TARDIS Thoughts: October 2012

10.31.2012

Decision, and a Possible Short Hiatus

Hi Whovians! Happy Halloween!

So I made a decision: I am going to continue with my original plan to move on to Series 3 and come back to Series 1 and the rest of Series 2 later. I will still watch the Series 7 eps on my DVR to get rid of them but leave the posts in draft, as mentioned before.

So, that said, another bit of news: TARDIS Thoughts may be on a hiatus for the next month. The reason? I signed up for NaNoWriMo, so I'm going to be spending most of my time next month (starting tomorrow) writing! And not for TARDIS Thoughts. But rest assured, the blog will remain up, and I will post if I can. Tonight I will probably try to make the banner and favicon so the blog will look complete.

Anyway, once again, Happy Halloween! A good night to watch Who, methinks!

Oh and one last thing - to any of you Whovians reading this who are affected by Hurricane Sandy, my heart goes out to you. I have been keeping up on the story over here on the West Coast and thanking God I am not on the East Coast right now. Though it sounds like the storm is subsiding now, there was still a lot of damage and a lot of lives lost. I will keep you all in my thoughts. And to my fellow Whovians not affected by Sandy, please find some way to help out those affected by it. It's what the Doctor would do, right?

Happy Whoviween! (Ok, bad joke. I tried).

P.S. On a semi-related note, I came across one of my coworkers wearing this shirt the other day: http://www.hottopic.com/hottopic/PopCulture/MyLittlePony//My+Little+Pony+Doctor+Whooves+T-Shirt-136517.jsp. I love it!

Posted via Blogger for iPod/iPhone

10.23.2012

Episode viewing method change

So my parents were getting kinda annoyed again the other day that my 50+ episodes of Doctor Who (the new Series 7 eps plus all the old ones) were hogging the DVR. Our DVR is shared among all the TVs in the house, so if I fill it up with my stuff, their stuff won't record.

So I set out to find an alternative that would still allow me to watch the old episodes and analyze them for this blog but also allow me to free up space on the DVR.

And I found one: Netflix. I have a Netflix streaming subscription via my Wii, so I checked via my Netflix for iPod/iPhone app to see if Doctor Who was on there. And sure enough, the whole revived series (except series 7, naturally) was on there, as were quite a few entries for pre-revival stuff from the 1970's and '80's. I added it all to my Instant Queue and was able to delete all the old episodes off the DVR, much to the joy of my parents.

What this means for TARDIS Thoughts is now I can watch the episodes in any order I please. I can continue on to Series 3 (my original plan) or backtrack and watch Series 1 and the rest of Series 2 now rather than later. I'm not sure which I'm going to do. To be honest, I don't know why I didn't try finding the old eps on Netflix in the first place. It's a much better setup, especially since something is weird with our DVR where if my parents are watching something recorded on one TV, I get locked out of watching anything recorded on my TV, and vice versa.

One thing I probably will do now though is watch the Series 7 eps just to get them off the DVR, and write the analysis posts for them, but leave them in draft until I get through analyzing the rest of the series and then post them, editing them then if I deem it necessary. I will put a note with them saying they were written before I saw the rest of the series besides the end of series 2, so as not to confuse people.

So that's all I have to say about that.

In other news, TARDIS Thoughts is now listed on the blog directory Technorati! Give it some love over there, k?

Posted via Blogger for iPod/iPhone

10.16.2012

Post for Technorati

Don't mind this post, it's just necessary to add TARDIS Thoughts to the esteemed blog directory Technorati.

NKBNWRVTG3Z3

10.09.2012

Series 2 Christmas Special - "The Runaway Bride"

WARNING: THIS ANALYSIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED DOCTOR WHO OR AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

And with the end of Series 2 proper, we come into something no Doctor Who series/season can do without: the Christmas Special. This particular special, called "The Runaway Bride," is set after the events of "Doomsday" and is teased somewhat at the end of that episode with an unknown bride randomly appearing in the TARDIS.

The episode begins on Earth in London, at a rather lavish church wedding. The bride (who we later learn is named Donna) is all set to go down the aisle, when all the sudden she dissolves into golden dust. Next thing she knows, she's onboard the TARDIS, wedding dress and all, to the surprise of both her AND the Doctor.

Photobucket

As for the Doctor, we last left him alone on the TARDIS, orbiting around a supernova out in the middle of space somewhere, grief-stricken over having lost Rose. (Well, she's still alive. She's just in a parallel world that for some reason even the Doctor has no access to, and is considered dead in her home world). And while he's lost in thought, Donna appears. This is the moment teased at the end of "Doomsday," where she appears and the confused Doctor asks her who she is.

Anyway, neither Donna or the Doctor has any idea how she got in the TARDIS. I mean, he's orbiting around a supernova, so it's not like she could've just walked in or something (and besides, the Doctor carries the keys to the thing - btw, I find it odd that he has to use actual keys to unlock the door; you'd think the Time Lords would have created some more complex lock system for their TARDISes). Donna, meanwhile, is pretty freaked out and wants to leave, but the Doctor points out that they're in space and so she can't just leave. Then the subject of him having traveled with someone else (Rose) comes up, and the Doctor sadly admits that he lost her, but doesn't elaborate. And frankly I think Donna could care less. She just wants to get back to her wedding.

So the Doctor obliges and takes Donna back to London, though he's still stumped as to how she got onto the TARDIS. Donna tries to get a taxi back to the church but learns she must pay extra cause it's Christmas Day. The Doctor gets in with her and then they ride a bit, but get off a short time after, with Donna mad about the higher fare she had to pay. Then, all the sudden these creepy Santa guys show up and seem to be interested in Donna. Donna looks for another cab while the Doctor wanders off assumedly to get her some money for the cab. He finds an ATM and, through the wonders of the Sonic Screwdriver, is able to get the ATM to give him money without using a ATM or debit card. (This reminds me of the movie Race to Witch Mountain, where the kids were able to use their powers to get money out of an ATM). Then he sees the creepy Santas, and provides a distraction to the locals by making the ATM eject wads of cash (again thanks to his trusty Screwdriver) while he pursues the Santas. Donna meanwhile has found another cab and is on her way to the church, but unbeknownst to her, the cab is actually being driven by one of the crazy Santas. The creepy Santa bypasses her stop and takes her out onto a freeway, going who knows where.

