are to hard on 10.5 or whatever you want to call him.  I get it wasn’t Rose’s perfect ending.  It wasn’t mine either but I like to think that things worked out for them.  If you watch the deleted scenes and what Russell said he wanted for them they even got to build a TARDIS.  I like to think that Rose and the human Doctor have adventures and Torchwood and children all the while holding hands and laughing.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          There is this tendency in sci-fi/fantasy to treat “copies” or “clones” as somehow inferior to the original.  But if the process works correctly, the product would be the same as the original.  In fact, during the recent episode with the gangers, I was sitting there going, “If that ever happened to me, I’d be taking my copy HOME. Sure, I’d have to share all the good stuff, but I’d also get to share all responsibility!”  I mean, yeah it’d be a little disorienting at first, but I could use an extra pair of hands that I could trust completely:)  I don’t know why more people don’t see the advantage in this:)

          And if I had to be in a separate universe from my husband and was never going to be reunited with him, would I take the exact copy home instead?  Hell yeah!  I’d rather have someone who was THAT close to him than live without him at all.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          There is this tendency in sci-fi/fantasy to treat “copies” or “clones” as somehow inferior to the original.  But if the process works correctly, the product would be the same as the original.  In fact, during the recent episode with the gangers, I was sitting there going, “If that ever happened to me, I’d be taking my copy HOME. Sure, I’d have to share all the good stuff, but I’d also get to share all responsibility!”  I mean, yeah it’d be a little disorienting at first, but I could use an extra pair of hands that I could trust completely:)  I don’t know why more people don’t see the advantage in this:)

          And if I had to be in a separate universe from my husband and was never going to be reunited with him, would I take the exact copy home instead?  Hell yeah!  I’d rather have someone who was THAT close to him than live without him at all.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          There is this tendency in sci-fi/fantasy to treat “copies” or “clones” as somehow inferior to the original.  But if the process works correctly, the product would be the same as the original.  In fact, during the recent episode with the gangers, I was sitting there going, “If that ever happened to me, I’d be taking my copy HOME. Sure, I’d have to share all the good stuff, but I’d also get to share all responsibility!”  I mean, yeah it’d be a little disorienting at first, but I could use an extra pair of hands that I could trust completely:)  I don’t know why more people don’t see the advantage in this:)

          And if I had to be in a separate universe from my husband and was never going to be reunited with him, would I take the exact copy home instead?  Hell yeah!  I’d rather have someone who was THAT close to him than live without him at all.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          There is this tendency in sci-fi/fantasy to treat “copies” or “clones” as somehow inferior to the original.  But if the process works correctly, the product would be the same as the original.  In fact, during the recent episode with the gangers, I was sitting there going, “If that ever happened to me, I’d be taking my copy HOME. Sure, I’d have to share all the good stuff, but I’d also get to share all responsibility!”  I mean, yeah it’d be a little disorienting at first, but I could use an extra pair of hands that I could trust completely:)  I don’t know why more people don’t see the advantage in this:)

          And if I had to be in a separate universe from my husband and was never going to be reunited with him, would I take the exact copy home instead?  Hell yeah!  I’d rather have someone who was THAT close to him than live without him at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=614423102 Sara Nolan Collins

    Martha – Pines after the doctor and leaves only when she realizes he will never love her.  Gets engaged to the Pediatrician she met in the season finale.  That falls through somehow and is found to be married to Mickey.  Clearly she has some issues relating to men, stemming from the doctor.

    Donna – Probably the cruelest fate of all, the Doctor stripped her memories of him so she would live.  Even though she was clearly capable of making the decision of whether she wanted to die as the Doctor-Donna or live as the Donna without the Doctor.

     

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      I don’t know that Martha has issues with men — I think after the life-altering experience of being a companion, she couldn’t go back to a normal life.  I’m guessing that’s why the pediatrician fell threw and she ended up with Mickey.  He got it, and was right there with her.

      As for Donna, I don’t know that she was capable of making the choice.  She was already ending up in a verbal loop, essentially, suggesting that her brain was already suffering by the time he explained it to her.  And there wasn’t time for her to consider what she really wanted — it had to be done before she suffered to much damage. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=614423102 Sara Nolan Collins

    In “Let’s Kill Hitler”  when he is speaking to various projections of the Voice Interface he rejects the past companions because it is too painful for him. 

    I think Rory and Amy are going to end up being the Doctor’s reckoning, meaning that the Doctor is going to have to come to terms with what he has done to all of his past companions.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t see that happening. It sounds too much like the ending to the show. From the very beginning of the original series, the Doctor changed companions fairly regularly. You have to assume that will continue, which means current and future Doctors will likely continue screwing over his companions. To have him reach some come-to-Jesus reckoning over what he’s done to  them would leave the writers without much room to manuever in the future.

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        That assumes that he’s going to reach the conclusion that he’s done irreparable harm and completely change his ways or not have companions anymore.  I don’t think that’s true, first, and second, I don’t think that’s where the show has to go to still reach that reckoning.  I think they could do one of the big two-parters with him hitting that low, that point of “What have I done? These people meant more to me than anyone and I’ve ruined their lives…” 

        But I think you could also bring in PLENTY of companions who would say, “No.  You CHANGED our lives, definitely.  We aren’t safer and we’ve been through some bad shit because of those changes, but they’ve MADE us.”  You really think Martha would trade a day?  Or Jack?  Staying with the Doctor was going to KILL Donna and she still begged to do so.  

