New Dr Who Series - Spoilers

As Gretchen said, "Augh! There's chemistry between the Doctor and the Companion! You can't do that!" But then we got to the bits with Captain Jack and, well... I didn't know you could do that on TV! But I guess this is from the UK, the country that brought us Hot Boy-on-Boy Action: the TV Show or whatever it was called. But it's not just the Doctor and Companion(s): everyone hits on the Doctor (and I don't blame them), and there are romantic relationships all over the place (well, okay, at least a few, like the proto-couple on the Game Station in the last two episodes). Buh! Buh, I say!

I finally figured out who Captain Jack reminds me of: the Desert Peach's boyfriend, Rosen. I propose the term "sexually isotropic".

I guess the new doctor being a lot more bitter and willing to kill villains off than I remember any of the previous ones being is what they mean by "edgy". But at least there is support in the backstory, and I like that although he talks a lot of smack about humans, he obviously likes them. Maybe that's edgy too; I'm really not clear on what that means, if it really means anything.

The science was much less wince-worthy than I remember from previous serieses too; the only bit that actually made me think "Did no one involved even graduate from junior high?!" was the Slitheen plan to precipitate a full-out nuclear war on Earth (circa 2006), thus producing a planet-sized mass of radioactive material, which they can sell as starship fuel. Obviously every step of this plan is bogus (except maybe the last step, which could be handwaved), but on the other hand, it required assembling at least three ideas, so at least it was cleverly wrong and stupid.

The strangeness of the future was sort of hit or miss; I liked that the "Last Remaining Human of Earth" was a bitchy trampoline, but not that the game shows of 2000 (okay, plus a few added "disintegrations") are still the cutting edge in suppressing human mental function in the year 200100. The world-eaters in "Father's Day" were pretty cheesy too, but I suppose I should cut the creators some slack for wanting something visual for TV.

Rose rocks on toast. Okay, sure, she almost got the entire universe eaten by bat-winged interdimensional bacteria, but it was just that one time! She thinks fast, acts decisively, dumps anyone who can't deal with alien worlds, and isn't evil; what more can you ask from a Companion?

Although, what's with Companions getting home visits? In the Old Days, Companions didn't even have families, never mind mothers who said, "What the hell are you doing running off with some lunatic who's at least twice your age?!"

I feel sorriest for poor Mickey, although arguably it's his own fault for not moving away and getting a new girlfriend. But he does save the world at least once, and doesn't do too badly against the Slitheen, so perhaps it's for the best.

The new Daleks also rock. I am impressed that they are still very Dalek-like, but much scarier: I don't think the old Daleks could have ever gotten the last word on the Doctor, never mind play mindgames with humans. They wouldn't even have wanted to, I don't think. Plus, Dalek insanity! That's definitely a modern sensibility: no one gets out of war unscathed, not even Villains.

In fact, I liked that almost all the villains were more human, or at least tried to appear so to play on the Doctor's sympathy, not just mindlessly malevolent. (The exception being the ceiling-dwelling furnace-bellied alien in Satellite 5.)

I also liked that settings and villain groups got reused, like Satellite 5/Game Station and the Slitheen. It is interesting that they never went to any other planets (on screen); it was all Earth or Earth orbit, except that one side trip to the Kuiper Belt.

My, that was a deus ex machina (literally) ending to the season. But smooching!

The new regeneration doesn't look nearly as cool as this season's Doctor. Plus, this is already the Tenth Doctor, and we've seen 1-9 plus 13, which doesn't leave much room for future seasons if they're going to keep regenerating him at this rate!

And finally, I think Tamago's link to the story of the canonical OT3 bears reposting. Certain it conveys the experience that some people in the room were having!

* * *

Did I say "finally"? Obviously I didn't mean it, because I had even more thoughts later.

The Doctor is such an adrenaline junkie.
"You hear that?"
"It sounds like trouble."
"Yep!" *big grin*

Random per-episode thoughts:

HUGE SPOILERS BELOW!!

  1. ("Rose"):

    Okay, this episode also not so much with the science. Not the idea that life could be based on long-chain carbon-based polymers, which is at least vaguely plausible, but that the very simple polymers used in commercial plastic products could support life. On the other hand, the Thing in the Vat had to do something to do, apparently enough that they could grow built-in weaponry, so I guess I'm willing to let it slide.

    And our first contest on The Boyfriend Test is Mickey! BZZT!

    I guess Rose does look a little like Buffy from some angles. Only she has an actual figure.

    Wow, someone has actually noticed that wherever Dr Who goes, empire fall and secret bases explode!

  2. ("The End of the World"):

    Definite bonus points for their handling of "This is the day on which the Sun expands into a red giant and engulfs the Earth". On Star Trek or Blake's 7 or even (though I like them otherwise) Andromeda or Farscape, that's all they would have said, leaving the audience to groan in misery or leap through hoops trying to explain it away.

    The tree-chick is so cool! She'd make an excellent Companion! ...oops, maybe not. Bah!

    As with most visual SF (and a fair amount of written SF, really), it seems that in this setting, OSHA was only a temporary abberation.

    I have no joke here, I just like saying "bitchy trampoline".