The Doctor, meanwhile, has figured out the Santas are after Donna and pursues the cab she is in with the TARDIS. A hilarious scene ensues where he tries to get her out of the car, she won't jump, etc., etc. We also learn that, despite being a great time-and-space-traveling spaceship, the TARDIS doesn't actually fly all that well through normal air. Also the Sonic Screwdriver can unlock the locks on a normal Earthling car. Though I guess that makes sense.

Photobucket

The two rest on top of a building, in which scene the Doctor admits to Donna that the TARDIS is a spaceship. She thinks he's from Mars (classic human reaction). The Doctor, figuring that the Santas are tracking her, gives her a ring that he says will "biodamper" her, making it so the Santas can't find her. (In a nice wedding homage, he slips it on her finger with the words "With this ring, I thee biodamper"). After a short dialogue, Donna admits that her wedding guests probably aren't having that much fun without her.

Cut to a rather wild wedding reception, with dancing and lights and the whole shebang. Donna is livid that they had the reception without her (and also probably that her fiancé is dancing with another girl). Her parents are surprised to see her, naturally. We also meet Donna's fiancé Lance, who she met at H.C. Clements, where they both work, six months previously. Donna eventually decides to just enjoy the party, while the socially awkward Doctor hangs out at the bar. Later, we see him talking to a guy who was in charge of filming the wedding. He shows the Doctor footage of the moment Donna disappeared. The Doctor realizes that Donna's body is full of huon particles, some sort of ancient energy the Doctor believed didn't exist anymore. He realizes that her body, combined with Donna's stress over the wedding, must have reacted with the only other huon particles in the universe - those in the heart of the TARDIS - which is why she got teleported into the TARDIS. He also realizes that the biodamper won't mask such particles, and therefore the Santas have tracked them to the reception as well. The Santas attack, mostly through taking control of the ornaments on the Christmas tree and making them explode, causing mass panic. The Doctor saves the day by thrusting his Sonic Screwdriver into a sound system, causing a high-pitched sound that drives the Santas away.

Photobucket

The Doctor still isn't sure what the Santas want with Donna, though he now knows it must have to do with the huon particles. He gets Lance and Donna to take him to H.C. Clements. Through some research he finds that H.C. Clements is owned by the Torchwood Institute, that pesky "anything that's alien is ours" organization that appeared in the Series 2 finale and which is the subject of the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood. He discovers the building has a secret basement, which leads to a secret tunnel under the Thames River. Down there they find a big hole that seems to go down forever, seemingly into the center of the Earth.

Photobucket

Oh and by the way they also find a big honking spider with a creepily human face. She's the main bad guy for this episode. Earlier in the episode she is seen approaching Earth in a spaceship shaped somewhat like a Christmas star. That scene reminded me so much of the Sailor Moon S movie scene when Snow Kaguya is approaching Earth. Not sure why. Maybe because the spider lady's face reminds me of Snow Kaguya's? Turns out she's the Empress of the Racnoss, a spider-like species that the Doctor says are from the Dark Times but which were wiped out back then by the Time Lords - or so he thought, I guess. She seems to be responsible for the pit; there's something down there that she wants. Meanwhile, Lance is revealed to actually be in cahoots with the Empress (how that happened I have no idea) and has actually been dosing Donna for months with huon particles via the coffee he's been making for her every day. How did he get said particles? Well somehow the Empress figured out how to make them synthetically. Not sure how but apparently she used some of that basement space to do so.

The Empress intends to throw Donna into the pit, but the Doctor saves her and they escape. The Empress decides to then use Lance instead and begins feeding him huon particles against his will. The Doctor and Donna meanwhile head back to the TARDIS, since the Doctor wants to find out what the Empress is looking for down in the depths of the Earth. He takes them back billions of years to when the Earth was just forming, and discovers that a Racnoss ship somehow managed to wedge its way into the center of the Earth back then. The two return to the present, but Donna gets caught by the Empress and the Empress's robotic lackeys (a.k.a. the robotic Santas, now as hooded robots) hold the Doctor at gunpoint. The Doctor then reveals that he is not from Mars, as Donna had told the Empress he was, but from Gallifrey. This reveals to the Empress that he is a Time Lord, at which she is furious because the Time Lords destroyed her kind. The enraged spider lady then brings her ship to Earth - where the unsuspecting Earthlings believe it to be a Christmas star. (It is Christmas Eve, after all). But then said "star" starts firing at anything that breathes. Yeah, ok, not so good.

Long story short, the Doctor manages to flood the place and escape with Donna. Unfortunately, they learn that they drained all the water out of the Thames. Oops.

Photobucket

The Doctor takes Donna home so her parents can know she's all right, but not before offering her the chance to travel with him. She declines. He finally does tell her more about Rose, before letting her go and flying off into the sky. End of episode.

I have to admit, Donna kinda annoyed the heck out of me. And I know I'll be seeing more of her, because she's going to take the Doctor up on his offer after all later on in Series 4 and become his Companion. Hopefully she gets better later on. But in this episode she was just annoying. Maybe because all she really cared about was her wedding, and so she whined a lot. She also did not seem to get along with the Doctor at all. Again, this might all change in Series 4.

I don't have much else to say about this episode. I did sympathize with how devastated the Doctor was over Rose though. I'd be too!

Well, that's it for this episode! Now on to Series 3!

10.08.2012

Series 2, Episode 13 (Finale Part 2 of 2) - "Doomsday"

WARNING: THIS ANALYSIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED DOCTOR WHO OR AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

At long last, part 2 of 2 of the Series 2 Finale.


So, to recap, Part 1 ended with the Void Ship finally opening, and who should appear but...the Daleks, the Doctor's worst enemy. This episode takes place after that. It again opens with a cold open that is similar to the one in "Army of Ghosts," featuring Rose standing on a beach and addressing the viewer in voice-over, ending with "This is the story of how I died."