        And I think THAT’S ultimately what he has to come to terms with.  The good and the bad of it.  The unintended consequences in every way.  And the fact that Time Lord or not, he’s only human — he can’t exist completely adrift from any connections, and no relationship has ever come without some degree of pain. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=19801927 Dennis Coyle

    Have to say, what I found most interesting about “Let’s Kill Hilter” is the way in which Moffat has conveniently made it possible for the Doctor to have regenerations beyond the typical number (which he had been fast approaching).  I think it’s something like 12 or 13.  River/Melody expended so much energy that she has used up all her regenerations.  That is a MASSIVE amount of energy considering what we have seen accomplished during previous regenerations without any serious repercussions to the individual regenerating.
    All that energy had to go somewhere, and the episode clearly implies it all went into the Doctor.

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  I thought that was a brilliant solution to the fact that the series could only go on so much longer.  This gives them more time to play and the ability to continue Doctor Who until they want to stop or have to stop due to monetary reasons rather than just running out of regenerations and ending the series.

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        Not only continue Doctor Who, but they could bring it back later, just as they did with Nine.

    • http://profiles.google.com/eszubert Elizabeth Szubert

      I agree with that as well.  I thought it was a brilliant move character wise for River/Melody and a good way to make the series continue.

    • http://twitter.com/dialmformichele Michele Rosenthal

      Ah, that makes more sense to me. I thought they were just explaining why River dies in the library, which I thought was weird and unnecessary, since they make it clear in that episode that it’s the kind of death one can’t regenerate from. But if it’s an excuse to have the Doctor live longer, I’m fine with that.

    • Emily Lind

      The acceptable canon from Classic Who was 12 regenerations/13 total incarnations but the beautiful thing about DW canon is that it’s pretty loosely established. It was often thought that the 12 regenerations was something enforced by the Time Lord council and not an actual limitation of the race. When Matt Smith appeared as the Doctor on The Sarah Jane Adventures, he said in an off-handed line that he could actually regenerate 500+ times.  It wasn’t something that needed to be done for the Doctor to continue on for more than two more regenerations. It was still brilliant as it tied up the fact that River can regenerate and yet she died back in the library.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=19801927 Dennis Coyle

    As for Torchwood, your comments are right on.  It’s pretty clear that
    this plot was initially envisioned as a miniseries of–I’d guess-no more
    than five episodes that Starz said to stretch out or else they weren’t
    on board.

    Oh, and if y’all ever do decide to go for Doctor Who as a show to be
    discussed, a great way to introduce it and maybe weave it into your
    other projects would be to consider the Doctor’s fashion over his
    regenerations.  :)  I’d love to see what you have to say about some of
    that ridiculousness.

    • MilaXX

      I agree  much of the problems with Miracle Day feels like they were stretching the storyline to 10 eps. If it had been 5 or even 6 we might have had a tighter season like CoE.

  • Anonymous

    I was disappointed that the Blessing was not an alien.  I miss aliens in Torchwood.  I don’t care if that is a popular opinion to have or not but I honestly miss it.  There were problems with Torchwood’s monster-of-the week format but there were also some fun things about it.  I liked Children of Earth but I tend to hold a grudge against it for the loss of Ianto.  This doesn’t feel quite like Torchwood anymore.  I love Jack and will continue to watch as my whovian spirit demands but I am a bit let down this season.

    As for Moffat sometimes I think he is brilliant but others just turn my stomach.  I alternately find River amusing and nausiating depending on the moment.  It has nothing to do with my Rose/Doctor OTP tendencies and more to do with the fact that you are told to like River.  Even the Doctor was forced into liking her.  Sure sometimes she says things that make me laugh and I like that she can fight her own way out of things but the way her plot line is set up you can’t make up your own opinion.  You are given one by the writers and I find that grates on my nerves.

    The Doctor-screws-up-his-companions thing is almost a carry over from Journey’s End where Davros talks about how the Doctor turns people into weapons so he can maintain he isn’t violent.  I feel like this is kind of a natural progression of that.  The Doctor (at least the 9th through the 11th Doctors) seems to let things fester.  That one comment I’m sure stuck with him and this seems to be the conclusion he has come up with.  I honestly think this is going to be the season where he tries to correct it based on the “Let’s Kill Hitler” voice interface thingy.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      And after Journey’s End, he didn’t take another companion until after regeneration.  That lack of another conscience led to the Waters of Mars and the Doctor believing he was above the rules, which in turn meant he HAD to die and regenerate — he was going too far down the same mental path as Gallifrey.  But he didn’t DEAL WITH his former companions and the consequences of his actions; he didn’t really deal with what he’d done, both good and bad.  Instead he ran from it (just as Davros said) by dropping all of them back off in their various locations, and continuing on without a companion at all. 

      I hope he’ll finally come to turns with his effect — especially because it ISN’T all bad for the companions.  Because then there’s a really interesting moral question: the Doctor hurts his companions, but if he goes without one, he hurts reality and time itself — so what does he do?

      • Anonymous

        That is it exactly.  Are the companions and time for that matter better off for having to Doctor or not?  I tend to think they are are better off but I’m not sure he does and that is where the problem comes.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          The Waters of Mars was one of my all-time favorites for just that reason.  When I saw it, I was just raving about it to my husband (who hadn’t gotten a chance to see it yet).  After he watched it, he’s going, “I don’t get it.  Why is this one such a thing for you?” 

