Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jared reviews the REST of "End of Time"

Now here is a rare thing - a story that defies review. (Yes, that's why it's taken me so long) For five minutes or so I tried the old 'write comments in wordpad' trick, but there are some stories where that just doesn't work and this definitely was one of them. Far, far too much going on. I guess the first thing to look at is whether this story has done what it was meant to do.

Firstly, has it broken the completely untenable and banal new tradition of endlessly trumping last years finale? Not a straight-forward answer, really, as the previous finale was about a plan to destroy the Universe by Davros and this one was about a plan to destroy the Universe by Rassilon. Kind of just two sides of the same coin.

Seeing as you cannot go bigger than trying to destroy the Universe by definition, let's break it down further. One has a REAL regeneration as opposed to a really crappy fake one and the first return of the Time Lords versus the 600th return of the Daleks, and a roughly equal amount of returning cast and characters in each.

(Okay... let's see.. Jack, Rose, Martha, Francine, Wilf, Sylvia, Sarah-Jane, Harriet Jones, Mickey, Jacqui, K9 versus Jack, Rose, Martha, Wilf, Sylvia, Sarah-Jane, Mickey, Jacqui, Matron, Donna, Ood Sigma, The Master, Rassilon and Alonso. No sign of the terminally underrated Mr , nor Adam the eco-warrior who wears a lot of hats. Oh, and not even a glimpse of The Bitch on the Bus, I just realised! By my count End of Ten wins out on that front, though no doubt there's plenty of quibble room to debate even counting Rassilon seeing as he never regularly appeared on the show and that Gwen, Ianto and Luke Smith weren't on my list)

Ultimately I'd say this story puts extra pressure on Moffat if anything. Sure, it could be the awareness of the changeover on the producer's chair, but there is a palpable feeling of "Right, follow that you Scottish sweater-wearing bastard!" And given Grand Moff Steven has gone on record as saying he finds the Time Lords boring and doesn't want to write about them, bringing them back and thrusting them to the foremost of the fan consciousness seems like a mite unfair. Painted into a corner with Seals of Rassilon, anyone? That said I've seen the Series 5 trailer and the best way to describe it is very Moffat. With a lot more guns than I think anybody would have expected..

Secondly, has the story closed up the rather abruptly set up arc from Waters of Mars and validated that rather functional story? Not really. It becomes a confusing game of guesswork to the audience as to when, or if, The Time Lord Victorious is around in this one and doesn't ultimately have any bearing on the events that unfold aside from explaining the strainging-sympathy whiny monologuesplosion from Ten at the end of all things.

IF the Time Lord Victorious had been stronger, thinking to change the decision he made in School Reunion and looking at what could be achieved by rescuing the Time Lords and breaking the time-lock, there could have been a bucketload more drama in the guts of the story and not fall back on "I do this and the Universe dies" absolutism. True, it would have made things more convoluted but at least it would have a shot at filing out it's bloody running time. I guess the idea of the TLV was to make it more plausible that the Doctor would shoot either Rassilon or the Master, but it really wasn't gotten across to the audience.

Thirdly, did it address the cliffhanger? Yes. Interestingly, as with the last time in Last of the Time Lords it did it by jumping forward in time a little. Apparently if the Doctor doesn't kick his enemies arse in the space of five seconds there's no point in showing the cliffhanger's immediate aftermath. With that said there was a fascinating mini cop-out involving Donna - the cliffhanger did suggest she would play a crucial role in the story - instead she exploded in a way that made little sense, contradicted everything the Doctor had said about her until that point and vanished her out of the story. Seemingly just to stop her interfering with things.

I guess the most important question, really, is did it give David Tennant a good send-off? And that's a tricky one to answer, seeing as the story does portray him as quite a dick AND also serves perhaps even more so as a farewell to RTD leaving the series. Before I thought little of this as it seemed only a logical way for him to part company with the show and the Doctor at the same time, though part of me was disappointed that we wouldn't get to see Tennant evolving Tom Baker-like under the guidance of three different producers and inspire fans to rant for decades to come how shit his performances became under Moffat, Gatiss and Gervais.

To clarify a point, I do have a lot of respect for freakishly gargantuan Welsh scriptwright Russell Davies, because even though I delusionally enjoy referring to myself as a 'writer' it's easy to recognise when somebody has a level of talent that is beyond you. Davies has a remarkable mind for ideas and knows how to develop something infinitessimally small into a plot that can capture the viewing public's imaginations, and in addition to this he has balls - amply displayed in his quite frankly amazing dispaly of making clear political messages about what's happening in the world in what is seen as a tea-time kid show. And Children of Earth may be best described as him roaring "CALL THAT FUCKING ADULT???" at the regular Torchwood stables.