The main plot of this episode is the Battle of Canary Wharf, a.k.a. a flat-out war where the always-angry, destruction-obsessed Daleks and the emotionless robotic Cybermen have at it with each other, and heaven help any human who gets in the way.

Photobucket

Meanwhile, there's the issue of the breach between worlds through which the Void Ship and the Cybermen got through, which the Doctor needs to fix.

Rose's taunting of the Daleks is probably one of my favorite moments from this episode. She basically tells the Daleks that she killed the Emperor, who is considered to be the creator deity of the Daleks and is thus held in high reverence by the whole Dalek race. She delivers this info with all the smirking satisfaction it deserves too. A "Take that!" moment if there ever was one. Great acting on Billie Piper's part.

Photobucket

Another funny part of this ep (and also I think the previous one) is that the Doctor is frequently seen wearing these retro 3D glasses. The kind with the one blue lens and one red lens that they had before they started making the clear plastic ones we use to watch 3D movies today. It is explained later that these seemingly normal glasses can be used to see "Void stuff," particles that collect around anyone who has traveled through the Void (which is basically anyone that has traveled to any parallel worlds, as doing so in this series requires traveling through the Void). This becomes key in the episode, as Rose, among other characters, has accumulated a pretty fair amount of Void stuff.

Photobucket

Anyway, so as the episode begins, Rose, her friend Mickey (who apparently jumped over from whatever parallel world he had been in since earlier in the series), and a Torchwood scientist encounter the Daleks, and as said before, Rose taunts them. The Daleks try to get either Rose or Mickey to touch the "Genesis Ark" they brought with them, to get it to wake up. Rose remembers an earlier incident when she woke up a broken Dalek with just her touch, and figures the Daleks want her to do the same with the Ark. She stalls, however, until the Doctor can find them.

The Doctor, meanwhile, is discussing humanity (and supposedly a truce) with the Cybermen Captain, when he is rescued by some commandos led by some blond-haired dude named Jake. They take the Doctor back to their world, a parallel Earth where Torchwood also exists, via these things on necklaces that look like the Staples "That was easy" buzzers, only yellow. There they meet Pete Tyler, Rose's dad, who is very much alive in this world, and try to discuss what to do. It's determined that the Doctor must try to close the breach connecting our world to the parallel world, even if it means cutting off contact between the two worlds for good.

Jackie, Rose's mom, meanwhile manages to escape getting turned into a Cyberman (Torchwood's head honcho, Yvonne, isn't so lucky), runs into the Doctor and his group and has an emotional reunion with the parallel-version of her late husband, who somehow recognizes her even though they're not married in the parallel world.

The Doctor then manages to free Rose, Mickey, and the Torchwood scientist from the Daleks, thanks to Rose stalling the Daleks from killing them. Rose asks him about the Ark, which the Daleks claim is Time Lord technology, but he doesn't know anything about it. He then sicks the Cybermen on the Daleks using the Sonic Screwdriver, allowing Rose and co to escape. Mickey, however, accidentally touches the Ark in his flight, activating it.

An even bigger, worldwide-scale battle then begins, with the Daleks taking off into the sky with the Ark, which is revealed to be a Time Lord prison ship full of captured Daleks, and, like the TARDIS, bigger on the inside than on the outside. Meaning that millions of Daleks now get unleashed on the world - not to mention the 5 million Cybermen still on the loose. Naturally, chaos ensues.

The Doctor then sets about trying to close the breach, producing a couple magnetic hooks he intends to attach to the wall. He explains that the breach is in such a condition that everything with Void stuff on it will get sucked into the breach when he tries to close it. Since he himself is covered in the stuff, he's going to use the hook to hang on to for dear life. He then tells Jake and his team, Mickey, and the Tyler family to escape to the parallel world. Rose, naturally, says she's going to stay with him instead and help him, but the Doctor slips a parallel-world-jumping device around her neck anyway, and they all jump to the other world. Rose is like "oh no you don't" and jumps back. The Doctor then has to resign himself to the fact that she's not going to leave and tells her to start up some program to open the breach and then to pull one of the levers the Torchwood people were using to open and close the breach for the "ghost shifts," while he pulls the other lever.

The Cybermen are about to break in, but they are stopped by Yvonne (now a Cyberman) who has somehow regained control of her soul. She buys the Doctor and Rose some time by confronting the other Cybermen and blocking them from going through the door to where the Doctor and Rose are, declaring she has fought for "Queen and Country" and crying one last oily tear of remorse:

Photobucket

The Doctor and Rose open the breach, and then grab onto the hooks for dear life, just as the Daleks burst through the window. The millions of Daleks start getting sucked into the breach, as do (supposedly) the Cybermen, though the main "Cult of Skaro" Daleks (the original 4 Daleks that attacked) escape through a emergency time rift they just happened to have access to.

And then the awful thing happens. Rose's lever starts to slip the other way, so she lets go of the hook with one hand so she can grab the lever. Unfortunately, this causes her to start losing her grip, and she ends up having to hang onto the lever for dear life. But it ultimately fails her. And this happens:

Photobucket

Yep, Rose gets pulled into the breach (she has Void stuff on her, remember?). The Doctor realizes what's happening and has a big NOOOOOOO! moment.

Photobucket

But Rose gets sucked in anyway, and just before the breach closes parallel world-Pete Tyler jumps in from his world, catches her, and takes her with him. The Doctor wanders to the wall where the breach had been in a shocked daze, leaning against the wall devastated, while Rose does the same in tears in the other world. Pete Tyler notes that those buzzer devices no longer function, a sign that the breach has been closed.

The Doctor then walks away, and on the other world Pete and the others try to comfort Rose.

Some time passes, and Rose narrates that some time after the previous incidents she had a dream that the Doctor was calling her name. She tells Pete, her mom Jackie, and Mickey - the only ones that would understand - and they set out in her dad's Hummer-sized SUV to follow the voice. They track it to a small bay about 50 miles outside of Bergen, Norway (how they got across the water to Norway is not explained), the same place Rose was seen during the cold opens for this episode and the previous one. The bay, we learn later, is called Dårlig Ulv Stranden, which in Norwegian translates (roughly) to "Bad Wolf Bay," yet another nice reference to the "Bad Wolf" arc in Series 1.