  3. ("The Unquiet Dead"):

    I admit that my knowledge of C19 fashions is limited, but that doesn't look like the garb of a reputable Victorian woman to me.

    Hey, look, Victorians without completely modern sensibilities!

    Rose appears to have "breeding" to a Victorian? I wonder if that's flattery, or just that she lacks the obvious signs of childhood malnutrition?

    Evil monsters who actually lie!

  4. ("Aliens of London"):

    As previously mentioned, stupidest alien plan EVER.

    I'm not sure I approve of the meme that only skinny people can be trusted to not be anthropophagous alien criminals.

    That light is a good example of "actinic", I think.

  5. ("World War Three"):

    Aliens which, when exposed to common household substances, explode into green goop: check.

    Yay UNIT!

    Okay, that's a clever plan for getting out of a box surrounded by ravening aliens. And it proves that you really can order anything over the Internet.

  6. ("Dalek"):

    Okay, so all those alien invasions the Doctor is always fighting off do leave some debris behind. And someone has noticed.

    Monstercam. That's never a good sign.

    A Dalek with snappy comebacks! Wow!

    That line of dialog should have been "If you're the superior species, why don't you follow me up these stai-- OH BUGGER!"

    You can tell she's a mook; a named character wouldn't sacrifice herself so pointlessly. Well, outside Hong Kong.

    And here we see why the Dalek REMFs who carefully vet the genes of other species before using them to improve the Dalek War Machine are actually useful.

    I don't actually want to bear Goddard's love kittens, but we could practice.

  7. ("The Long Game"):

    Our second contestant on The Boyfriend Test: Adam! BZZT!

    Okay, that's the kind of clever, audacaious, and ultimately short-sighted and suicidal ambition we'd expect from someone who worked for someone who collected Daleks.

    "No one who is promoted to Floor 500 ever comes back." Do you even listen to yourself, chickie?

    Chip zombies! Cool!

    You know, radiator fins would probably work better than reducing the habitability of the human parts of the station.

    For a moment, I thought it might just expire of heat stroke, but no, it had to explode into green goop.

    Go, zombie!

  8. ("Father's Day"):

    Has Rose not watched any TV or seen any movies ever?! Even watching Star Trek will teach you better than that!

    Monstercam still not a good sign.

    Obviously she's just his type, since half her genes are his and half are those of the one he kept.

    Ah, those must be Shadow Dragons: not real creatures, just funny-looking space-time constructs.

    DON'T TOUCH THE BABY! (I'm told that this is actually canon.)

    He's figuring things out awfully fast. I think he's not a loser so much as he has untreated ADD or something.

    Yah, like we knew from the start that wasn't going to happen.

  9. ("The Empty Child"):

    Perhaps you should have looked to see what the rope was attached to before grabbing onto it? Well, it's not like the Union Jack all over your chest really makes you more of a target.

    Not only does he have a tractor beam, but he's smooth! Must be a villain.

    Okay, this is getting creepier and creepier.

    That's a good scam! And she's cute, too.

    Apparently in the future, humanity will expand throughout the Galaxy, meet many other alien races, and "dance" with them. Well, every species needs a niche.

    Yes, I know nanobots aren't themselves visible to the naked eye, but it could be handy to have some kind of visual indicator.

  10. ("The Doctor Dances"):

    All with exactly the same wounds? Yah, okay, it's pretty clear what's going on now.

    "More flexible in who he dances with." Wow, this sure isn't American TV!

    Yep, I was right.

    I guess that wasn't miscasting after all!

  11. ("Boom Town"):

    Even barely humanoid mass-murdering aliens want to date the Doctor!

    "Do you mind? I'm begging for my life here!"

    "You're begging for mercy through the lips of the woman you killed."

    Hrm. That was kind of a deus ex machina ending (literally!). I guess I have to favor erring on the side of nurture vs that of nature, but it still means the Doctor didn't have to follow through on his hard decision.

  12. ("Bad Wolf"):

    I'm sure this would be funny if I actually watched TV.

    Daleks (kinda) with religion. Scary. I wonder if they any particular religious fruitcakes in mind when they wrote this one.

    Augh! They disintegrated Rose! And it's the end of the season, so she could be really dead!

    Whew!

    Yah, okay I can see that was the right thing to do, but still. Ow.

  13. ("The Parting of the Ways"):

    Ah yes, the traditional human solution: get a bigger truck! No other species in the Galaxy is as well-suited to INFERNOKRUSHER as humans!

    Anyone really think they successfully pried it open? It seems much more likely that it just finally believed they were determined and opened on its own.

    Hm, okay, this is a TV villain plan. They could have scorched Earth much earlier than this.

    They exploded Captain Jack!

    On the one tentacle, that was pretty touching. (Even the TARDIS is hot for the Doctor! And smooching! And someone on the level of a Time Lord!) On another tentacle, the same deus ex machina has again saved the Doctor from having to actually make and stick to a difficult choice. (Not that it should have been that tough: when someone says "Stop that, or the hostages get it" and then shoots the hostages himself, your course is pretty clear, even if you are Lawful Good.)

    The Tenth Doctor: Frodo Baggins, Time Lord.


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