          I pointed out that I found it fascinating — particularly in light of the Stolen Earth/Journey’s End.  Specifically because it set up all of these questions about the role of the companion in stabilizing the Doctor, while Journey’s End showed the negative effect of the Doctor on his companions.  I’m really glad to see them exploring that further with 11.

  • Anonymous

    RE Miracle Day: I had to watch both the last two episodes twice, but it was because I fell asleep both times. If I’m really into a show, that doesn’t happen. I basically can’t wait for this story to end, not because I’m so enthralled and curious, but because having invested 11 hours in it, the 12th hour had damn well better pay off, but it’s hard for me to really care. Stupidity, extremely annoying people, entire episodes of fluff have made me wonder what has happened to Russell T. Davies. Unlike some, I did enjoy his tenure at Doctor Who. I can scarcely believe it’s the same showrunner.

    RE Doctor Who: Brilliant assessment guys. You have given me more to think about than any other reviewer on this episode. And I’ve been searching out reviews to help me figure it all out. There’s so much wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey going on that it feels like my brain will explode. I still love River. I don’t understand Amy at all. If I had had a baby ripped (melted) from my arms like she did, I would be fierce and ferocious in my search for my child. How awesome was Rory!! I loved it when Amy asked if he could ride a motorcycle, and he replied something like, *I expect I can, it’s been that kind of day*.

    Us Bitter Kitten Whovians will be delighted with any tidbits you can toss our way.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Love Rory.  In fact, one of my favorite moments of this series was when Amy was talking to the baby about the man who would never let anything happen to her, and she was talking about Rory instead of the Doctor.

      There’s only so much searching Amy can do without the Doctor’s okay — and she did have River standing before her, telling her that her child would be okay and guaranteeing it.  As painful as it is being away from her child, she does at least have the reassurance that her child WILL be okay. 

      • Anonymous

        Oh, I understand the limitations Amy is under. I just don’t think Steven Moffat knows how a real mother would react ;-/

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          For me, I can believe that some characters would react that way — if it had been Martha for instance.  She had a blind faith in the Doctor that I think would have allowed her to remain very passive in the same situation.  But that’s never been Amy.  The only way it really would work would be to have Amy crippled by the loss, where all the fight went out of her — making the point that this is so big, her child is so important, that she can’t bear the loss.  But that hasn’t been shown either.

          • MilaXX

            I may be reaching in my love of Rory, but I like to think the reason that she doesn’t crumple id because she has Rory by her side assuring her things will be okay, and that fact coupled with the Doctor’s promise is what keeps her together. Imagine a man who wait by your side for 2,000 years telling you things will be okay. A man who comes back to you even after dying. That man is someone to believe in.

          • MilaXX

            I may be reaching in my love of Rory, but I like to think the reason that she doesn’t crumple id because she has Rory by her side assuring her things will be okay, and that fact coupled with the Doctor’s promise is what keeps her together. Imagine a man who wait by your side for 2,000 years telling you things will be okay. A man who comes back to you even after dying. That man is someone to believe in.

          • Lattis

            Milaxx, if I could like your comment 100 xs I’d do it. Rory is one of my all time favorite, top 10 characters on Dr. Who. I love the character arc he has taken. He really is the viewer/regular person who happens into something extraordinary and rises to the occasion. With honors.  

    • Elizabeth Herman

      Bitter Kitten Whovians!  i want that on a t-shirt!

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it possible aliens are still going to play a part in the finale? My impression is that we don’t really know what the Blessing is. Don’t forget Jack took a part of that floor from under Angelo’s bed, and he specifically said that it was Alien technology.

    EDIT: This response was supposed to appear under SatelliteAlice. I’ve been having this same issue of out of place comments for a week now.

    • Anonymous

      I know and I still have hope it just…. it a a giant sucking whole.  Really?  Why?

      Also just as a me getting mad at the TV thing, all I could think at the end of the last episode is “put Jack on the plate!”  If the plate suspends the miracle then logically if the put him on the plate he would heal.  I now know they needed his blood for the follow the blood drop thing but really what a waste that whole plate plot line was if they don’t use it.

  • http://twitter.com/bentley1530 F E B

    I feel a bit stupid but I really don’t understand why they were storing up Jack’s blood and why they are carrying it to the blessing.  It makes more sense at the end of the episode when the drop of blood seems to leading them that does not explain why they felt it was necessary to have so much of Jack’s blood on hand.

    • Anonymous

      I think that is a reasonable question. Seems like it was put in the episode to pique our interest. One idea I had is that Esther thinks it is valuable/powerful, so she wants to have stash. Or she wants to be able to fix him up more quickly in the future.

  • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

    Gentlemen, I cannot thank you enough for even the quick points on Doctor Who!!  Torchwood is fine and all, but it’s not the Doctor. 
    I know you are COMPLETELY overloaded right now, with Fashion Week and PR plus all your other stuff — might I suggest the Doctor posts for later on when a lot of the shows you guys do aren’t on the air?  You did go back to hit previous seasons of PR, so why not do it for the Doctor?   Of course, it could just work for me, since I don’t care how old an episode is, I still want to talk about it:) 

    Now as for the episode itself:  I ALWAYS have that reaction to Doctor Who.  There’s always part of me waiting to find out what the loophole in any major development is — I mean, it’s not like they’ve never found them before.  Rose Tyler was supposed to be forever gone in another dimension — until she came back for Stolen Earth.  Donna Noble would die if ANYTHING EVER so much as reminded her a tiny bit of her time with the Doctor — until The End of Time, when the Master took over, she remembered and rather than dying sent out a psychic wave that protected her while she passed out and was restored to her pre-Master state.  EVERY major villian has been killed/destroyed/banished — and then returned.  How many times have the Daleks been rendered harmless in some way?  But they always come back

    • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

      I would trade my next three Christmases to never have to see the Daleks or Cybermen on Doctor Who again.  I was giddy when they first showed up just like everyone else, but it’s been done to death and now I’m just utterly sick of them.  