Photobucket

Once there, the Doctor appears as a ghostly projection. Rose runs to him. The Doctor explains that he's found the last breach between our world and the parallel world, and is using it to see her one last time and say goodbye, orbiting the TARDIS around a supernova to do so (he quips that he's "burning up a sun just to say goodbye"). She comments sadly that he looks like a ghost, so he uses the Sonic Screwdriver to up his resolution so that he looks more lifelike. He's still just a projection, though, so he tells Rose she can't touch him. Plus, they only have 2 minutes before the breach closes. They quickly make small talk. Rose tells the Doctor her mother is three months pregnant and then jokes that she is back working as a shop girl, before finally revealing that she's going to put her knowledge of aliens to good use by working at the parallel world's re-opened version of Torchwood. The Doctor is impressed, calling her "Rose Tyler: Defender of the Earth" while cracking a smile.

The Doctor, however, has news of his own. He tells Rose that, back on her home world, she's listed as having died during the Battle of Canary Wharf. Rose, in tears, asks him if they will ever see each other again, to which the Doctor replies she can't. She asks him what he plans to do now, and he says he will keep on traveling, alone. She breaks down and confesses to him that she loves him. The Doctor is touched, and then says,

Quite right, too. [Pause] And I suppose, if it's my last chance to say it: Rose Tyler...
And then the breach closes and his projection cuts off. Literally, he says "Rose Tyler..." and then it cuts off. As they called it in one of the specials, it's like "the worst dropped call ever." I agree. Even executive producer Julie Gardner said she believed the Doctor was going to say "I love you" back (according to the episode commentary), and supposedly he gets another chance when Rose makes an appearance at the end of Series 4, so I'll look forward to that.

This video shows the majority of the scene:



Even though I kinda knew what was going to happen to Rose in this episode already from the specials, I was still sad about the end of this episode. I mean, the Doctor and Rose seemed like such the perfect couple, and then to get torn away like that....that stinks. I mean, I know that Billie Piper was leaving the show and they had to write Rose out somehow, but man what a whammy of an ending, huh?

For some reason, this episode reminded me a lot of the episode "Worlds Apart" from season 4 of Fringe. In that episode, the two worlds - ours and the "Other Side" - are faced with a dilemma where both worlds are in jeopardy thanks to the plans of the menace David Robert Jones, who utilizes former Cortexiphan patients and their parallel world doppelgangers to cause earthquakes on both sides. The only way to save everything is to shut down the bridge that Peter created between the worlds, despite the fact that the existence of the bridge is helping the Other Side to recover from the damage it sustained due to the two worlds' fight for energy - some of the previously "ambered" areas are being reopened, for example. In the end, even though neither side really wants to cut off contact with the other, they decide to do it cause frankly they don't really have a choice if they want to save their worlds. The end result is a little happier though in that Peter decides to stay in our world. Anyway, I thought the two episodes were similar. Actually, Fringe and Doctor Who are probably similar in lots of ways. I should do a comparison some time.

Well, that's all I have to say about this episode. More next time!

Screencaps are from the website Sonic Biro.


10.07.2012

Series 2, Episode 12 (Finale Part 1 of 2) - "Army of Ghosts"

WARNING: THIS ANALYSIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED DOCTOR WHO OR AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

And here we are, the Series 2 Finale, Part 1 - "Army of Ghosts."

The episode begins with a cold open of Rose standing on a beach, remembering her time with the Doctor. The voice-over ends on an ominous note: "This is the story of how I died."

Anyway, in this episode the Doctor and Rose head back to London so Rose can visit her mum. They soon become aware that something odd is going on, especially when Rose's mum Jackie announces that Rose's grandfather, who's been dead for 10 years, is coming to visit.

Jackie fills them in - for the last few months, strange "ghosts" have been appearing in shifts throughout London. She seriously thinks that one of them is her late father, but the Doctor says it isn't really him.

Meanwhile, we find out - through the power of third-person omniscient TV narration - that the Torchwood Institute, headed by Yvonne Hartman, is behind the ghost shifts. The shifts occurred cause Torchwood discovered a breach between our universe and other universes and has decided to exploit it while they can instead of closing it. This leads the Doctor to go investigate the place, only to get taken captive along with his TARDIS and Jackie, who he pretends is Rose while the real Rose hides inside the TARDIS.

The rest of the episode, therefore, involves the Doctor, Jackie, and Rose all in Torchwood trying to figure out what's going on. The Doctor identifies the strange spherical object Torchwood captured as a Void ship, a ship meant to travel in the nothingness between universes. It's supposed to be impossible, but what do you know, it exists. Rose, meanwhile, gets sealed into the room with the Void Ship and reunites with her old friend Mickey.

Things get drastic when three Torchwood employees, who seem to be under some mind control via their com line headsets (which look suspiciously like standard-issue Motorola hands-free headsets), start up an unscheduled ghost shift. The shift, which doesn't end as soon as it's supposed to, results in the "ghosts" being revealed to be Cybermen, these soulless, emotionless robot things. The Cybermen then begin invading everything in sight, including people's homes. When they show up in Torchwood, the Doctor questions their leader on how they got the Void ship, since the Cybermen aren't capable of that kind of technology, to which their leader replies that they did not make it, but simply followed it through the breach.

The sphere activates while all this is going on and starts to open. Mickey, thinking it'll be full of Cybermen, prepares to fire at it, but to his, Rose, and Mickey's Torchwood colleague's horror, the Void Ship is revealed to be full of Daleks. And...that's where the episode ends. To Be Continued.

I admit, I probably was not as into this episode as I was the following one. Less action in this one. Still, I liked it.

One funny moment is when Jackie fills the Doctor and Rose in on the ghosts, leaving the Doctor bewildered:

What do you mean, shift? Since when did ghosts have shifts? Since when did shifts have ghosts? What's going on?

To which Jackie says to Rose:

Oh, he's not happy when I know more than him, is he?