      I love the show, and I will always watch, but GOD would I like to see some new baddies and some alternate planets- not just earth in the past or humans in the distant future- but good old fashioned ALIEN WORLDS.

      • Anonymous

        Such as the Ood—such cool aliens!

  • Anonymous

    Doppelgangers and perception/memory. Yup :) As it’s post Who here I’d better not say too much LOL! Except it was nice to see Daniel Mays being rather nicer than he was in Ashes to Ashes.

    Nothing in Doctor Who is certain. They’ve altered the regeneration numbers before, awarded more etc in the old days. The Doctors is in consistent and things don’t always add up with past events. The Doctor lies and there are always loopholes, especially in recent years. The Doctor has also always messed up his companions. Something that’s been catching up with him for a while now. I think that will be the next arc, sparked by whatever happens to Amy and Rory and maybe that will be the lead up to the anniversary. There’s been lots of talk about bringing back past Doctors for a special , but I wonder if it might be companions instead. Much easier to deal with with regards ageing for one thing, and Moffat as been really emphasising the companions role. Perhaps a nice tribute to Elisabeth Sladen too, although she’d be the most missed.
    As for Torchwood. I just don’t think multiple writers works within a continuous story. Fine in an episodic format within an overall arc, such as Doctor Who. But when it’s one story, I’d far rather have one writer,

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Not just the aging thing, but the Doctor CAN’T go back on his own timeline — that’s central to the story.  Without it, there are no consequences because you can just replay every event until it goes your way.  I would really hate to see them suspend that rule, even for just one special.  Once you make it possible within the Who universe, there’s always another chance.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Not just the aging thing, but the Doctor CAN’T go back on his own timeline — that’s central to the story.  Without it, there are no consequences because you can just replay every event until it goes your way.  I would really hate to see them suspend that rule, even for just one special.  Once you make it possible within the Who universe, there’s always another chance.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Not just the aging thing, but the Doctor CAN’T go back on his own timeline — that’s central to the story.  Without it, there are no consequences because you can just replay every event until it goes your way.  I would really hate to see them suspend that rule, even for just one special.  Once you make it possible within the Who universe, there’s always another chance.

      • Anonymous

        He has met up with himself before.  I can think of four times where there has been more than one incarnation on the screen and he has also come across himself in the same body but at different points in his timeline before.  It is technically the first rule of time but the Doctor tends to break rules.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          See, I didn’t start watching until Ten started, and there were chunks I saw out of order that aren’t as clear to me.  BBC America was sadly lacking on some of my past TV packages:(

          • MilaXX

            But didn’t Ten meet Five?

          • Anonymous

            Yep.  He met him in Time Crash.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Not just the aging thing, but the Doctor CAN’T go back on his own timeline — that’s central to the story.  Without it, there are no consequences because you can just replay every event until it goes your way.  I would really hate to see them suspend that rule, even for just one special.  Once you make it possible within the Who universe, there’s always another chance.

    • Anonymous

      I like your post, here.  Rory and River Song are the best things about this Doctor, in my opinion.  Amy is always rubbing me the wrong way.  And on loopholes – they’ve given the Doctor sooo many loopholes that the show doesn’t seem to have any internal consistency (did it ever?  I thought so).  It seems – and maybe I’m just in a bad mood – like they write themselves into a corner and then just make up something or other to get out of the corner.  But it’s not making for good TV for me.  *sigh*

      • Anonymous

        I agree with you. There’s been too much re-setting/re-booting. It’s like the ultimate get-out clause and it gets annoying. We know the series is going to continue, and we know the current Doctor will be around for a while and that we’ll get forewarning of the next change. So it’s just a matter of waiting to find out what undo button Moffat can come up with this time. That’s the problem with getting bigger and flashier and more complex.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          That’s true of most series, though.  How many times does someone leaving a show really come as a surprise?  And I like the loopholes.  I like the slightly uneven ground feel of never being entirely sure of what the rules are or how things will play out.

          • Anonymous

            Well the season started with something that they HAVE to fix so you know there has to be a loophole.  If for no other reason than that it is a waste of a very lucrative property for BBC to actually kill the Doctor.

          • Anonymous

            I like the loopholes to a degree. But there comes a point when major events lose impact for me because I know there’s no real danger, that they have to do something to render those events meaningless. Having the Doctor die is one of those, I can’t get that involved in the plot because I know it will be reversed in some way. That’s where the companions are a useful device, as you care about them almost as much as the Doctor but they’re expendable in a way he isn’t (and they could feasibly sneak that past the press).

            Maybe that’s just getting old. When I was a kid I took the weekly cliffhangers very seriously indeed :D

          • http://twitter.com/dialmformichele Michele Rosenthal

            I’m with you. When Rory was “erased” in the middle of last season I was so annoyed, because I knew they’d have to invent some nonsensical loophole to bring him back. I’m hoping they can resolve the Doctor’s death cleverly without rewriting everything we’ve already seen. But I think it’s been a weak point of the past two seasons in general: there’s too much focus on being plotty and complex (with mixed results) instead of sticking with fun and thoughtful.