Of course he's not happy, Mrs. Tyler. The Doctor's supposed to be essentially omniscient. Or at least he can see all time at once.

The sequence where the Doctor watches the things about the Ghosts on TV is pretty funny. It starts with some program called Ghostwatch, hosted by a rather enthusiastic dude. Followed by a weather report predicting ghosts. Followed by what is apparently a parody of Trisha Goddard, a British talk show that seems to be kinda like Jerry Springer a little bit, starring Trisha Goddard herself interviewing a woman who has fallen in love with a ghost (and who, I noticed, has the exact same type of accent as Amy Pond). Followed by a short clip of a ghost hunter, then an advertisement for a cleaning solution called "Ectoshine" that keeps ghosts looking white and fresh. These are then followed by news reports from France, India, and Japan, which clue the Doctor in to the fact that the Ghosts are all over the world, not just in London.

I found the Japanese news bit the funniest. The lady comes on and says something like "Nihonjin wa min'na okashi!" (roughly, "All the Japanese people are unusual"). And then we see two excited young Japanese girls wearing these shirts:

Photobucket

Leave it to the Japanese to turn something like this into a pop culture phenomenon. LOL.

Also, coincidentally, this episode marks the debut of Freema Agyeman to Doctor Who, in this case as a Torchwood employee named Adeola:
 
Photobucket

Apparently Agyeman's performance in this episode so impressed the showrunner Russell T Davies that he invited her back to the show to play Martha Jones, the Doctor's Companion in Series 3!
 
Being that this episode is about ghosts, the writers couldn't resist throwing in a funny Ghostbusters reference or two, as seen here with the Doctor's backpack:

Photobucket

There's also this exchange between the Doctor and Rose, where he pops up behind her with a large backpack and a hosepipe in his hand:
DOCTOR: Who you going to call?
ROSE: Ghostbusters!
DOCTOR: I ain't afraid of no ghosts.
The whole sequence when the Doctor claims Jackie is Rose is pretty funny:

YVONNE: Oh, plenty of time for that. But according to the records, you're not one for travelling alone. The Doctor and his companion. That's a pattern, isn't it, right? There's no point hiding anything. Not from us. So where is she? 

DOCTOR: Yes. Sorry. Good point. She's just a bit shy, that's all. 

(The Doctor reaches in through the slightly open door and grabs the first person he can.) 

DOCTOR: But here she is, Rose Tyler. 
(Oh no it isn't.) 

DOCTOR: Hmm. She's not the best I've ever had. Bit too blonde. Not too steady on her pins. A lot of that.
(Yakkety yak.) 

DOCTOR: And just last week, she stared into the heart of the Time Vortex and aged fifty seven years. But she'll do. 

JACKIE: I'm forty. 

DOCTOR: Deluded. Bless. I'll have to trade her in. Do you need anyone? She's very good at tea. Well, I say very good, I mean not bad. Well, I say not bad. Anyway, lead on. Allons y. But not too fast. Her ankle's going.
JACKIE: (sotto) I'll show you where my ankle's going.


Oh and also when Jackie is revealed to be not Rose but Rose's mother, the dialogue is great:


RAJESH [OC]: Yvonne? I think you should see this. We've got a visitor. We don't know who she is, but funnily enough, she arrived at the same time as the Doctor. 

(Yvonne turns her laptop so the Doctor can see Rose and Rajesh on the webcam.) 

YVONNE: She one of yours? 

DOCTOR: Never seen her before in my life. 

YVONNE: Good. Then we can have her shot. 

DOCTOR: Oh, all right then. It was worth a try. That's, that's Rose Tyler. 

ROSE [on screen]: Sorry. Hello. 

YVONNE: Well, if that's Rose Tyler, who's she? 

JACKIE: I'm her mother. 

YVONNE: Oh, you travel with her mother? 

JACKIE: He kidnapped me. 

DOCTOR: Please, when Torchwood comes to write my complete history, don't tell people I travelled through time and space with her mother. 

(Clunk!) 

JACKIE: Charming. 

DOCTOR: I've got a reputation to uphold.

Well, that's all I really have to say about this episode. Cheerio!


Screencaps are from the website Sonic Biro. Highlighted quotes taken from The Doctor Who Transcripts.

Edit: I apologize that there is not much analysis in this post. When I wrote this I was very tired, having just come from a fun night seeing a performance of Jekyll & Hyde starring one of my favorite American Idol alums, Constantine Maroulis. (It's definitely worth seeing - it'll be leaving my area after tonight and starting a national tour before hitting Broadway next April, so check it out if it hits your area!) I would've waited till this morning to write the post, but I had it scheduled to post at 8 a.m. so I wanted to have it actually written by then. I also wrote the finale posts backwards, doing "Doomsday" before this one. I promise to do better on the analysis part of this blog from now on. I'm still figuring stuff out at the moment. Please forgive me.

10.06.2012

Series 2, Episode 11 - "Fear Her"

WARNING: THIS ANALYSIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED DOCTOR WHO OR AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Hello there! Here we are at Series 2, Episode 11, "Fear Her."

This episode was kinda weird to watch, because, well...it's about the 2012 Olympics:

Photobucket

Now, to the original viewers of this episode in 2006, this wouldn't have been so weird. But here I am watching it in September 2012 (it's October now but I watched this in September), literally just a little over a month since the 2012 Summer Olympics ended. So it's just kinda weird to watch it so soon after the actual event being portrayed. 

Despite this being an episode that was supposed to be lighter than the Series 2 finale, I found it to be a bit creepy. See, the episode is about this girl, Chloe Webber, who is being used by an alien entity, and the episode has a lot of the marks of those "demon possessed child" stories. The whole scene where the Doctor tries to talk to the entity inside Chloe reminded me very much of a scene where a priest or pastor might try to cast a demon out of a child. Not that I have actually seen any movies of this kind (movies like The Exorcist or The Exorcism of Emily Rose); I hate horror movies. But I have read Frank Peretti's spiritual warfare-focused novels This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, and I think those have scenes like that.