          • http://twitter.com/dialmformichele Michele Rosenthal

            I’m with you. When Rory was “erased” in the middle of last season I was so annoyed, because I knew they’d have to invent some nonsensical loophole to bring him back. I’m hoping they can resolve the Doctor’s death cleverly without rewriting everything we’ve already seen. But I think it’s been a weak point of the past two seasons in general: there’s too much focus on being plotty and complex (with mixed results) instead of sticking with fun and thoughtful.

  • Anonymous

    *The Doctor lies*

    Amongst all the rules and breaking of rules, time lines crossed and changed, inconsistencies, regeneration possibilities—over and over and over again in this season, more than any other of the current crop of seasons, we have been hearing The Doctor say this.

    The Doctor lies

    I think I’ll start believing this one thing. Cause if it’s true, none of the other things matter.

  • Anonymous

    Regards Torchwood, I nearly fell off my chair laughing when Candy Spelling brought Kissinger to the magical vagina. And when Jack’s blood started making a bee line for said magical vajajay, I just kept laughing and shaking my head. I can not WAIT for the season finale.

    I haven’t been watching Dr. Who this season. I’ve just been up to my eyeballs with work and I haven’t been able to sit down and pay attention. I’ll have to go back one of these nights with a glass of wine and cue up the Tivo.

  • http://twitter.com/MandySCG MandyJane

    This was the only episode of Torchwood I’ve enjoyed so far. I don’t understand the magical vagina though, I don’t know what it’s supposed to do.

  • http://twitter.com/MandySCG MandyJane

    This was the only episode of Torchwood I’ve enjoyed so far. I don’t understand the magical vagina though, I don’t know what it’s supposed to do.

  • Anonymous

    Yes pity you dont have time for Dr Who. I enjoy River and I like the idea of the Doctor’s guilt and how much Tennant’s Doctor left things unresolved. Of course the the real crime is he does need his companions. He probably more dependent on them, then they are of him. That what makes the situation with Donna so particularly awful and tragic. AS her granddad point out The Doctor needed Donna as much as she needed him. She really was his ideal traveling companion. No fear of unrequited love and someone who wasn’t afraid to put him in his place. A real mate

  • Anonymous

    Yes pity you dont have time for Dr Who. I enjoy River and I like the idea of the Doctor’s guilt and how much Tennant’s Doctor left things unresolved. Of course the the real crime is he does need his companions. He probably more dependent on them, then they are of him. That what makes the situation with Donna so particularly awful and tragic. AS her granddad point out The Doctor needed Donna as much as she needed him. She really was his ideal traveling companion. No fear of unrequited love and someone who wasn’t afraid to put him in his place. A real mate

    • Anonymous

      Donna: [horrified] You want to mate!!!

      Doctor: [more horrified] I don’t want to mate, I want a mate!

      LMAO

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523566011 Dawn Grimes Stough

        best line ever :)  and the look on the doctor’s face was priceless.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Donna was fabulous.  I miss her.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

      Donna was unbeatable.

  • Anonymous

    Re Dr. Who – Too much food for thought.  I’ll have to get back to you later.

    As for Torchwood MD, I am going to rant.  I’m so angry that they stretched this to 10 hours!  I’m so angry about the idiotic scripts!  I’m angry that they filled it up with political b#llsh*t instead of aliens!  Max spends most of his (too much) screen time yelling filler at people.  How much time we have spent listening to “what do you mean” “let’s go people” “what is happening” “who are you” “what are you talking about” exposition exposition exposition exposition and sitting around. Every line is said three times to fill time.  “There’s no choice, there’s absolutely no choice, you know you have no choice and there’s only one thing you can do.”  gaaaa!  There was no need for this series to be in the US other than that the English love an opportunity to pound on the US corrupt health care system and the CIA and US politics (really, an evil spinner PR character named Kitzinger?).  Go have fun, that’s fine, but you’ve spoiling your opportunity by being so clumsy with it and going off on tangents that ruined momentum!  For the love of all that is good and holy and sci fi, Stick To The Effing Point.  Oh yes, which is of course a scary vagina, which is sadly a hallmark of RTD and Moffat.  There are too many Dr Who episodes about lecturing and teaching evil women the error of their ways – I have to call out the recent gangers episodes, the cruelty to the companions, and that one where the lizard people want to come back up out of the earth and take up residence on their land (Israel/Palestine, anyone), where the evil human lady was talked into killing the lizard lady but then she learned her lesson.  argh.  But I’m carrying on too far.  Back to my football game.

    • Anonymous

      I’m pretty sure the series is set mostly in the US because of the investment deal, not out of any wish to pound on US politics. None of us know what Starz insisted on – location? series length? casting? etc. Also, bear in mind most of that pounding is being done by American writers, not just RTD (who, like Gwen by the way, isn’t English ;D).

      UK series are almost never longer than 8 episodes, more often 6. So it’s a fair bet that the length is down to Starz.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know how it got here, but this was intended as a reply to frank_821. Oh I loved Doctor Donna.  The women in his life are required to make huge sacrifices and not always by choice, in order that the Doctor may continue.  Very Wagnerian, this idea of redemption of the hero and of the world only through the death of the woman.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know how it got here, but this was intended as a reply to frank_821. Oh I loved Doctor Donna.  The women in his life are required to make huge sacrifices and not always by choice, in order that the Doctor may continue.  Very Wagnerian, this idea of redemption of the hero and of the world only through the death of the woman.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know how it got here, but this was intended as a reply to frank_821. Oh I loved Doctor Donna.  The women in his life are required to make huge sacrifices and not always by choice, in order that the Doctor may continue.  Very Wagnerian, this idea of redemption of the hero and of the world only through the death of the woman.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know how it got here, but this was intended as a reply to frank_821. Oh I loved Doctor Donna.  The women in his life are required to make huge sacrifices and not always by choice, in order that the Doctor may continue.  Very Wagnerian, this idea of redemption of the hero and of the world only through the death of the woman.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know how it got here, but this was intended as a reply to frank_821. Oh I loved Doctor Donna.  The women in his life are required to make huge sacrifices and not always by choice, in order that the Doctor may continue.  Very Wagnerian, this idea of redemption of the hero and of the world only through the death of the woman.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know how it got here, but this was intended as a reply to frank_821. Oh I loved Doctor Donna.  The women in his life are required to make huge sacrifices and not always by choice, in order that the Doctor may continue.  Very Wagnerian, this idea of redemption of the hero and of the world only through the death of the woman.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything you had to say about Torchwood except for finally seeing some interest in the Oswald Danes character. It seems like we’ve been subjected to his annoying existence for the sole purpose of giving Torchwood the name Harry Bosco. Surely the writers could have come up with another way for Esther to figure out the mistranslation than subjecting us to an entire series worth of a wholly unbelievable paedophile?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything you had to say about Torchwood except for finally seeing some interest in the Oswald Danes character. It seems like we’ve been subjected to his annoying existence for the sole purpose of giving Torchwood the name Harry Bosco. Surely the writers could have come up with another way for Esther to figure out the mistranslation than subjecting us to an entire series worth of a wholly unbelievable paedophile?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything you had to say about Torchwood except for finally seeing some interest in the Oswald Danes character. It seems like we’ve been subjected to his annoying existence for the sole purpose of giving Torchwood the name Harry Bosco. Surely the writers could have come up with another way for Esther to figure out the mistranslation than subjecting us to an entire series worth of a wholly unbelievable paedophile?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything you had to say about Torchwood except for finally seeing some interest in the Oswald Danes character. It seems like we’ve been subjected to his annoying existence for the sole purpose of giving Torchwood the name Harry Bosco. Surely the writers could have come up with another way for Esther to figure out the mistranslation than subjecting us to an entire series worth of a wholly unbelievable paedophile?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything you had to say about Torchwood except for finally seeing some interest in the Oswald Danes character. It seems like we’ve been subjected to his annoying existence for the sole purpose of giving Torchwood the name Harry Bosco. Surely the writers could have come up with another way for Esther to figure out the mistranslation than subjecting us to an entire series worth of a wholly unbelievable paedophile?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything you had to say about Torchwood except for finally seeing some interest in the Oswald Danes character. It seems like we’ve been subjected to his annoying existence for the sole purpose of giving Torchwood the name Harry Bosco. Surely the writers could have come up with another way for Esther to figure out the mistranslation than subjecting us to an entire series worth of a wholly unbelievable paedophile?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10716133 Paige Morgan

    One of the things that stands out for me about this Torchwood episode is that when Jilly met the Blessing, and said that it was telling her that she was right, I had absolutely no idea what she meant. And, you know, by this point in the series, I really should know. Lauren Ambrose has been good in the role, but it’s a pity that all we’ve seen hasn’t really communicated anything more about the character than we learned in the first one or two episodes.

  • http://twitter.com/MajorBedhead MajorBedhead

    This whole season has been one big, steaming pile of poo. I keep watching because I’ve invested so much time into it but honestly, if there is another season, it had better improve itself immensely. This is painful. Torchwood was hardly Masterpiece Theatre but it was always fun. This? Not so much with the fun.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

    I don’t care if it’s just a few asides now and again, I will take any Doctor Who commentary that you two brilliant minds care to share.  Toss a line or two into other articles anytime something strikes you as important, and I will comb the site for those lines like a kid picking the last few marshmallows out of a bowl of Lucky Charms.  I love The Doctor and I love hearing your opinions about just about anything.

    Also it’s gratifying to hear someone else call the Rose ending out on being just wretched.

  • MilaXX

    Visiting friends o Cape Cod. Just checking in to say I agree last night’s episode was good and I’m looking forward to the finale. Also I absolutely ove that you guys actually get us Whovians and sci fi nerds and can write about them without making us all feel like tin hats. I understand with Fashion Week coming you’ll be too busy for DW recaps, but I like your reasonings. I can wait to see how Moffets untangles all of this.

  • Elizabeth Herman

    I’m thrilled that there is Doctor Who commentary!  Hopefully someone else in the comments can affirm that they also wanted to hide under their bed during tonight’s unbelievably scary episode, or maybe I’m just a wimp.  Even though we all know that River Song grows up to be a fantastic person (and the Doctor’s WIFE) I can’t imagine how her parents are even functioning right now knowing that they won’t be there to raise her.  Fingers crossed for a happy “Amy gets her parents back” style ending for the group, because I’m not sure I can handle another companion leaving with a fate as sad as what happened to Donna.

  • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

    You know, the more we’ve discussed this, the more I think the Doctor is getting kind of a bad rap.  Let’s really look at the companions he supposedly harmed:

    Rose — Had an amazing adventure, fell in love, got her father back, and then got to have a happy ending with essentially the same man she fell in love with but with none of the downside of his Time Lord anatomy.