I do have to admit there were some lighter moments in this episode, like when the guy laying the asphalt in the street gets angry about Rose using his shovel to look for the Isolus pod. The Doctor and Rose posing as police officers is pretty funny too. Also, there's this freeze frame bonus: the sign next to where the TARDIS parks at the beginning of the episode says "No parking in front of these gates":


Photobucket

Also, when the TARDIS initially parks, the Doctor parks it wrong, making the door face the wrong way:


Photobucket

Awkward...

Anyway, the Doctor and Rose are in town to see the Olympics. Rose, a native Londoner, is pretty excited about the Olympics being in her city. The Doctor then gets nostalgic about his own previous experiences at the Olympics, particularly the 1948 London Olympics when he had some kind of cake with "ball bearings you can eat" (it seems he was referring to cakes topped with metallic dragée).

Things get scary however once Rose sees a "missing child" flyer, and the two learn that some children have gone missing on that street recently. Masquerading as police officers, the two try to get information from the people on the street. It seems that not only have children been disappearing, but cars keep breaking down in the middle of the street. This worries the people, especially since the Olympic Torch is supposed to pass down the street, meaning the street has to look its best.

Enter young Chloe Webber, a lonely girl whose room is dark and full of drawings. It turns out that she seems to be the source of the trouble, and even her mom is afraid of her. Rose also discovers a scary, almost demonic drawing hanging up in the closet, which Chloe says is a picture of how she sees her late father in her dreams. The Doctor decides to get to the bottom of this and uses his special telepathy powers on young Chloe so he can address whatever entity is using her body:


Photobucket

This is when we have that scene I mentioned that reminded me of a "pastor trying to cast out a demon" scene. Despite being fairly facetious throughout most of the episode, the Doctor gets REALLY serious in this scene. And it works, because he finds out what's going on: Chloe is being used by an Isolus, an empathic alien life form that generally travels through the universe with its billions of brothers and sisters on an endless journey through space. Having crash landed on our planet, the Isolus empathized with the also-lonely Chloe (who misses her dad, even though he abused her when he was alive). The Isolus, out of its intense desire for companionship and love, causes Chloe to draw real things and people, which then disappear in real life and become living drawings, providing friends for the two lonely souls.

Unfortunately, since the Isolus is accustomed to traveling with billions of siblings, this prompts the Isolus to use Chloe to steal not just some neighborhood kids, but also the Doctor, the TARDIS, and the whole crowd at the Olympics Opening Ceremony. This not being enough, the Isolus prompts Chloe to draw a picture of the Earth (the assumption being that this would trap all the people on the Earth in a drawing).

The Doctor being out of commission, Rose has to solve this one on her own. She manages to find where the Isolus pod is and brings it to Chloe. However, they also need heat and a symbol of love in order to get the Isolus pod back into space. The Doctor helps out on this one, drawing the Olympic Torch from inside his drawing, and pointing to it. Rose notes this - realizing that Chloe didn't draw the Torch - and remembers that the torch bearer is set to come down that street. When the Torch bearer does come down the street, Rose throws the pod into the torch, which sends up a powerful flame before settling.

This act brings back all the kids, the cat Chloe had stolen, and the Olympics crowd.  Rose also realizes that, with the children coming back, the demonic-looking drawing of Chloe's dad will come to life too. However, she and Chloe's mom are able to calm Chloe down enough to make that monster go away too.

However, the Doctor and the TARDIS are still missing. Rose begins to worry about where he could've gone. Then, all the sudden, while watching the TV at Chloe's house, she sees the Olympic torch bearer falter and fall. But then who should appear on screen to take up the torch, but...the Doctor himself!

We get to see the Doctor, to the bewilderment of the commentator, carry the Torch all the way up to the big Torch at the stadium (NOT the actual Olympic stadium btw; they used a stadium in Cardiff to film this at). There he lights the big Torch and bids the Isolus be free and return to space.

Photobucket

The Doctor and Rose then reunite and they start to head off to go see the Games, watching some fireworks in the distance. Rose says confidently that nothing can ever split them up, but the Doctor doesn't sound so sure...and comments ominously, as he looks up into the sky, that a storm is brewing.

Now that I think about it, this was a lighter episode than the Series 2 finale. Still, it was creepy in many ways.

One thing I thought of during this episode was the similarity between the picture of the Isolus's mother that Chloe draws and the Kisenian flower from Sailor Moon R The Movie
Photobucket
       
Photobucket

Ok, maybe not that close. But I thought of it.

Also, apparently the Doctor's "prediction" that Papua New Guinea will surprise the world in the shot put turned out to be false in the end in real life. Well, the Doctor's not perfect.

My initial impression of David Tennant as the Doctor changed in this episode. I had this impression of him as an absent-minded guy with a seemingly perpetual bedhead, and not at all like the b.a. Doctor the Ninth Doctor seems to be. But he's actually growing on me. Who knew?

Rose was also great in this episode, solving much of the mystery on her own. I was proud of her!

Oh, and who knew the Doctor was a Trekkie? Apparently he is, as he flashes the classic Vulcan salute in this episode with pride:

Photobucket

Interestingly, given the fact that the Doctor essentially gives Chloe her life back by saving her from the Isolus, the "live long and prosper" connotation of the Vulcan salute is very symbolic here IMO.

Oh, and the Doctor finally gets some of that cake with edible ball bearings that he loves in the end, courtesy of Rose. How nice of you, Rose! (Though where she got the cake I'd like to know...they never left that cul-de-sac, right?)

Photobucket

So, creepy "demonic possession" connotations aside, I did like this episode. It's worth a watch!  

Screencaps are from the website Sonic Biro. Kisenian Flower pic from TinyStar Screencaps Sailor Moon R Movie Gallery.

10.05.2012

Series 2, Episode 10 - "Love & Monsters"

WARNING: THIS ANALYSIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED DOCTOR WHO OR AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Hi, everybody! Welcome to my first "analysis"! As explained in the introduction post, I am starting with this episode because it was the oldest on my DVR. So here goes.

"Love & Monsters" is an odd episode because the Doctor isn't in it very much at all. You could pretty much write the Doctor out and turn it into an episode of any other sci-fi show. Supposedly the explanation for this is that David Tennant (Doctor) and Billie Piper (Rose) were off filming other episodes. Hey, if that works, sure.