    Jack — Okay, the being immortal thing does kind of suck.  But is there any where or when that Capt. Jack would honestly rather be than with Torchwood?  Probably not. 

    Martha — Unrequited love isn’t fun, but it’s not like meeting the Doctor was the only way it would ever happen.  Most people feel it at some point in their lives.  (Besides, I don’t think she loved him any more than a teenage girl with an intense crush does — she had way too much hero worship mixed in)  But she got to do something really incredible and met her future husband because of the Doctor as well.

    Donna — Yes, her mind had to be wiped of all the things she had seen and done.  But would it have been better to never had the experience?  For her, the pain of losing those memories was only a few minutes and then she didn’t know it anymore.  Her life is basically exactly as it would have been without meeting the Doctor.  Plus, she got a winning lottery ticket as a wedding gift. 

    • Lattis

      I agree with many of your points – but in the case of Donna, what she loses is the sure knowledge that she is not ordinary – not just her mom’s daughter. She has to forget that she’s amazing, extraordinary, incredible. 

      • Anonymous

        I wasn’t too worried about Donna. Donna’s mom and grandpa did not have their memories wiped, therefore, they will probably treat her better and make her see that she is special. I guess her grandfather always treated her well, but her mom was a harpy. And like Amy, the memories are still buried way deep inside Donna somewhere, so perhaps that little inner flame will help her out.

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        That she didn’t have before.  Without the Doctor she would never have gained that knowledge in the first place.  At least now she has that subconscious knowledge buried in there somewhere. 

    • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

      Rose was ripped away from every person she has ever known (with the exception of her mother) and forced to live on an earth that, the few times it was shown to us, seemed to be a more dystopian version of our own (and swarming with Cybermen). In addition, she got a version of the Doctor that was also partially influenced by Donna’s personality (which means he’s not an exact match to the original Doctor) and who had just committed a rather stunning act of destruction and genocide. Understandably so, but it doesn’t exactly make him husband material.

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        Except she wasn’t.  A lot of the people she had known would have had very close copies, if not exact, in that universe.  Not to mention the fact that she CHOSE to leave them to go traveling with the Doctor anyway.  Even once she knew what kind of danger she’d be in, she didn’t go back.  And when she wanted to come back to her original universe, she wanted to stay with the Doctor, not go back to any of her friends.  She was willing to leave them behind anyway.

        As for Donna’s influence, it was slight, and due to his time with Donna and Martha, her Doctor wasn’t even still an exact match for the man he’d been when she was lost.  As for the stunning act of genocide and destruction, it wasn’t really the first time he’d done so — just the first time she’d seen him do it.  He was the one responsible for the time lock trapping the Daleks and the Time Lords alike. 

        The perception is that the copied Doctor is her consolation prize.  But SHE turned to HIM, not the other way around.  When they’re standing on the beach at Bad Wolf Bay at the end of Journey’s End, and the Doctor is explaining why she should stay with the copy, she turns to the copy because HE’s willing to tell her he loves her, HE can give her things like a family that the original could NEVER have offered. 

        I think the Doctor got a far worse deal than Rose did.  He loved her and lost her, and he didn’t get anything to cushion the blow.

        • Anonymous

          I fall much more on the side of Rose getting the raw end of that deal.  He used her and he had to let her go. He was pretty heartbroken, yes, but that for me didn’t undo how he took advantage of her awe of, and affection for, him (and frankly, I never believed that he was actually in love with her, but that’s probably just my impression).  And yes, she comes back again, to help him save the world.  Again. 

        • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

          All of those “close copies” of people on the parallel earth would not have known Rose at all. There was no Rose in that universe. She was left somewhere where the only person who really knew her was her mother. Every other relationship in her life abruptly ended. There was no reason for her to believe that going off on adventures with the Doctor meant that she would have to permanently sever ties with every person she ever knew.

          I don’t think the Donna influence was all that slight, since there was a scene set aside just to point out that he sounded and thought almost exactly like her.

          And yes, the Doctor has committed tremendous acts of destruction and genocide. He didn’t go directly from those acts to shacking up with an earth girl. Instead he roamed the universe consumed with guilt for years over it.

          I realize the scene was written to be looked at as romantic happy ending, but it falls apart for me the second I start thinking about the implications.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            Mickey was there with her until after Journey’s End, when he came back  because she was with the copy Doctor.  So she had her mother and Mickey with her, and had her father, who didn’t have a prior relationship with her but was invested in developing one.  She also had other people who she would have known — though you’re right, they wouldn’t have known her in return — who she could have developed new relationships with.  And the Doctor didn’t CHOOSE to send her through to the alternate universe the first time — it happened by accident.  By the time she came back for Journey’s End she would have been there for what? Two years or so?  She would have already made a life there by that point.

            And she had to realize the risk to her personal relationships after she came home 12 months after leaving with the Doctor instead of 12 hours.  Or when Jack got left behind.  (Though in his case, it wouldn’t have mattered because he’d been traveling through time even before meeting the Doctor)  When you’re traveling through time and space, sometimes things happen. 

            As for the scene with the Doctor-Donna, I thought it was far more telling that he was still thinking like the Doctor through the rest of the episode.  The things that occurred to Donna didn’t come from him as well — he was more like what the original Doctor described him as: “That’s me without you (Rose).”  A few small speech affectations aren’t all that serious of a change.