Instead, the episode is essentially a video diary recorded by a guy named Elton Pope, who became obsessed with the Doctor and the TARDIS after having encountered the Doctor in his house at a young age and also had a variety of strange things happen to him, from witnessing an alien ship flying overhead (a reference to an earlier episode) to having his apartment window spontaneously break. Oh and he also met up with the Doctor and Rose, it seems, in some abandoned warehouse. He does some searching on the Internet, and through this finds a blog run by a girl named Ursula.

I admit, I laughed a bit when I saw Ursula's blog. You have to remember, this episode is from 2006. And Ursula's blog header looks a little...well, outdated now in terms of graphic design. But then I'm pretty bad at graphic design myself, so who am I to judge? I think I probably made a header image just like this back then:


Photobucket

Oh, and the scene I mentioned earlier with Elton meeting the Doctor and Rose features a fair amount of this going on:

Photobucket

This sort of sequence is a classic comedy bit, in which the set is a stationary hallway with doors going off of it, and the camera remains focused on the center hallway. All the viewer then sees are the characters rushing by from one or more of the doors, either chasing their enemy or being chased themselves. For some reason this scene reminded me of Star Wars, though I can't remember if Star Wars has a scene like this or not. 

Anyway, back to the main plot. So, Elton finds this blog, sees a picture of the Doctor he remembers on it, and gets together with its writer, Ursula. My first impression of Ursula is that she looks a lot like Velma from Scooby-Doo. I mean, compare the two and tell me she does not look like Velma.

Photobucket     Photobucket  

So Ursula and Elton become friends, and she invites him to be part of a group of people who get together every week and talk about the Doctor. The other members of the group, besides Elton and Ursula, are a guy named Mr. Skinner, a girl named Bliss, and a lady named Bridget who is in London to look for her daughter, who she thinks was taken by the Doctor.

Photobucket

Their group meets in the basement of a library, and gradually becomes just an excuse for them to hang out together. They start a band at one point, then at another point they spend time enjoying Bridget's cooking, and at yet another point they become an informal sort of writing workshop for Mr. Skinner's novel. 

And then this guy shows up:


Photobucket

Victor Kennedy. Man, is he creepy. Generally, I distrust people in trenchcoats even in real life. And this guy's got a trenchcoat, a big scary hat, and a cane worthy of Lucius Malfoy. He says that the group (which by now has been named LINDA, or the London Investigation 'N' Detective Agency) has lost their focus and immediately sets them to work researching the Doctor. It's revealed that it was during this process that Elton's previously shown encounter with the Doctor and Rose actually occurred. Unfortunately, since Elton did nothing but stand there like an idiot during that scene, Kennedy is not so pleased with him. 

So Kennedy decides to take a different approach - find the Doctor through his Companion. Unfortunately, he can't find any decent data on her because her files are messed up. So he gives each member of LINDA a rather indistinct photo of the Doctor's Companion (Rose) and sends them out to find her. Elton notes that when he encountered her before she had a London accent, so they do their searching there. There's a nice reference in this scene for those who have watched Series 1 - Rose's file is said to be infected with the "Bad Wolf virus," a reference to the Bad Wolf arc in Series 1. It's also mentioned that the files Kennedy has are from Torchwood, an organization whose name was sprinkled throughout Series 2 (as a way of leading into the spin-off show of that name) and who finally appears in the Series 2 finale.

Elton gets lucky and finds someone who identifies the girl in his picture as Rose Tyler. He gets luckier still when he encounters her mother Jackie at a laundromat and manages to become friends with her. To be honest, I find the amount of good luck he has during this process hard to believe, but I guess it makes sense for moving the plot along.

Jackie on the other hand seems to develop feelings for Elton, in an almost Mrs. Robinson sort of way, and even attempts to seduce him to the tune of a romantic Il Divo song. But their relationship ends when Elton runs out for pizza and Jackie finds his photograph of Rose in his coat pocket. She swears she'll keep the Doctor and Rose's secrets safe to the end of her life, and tells him to leave her alone.

Victor Kennedy gets mad at Elton again, and Elton gets mad right back, pointing out the disappearances of Bliss and Bridget, both of whom had been asked by Kennedy earlier in the episode to stay back a moment when the group was leaving. He convinces Ursula and Mr. Skinner to both quit along with him, and manages to actually ask Ursula out while he's at it, since he's realized he loves her. Mr. Kennedy asks Mr. Skinner to stay back a moment. He hesitates, but then complies when Kennedy says he might have a number to reach Bridget. Elton and Ursula then leave, but Ursula realizes she forgot her phone, so they go back.

When they return, Kennedy has a newspaper in front of his face, and tries to excuse Mr. Skinner's absence by saying he must be in the restroom. Elton notes that Kennedy's hands look weird, and the newspaper comes down to reveal:


Photobucket

This dude. A freaky alien dude (designed by a kid for a contest btw), which Elton names an Abzorbaloff. It turns out that whoever touches this guy gets absorbed into his body, a process which is irreversible. The two try to stop him, but Ursula ends up getting absorbed. Thankfully, she is able to read the alien's mind and warn Elton that he's next. Elton makes a break for it, with the Abzorbaloff not far behind.

Unfortunately, Elton ends up in a dead end. The Abzorbaloff is about to absorb him too, when what should appear but...the TARDIS!

I love how the Doctor is at this moment. He just says nonchalantly, "Someone wants to talk to you," and then backs away to reveal Rose. He doesn't seem concerned at all.

Anyway, apparently Rose has been chatting with her mum about how Elton treated Jackie, and Rose is p-ed off. She goes off on Elton for upsetting her mum. Elton, meanwhile, is like, "Hello, dangerous alien here, and you're going off on ME?" The Abzorbaloff notices the Doctor is there and is overjoyed, since the Doctor was his ultimate target all along. Rose comments that he looks Siltheenish, and the Doctor asks him if he is from the planet of the Siltheens (which has a really-hard-to-pronounce name). The alien says he spits on those swine and is in fact from the planet Clom, the twin planet of the Siltheens' planet. He is about to go for the Doctor, but Ursula has a better idea and tells all the other members of LINDA to pull as hard as they can on the monster's body. This forces the alien to drop his cane. Ursula then tells Elton to break the cane, which he does, causing the Abzorbaloff to dissolve into a puddle of goo. The Doctor explains that the cane contained a sort of force field keeping the Abzorbaloff's body together. Elton, however, is sad about losing Ursula.