            And yes, there was a time lag between the Doctor’s past and his involvement with Rose that was missing with the copy Doctor.  But there’s a difference between STARTING a relationship with a girl and CONTINUING a relationship.  This wasn’t some girl he just met;  there was a certain history there. 

            I don’t think it’s a storybook ending but I don’t think it was this tragic fate either.

          • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

            Mickey wasn’t there with her at the end. She was left on a planet where the only person who knew her for any longer than a year or two, was her mother. There’s simply no getting around that. “Close copies” of all her friends and acquaintances isn’t much of a consolation prize, especially since none of them knew her. And yes, she’d been there for two years at the point; two whole years that she spent trying to find a way to leave that earth.

            Sorry, but waving away these points as insignificant just doesn’t work for me. Rose’s ending was anything but happy and MILES from romantic, even though Davies clearly thought it was.

        • Anonymous

          What struck me about the Rose relationship was that the relationship and her affection began with 9. It then transferred to 10 and developed. And although the Doctor is still the Doctor, each regeneration has enough of a different personality (and appearance of course) to make them a different proposition as a potential partner. So, was Rose in love with the very core of the Doctor (9&10), underneath the altered personality and appearance or, was she in love with the life and had the lucky strike of landing up with a Doctor (10) whom she was also attracted to and was able to overlook the differences to her original Doctor.

          The former would mean she had indeed lost what she really loved and 10.5 would never measure up (but I think that gives her too much credit personally). The latter would mean she mourned the loss of the lifestyle, but had enough of the man to keep her happy, plus the things the ‘real’ Doctor could never give her, and could again overlook the differences.
          I agree though, it was the Doctor I felt for at the end far more than Rose. She was given a future at the expense of his own.

  • Lattis

    T & Lo thank you! Your comments on Torchwood are so on point. Your comments on Dr. Who are something I’ll be thinking about and we (here at casa Lattis) will be discussing in depth. Kisses and Hugs. 

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree with your Torchwood assessment. I’ve been complaining about the lack of movement in the series the whole time and worried that we were going to get the big clusterfuck finale where it is all explained really quickly. And yes, why not stick Danes in cellar? How the hell did he even get to Wales? They’re in Shanghai and Buenos Aires all of a sudden? My son gets very irritated with me because I yell out these types of questions while we’re watching the show.

    I’m seriously considering changing my screen name to Big, Scary, Magical Vagina.

    As far as Doctor Who goes, I always figured the playing with memory, timelines, rewriting time was a way for the writers to keep all their options open as far as what they want to do with the characters. The ultimate retcon backlog. I agree that any resolution of the current story threads will not be pretty. But I’m not sure anything will be fully resolved. Every time we get close to understanding what is going on, more questions are left dangling.

  • http://twitter.com/ConnieNick136 Connie Nicholson

    All I can say is that Jilly must have a magic suitcase to have packed so many big purses that go so well with all the dresses and coats she was wearing. I especially like the lipstick red bag.

  • http://twitter.com/dialmformichele Michele Rosenthal

    As always, I’m nodding in agreement and beyond pleased about the Doctor Who nod. Only thing I wanted to add was: did they have to make the evil CIA agent a lesbian? I wasn’t just imagining that, right? I suppose it goes hand in hand with the Evil Vagina.

    • Anonymous

      Was she gay? I didn’t get that myself watching it, and don’t remember anybody explicitly saying anything about it.

  • Anonymous

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  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I was going to say – WTF is this BS, guys? Yes, a life of adventure with The Doctor is often dangerous – that’s kind of the point . Adventure is often risking your life and changing you as a person – or as The Doctor often shows, bringing out those qualities you always had but never exercised before.

    Before she met The Doctor, the best Rose could look forward to was a job at a department store and marriage to Mickey the Idiot. By the time she and The Doctor got “separated forever” by a dimensional barrier, she had put her mother and the successful alternate universe version of her father together, had done and learned enough that she could re-start and run Torchwood London on her own, and even if she was no longer romantically interested in Mickey she’d seen him grow up into somebody pretty impressive. While Martha had a better life starting out (medical student, professional-class family), she learned she was capable of quite literally saving the world and was able to bring her estranged family back together – all despite being the worst written Companion of the new series! (What does it say that I far prefer Freema Agyeman’s Alesha on LAW & ORDER: UK to her Martha on DOCTOR WHO?)

    You might be able to argue what The Doctor did to Donna (taking away her memories of her time with him and returning her to her dull life as a needy office temp) was horrible (I certainly think it was!) – but I don’t blame the character, I blame Russell T. Davies for thinking that was a viable way to end her character arc! Even her brief encounter with him in “The Runaway Bride” changed Donna for the better – when she ran into The Doctor again, she was using her SuperTemp Powers to investigate the Adipose diet plan independently, which she continued to use throughout her run as his Companion. She also turned out to be the Companion most likely to challenge him on his way of doing things, to bluntly remind him he was dealing with non-God Like Beings and needed to show mercy.

    NO RESERVATIONS host Anthony Bourdain often talks about how travel changes you – even the skimming-the-surface, ten days in a new place kind he does. He’s become more socially aware and open to people he wouldn’t  have been open to before – and he’s frequently doing things that are emotionally and physically difficult, and even dangerous, so he and his crew can have adventures for our vicarious enjoyment. It’s the same way with The Doctor’s Companions – they willingly subject themselves to things that are difficult and dangerous, because they want it to open them up more. That’s nothing to be ashamed of – and I don’t get why Moffat feels otherwise, given the alternative is “going back to your beans on toast” life.