We go back to Elton filming his video diary, during which he comments about what happened. He also reveals that the Doctor told him why he was in Elton's house the day the young Elton saw him - he was chasing an elemental shade. He defeated the shade, but was unable to save Elton's mother. Elton admits to his diary that he had forgotten that his mother had died that same night. (Suppressed the memory, most likely). 

Elton feels he has paid a price for encountering the Doctor, and wonders when Rose and her mother will have to do the same (prophetic words considering what happens a couple episodes later in the 2-part Series 2 finale). We then hear a voice telling him to cheer up, and Elton tells us that the Doctor did him one last favor - he used the Sonic Screwdriver to kinda-sorta save Ursula. She couldn't be fully reconstituted after being absorbed by the alien, but the Doctor was able to keep Ursula's essence and face alive inside of a paving stone from the area the Abzorbaloff was absorbed by, by way of the Screwdriver. Elton keeps said paver in his room and says he and Ursula even have a sort of love life.
 
Photobucket

In the end, Elton admits his life isn't exactly normal or conventional, but says "the real world is much stranger than that; it is so much darker, madder, and so much better."

Like I said, this is an odd episode. But not a terrible one. The alien was pretty creepy but I've seen creepier things. (My parents watch Fringe. Nuff said). And not a bad intro to the Doctor and Rose either.

So, that's my first analysis! Hope you liked it! Stay tuned for more!

Screencaps are from the website Sonic Biro. Velma image I found via Google Images.

10.01.2012

Introduction

Hi there! Welcome to TARDIS Thoughts, a blog where I analyze the heck out of the sci-fi phenomenon that is Doctor Who.

I just finally decided to watch this series, so I'm "new to Who," as the current hashtag de jour goes. I'd heard of the series before now, though, though I don't remember how I heard of it. Technically my first episode was "The Satan Pit" (series 2, episode 9) -- I watched it cause I had a half hour till something I wanted to watch was going to be on. What I didn't realize was that Doctor Who eps are an hour long, meaning I missed the show I wanted to watch (I don't think we had a DVR then). Also, that episode is NOT the one to watch if, like me, you can't stand horror movies. It scared the living daylights out of me. (The fact that it's about Satan might've had something to do with it, since I'm a Christian and have been brought up with a certain view of Satan...though this view did not include him looking like some huge, scary Balrog - ironically, I was not scared of the Balrog in The Lord of the Rings movies, or even in the Lord of the Rings: The Third Age game I own, where your party has to help Gandalf fight the thing). Basically, unless you are ok with creepy horror-movie-level monsters, you should not watch any episodes of Doctor Who late at night if you can help it. (Same with Fringe actually, for the same reasons - though that show is a little less scary in that regard).

Anyway, that turned me off to the show for a while - well also I don't think we had BBC America at the time (the time I watched it it was on Syfy, which is more likely to be in your cable package than BBC America is, it seems). But then recently, when we got a new cable provider and our package did include BBC America, I decided to start watching the show after seeing all the commercials for Series 7 (the current series/season). But I also wanted to catch up on the old episodes, so I started recording episodes of the show a day or two before the series 7 premiere, since BBC America was doing a Doctor Who marathon leading up to said premiere.

As a result, the episode analysis here will start with the old episodes and gradually work its way to Series 7. I know you Whovians (the fandom term for Doctor Who fans, for those who don't know) reading this are probably more interested in Series 7 right now, but I don't want to be lost on the plot, so I'm playing catchup. (Some shows are like that. Miss even one episode and you'll be lost. Fringe is like this for me. Also SMASH and Pretty Little Liars). But since I started recording late in the marathon, and some episodes were lost due to our DVR's default settings (which keep only 5 episodes of a show), I'll be starting with series 2 episode 10 ("Love & Monsters"), which was the oldest episode on my DVR at the time I changed the settings to record all episodes, and work my way from there. I have all Series 3 and Series 4 on my DVR at present, a bit of Series 6, and of course the episodes of Series 7 that have aired so far. (Plus I had recorded some of the specials - "The Science of Doctor Who," "The Women of Doctor Who," etc - but I already watched those). So I will watch all those, I think, and then backtrack to watch Series 1 and the rest of Series 2 (episodes 1-9). Now is a great time for me to catch up, since Series 7 is on a break till the Christmas Special.

So, want to join me, Whovians? If so, keep TARDIS Thoughts on your radar!

One last note: Since I watched the specials I'd recorded before watching the episodes, I was spoiled on some of the big moments of the series, mostly stuff having to do with the Companions that was discussed in the "Women of Doctor Who" special. Like I know who River Song really is. And what happens to Rose in Series 2. I realize now that I should not have watched those specials, cause I hate spoilers. I've probably gotten some looking up stuff about the show on Wikipedia too, because a lot of spoilers on Wikipedia are NOT marked as such (something that annoys the heck out of me). I will try to keep said spoilers out of my analysis for the sake of other novice Whovians who may not have seen the episodes, but I can't promise they'll be 100% spoiler-free. So each post will have a spoiler warning expressly for this purpose. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

That all being said, I hope you enjoy TARDIS Thoughts! As the Doctor would say, "Allons-y!"

Posted via Blogger for iPhone
 

Subscribe to Tardis Thoughts!

Thanks for visiting TARDIS Thoughts! If you like what you've read, you can subscribe to the blog via an RSS reader or e-mail, using the links below, to keep following it. You can also add the blog to your Technorati favorites using the button at the bottom of this section, and help spread the word about the blog!

 Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe by Email

Add to Technorati Favorites

Next Doctor Who Episode

Doctor Who Series 8

Premiering Autumn 2014

Doctor Who Official on Tumblr