Furthermore, everytime I essentially say "This is shit" referring to his work, it is actually a lie. Everything he writes is technically sound and accomplished. The matter is a divergence of tastes, in a big, big way. Hell, I'm a dude who thinks Sharpe is among the pinnacle of great television - I like my characters somewhat understated like I am, I want to infer what they think and feel, not be told. When somebody dies I want no music, like there wasn't for Pvt Perkins or Roj Blake or Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner. There's no accounting for taste and it just so happens that RTD likes everything THE EXACT OPPOSITE, which is a frustration I have not dealt with terribly well over the last couple of years.

He likes his characters to shriek out their feelings whilst crying, to hug after doing so, to solliloquize about what exactly somebody means to them. Guardedness and emotionlessness are generally signs of a villain or else somebody who the Doctor will not get on with (Bloody hell, I wonder what RTD would make of ME?)

This is a very big issue in this story, for me personally because this story is very much RTD's last hurrah and as you would imagine there is nothing particularly subtle about this fact. The episode functions as something of a distillation of the entire RTD era, which I imagine would account for some extreme reactions to this episode.

It also doesn't help, as previously mentioned, that as a combination of a celebration of RTD's time at the helm and also an unashamed attempt to one-up the already off-the-fucking-planet Stolen Earth it becomes a complete fanwank extravaganza.

A publicity campaign for this could have spoofed that of cinematic speutum Saw III with a ventriloquist dummy in a Cyberman mask saying via tape recorder "Oh, yes... there will be squee." (Can you guess which word I decided to replace in that sentence?)

For my own part I think the central drama wasn't quite strong enough. RTD has done vanishing tricks too often and to believe that the Time Lord storyline could be concluded would be ridiculous. Any dilemma that could be involved in the Time Lords returning is defused by the fact that if they return a) Earth is annhilated and b) The entire Universe is ALSO annhilated. Obvious questions like "Erm, why can't they end time in their own timeline instead of transubstantiating themselves upon an entirely different planet?" aren't really addressed. It's a foregone conclusion of a few.

What we're to take away from the Time Lords' race is a bit garbled. They've gone from the pompously powerful yet idle beings into pieces of walking mythology, Shakespearian archetypes who sway between relying upon haggard old crones to cackle out meaningless 'prophecies' and bad-ass dudes with Sonic Mittens capable of 5,000 amazing tasks (2,800 of which are entertaining ways to kill people) The suggestion that they have also devolved into genocidal maniacs is also a bit confronting. Some questions are begging to be asked - if the Doctor was involved in the war effort for longer than the Master, apparently on Gallifrey until it's final hours then how did he not hear about the Master's resurrection and eventual escape? Also other questions such as if the Doctor was on the planet, why didn't he rescue any other bloody Time Lords?

The most likely explanation could be that he only convinced the Meddling Monk to come with him and completely disowned him as a useless wanker after weathering the storm in a parallel universe, trapped for weeks with his Matt Lucas incarnation.

Yes, I am now allowing Ben Chatham parody fics into my personal canon. Alyson Hannigan gets to be a companion if nothing else!

It's interesting that the response has firmly been that the Time War should not be depicted but gradually we are straying into that territory and it seems like everyone has had a good point. If they're going to throw up confusing details people will only want more answers and then it really WILL get crap. After all, consensus seems to be that the top and tail of the books' Time War were strong, and the inbetweenies were on the weak side, especially the one known as Lawrence Miles Kills All the Characters (including Essay on how much the Doctor sucks). (retitled Interference for it's North American release so I heard) Naturally with that said Alien Bodies may be the finest written story ever to not have an ending, and The Ancestor Cell is a fine third act to a story nobody was arsed to write. If only they operated like an Al Jaffee fold-in.

But now, back to the future. One great strength of the story is that the Master effectively takes on something of a companion role through the drama alongside Wilf... somebody needs to a sans-companion story where the Master takes the role utterly because it's a terrific setup. There have been many cases of the partnership in the classic series, the terrific Claws of Axos being the first to leap to mind, but not involving the hyper-unpredictable John Simm half Time Lord half insane zombie persona, a Master with a lot of bite. And with Wilf for support - what a team. The cast is terrific, Timothy Dalton added some much needed gravitas to a role that would look quite one-note on the page.

The annoying thing is that for a story that by modern telly standards is quite arse-numbingly long, the setup, although supersized in presentation, is really small-scaled. The entire point of part two is concerned with two set-piece moments involving a handful of characters. The big moments of "Oh no, what happens next??" drama are entirely defused. Firstly, Donna is in absolutely no danger at all and the Doctor apparently knew this, I guess feigning pissing his pants just as a ploy to make the Master look like a right git. Secondly, when the alien spaceship is disabled and the Doctor is in space, he is completely un-stranded and... just feigning being at a loss to make the green aliens look like complete gits. Is he that insecure at this stage he needs others to look stupid?

If you think about it, the course of the story wouldn't really have changed if Wilf and the Doctor never made it out of those chairs they were tied up in. They would have been there when the Time Lords showed up, the Doctor would have gotten the gun (the details aren't important, he would have) and BANG. There you are. First setpiece.

Performances are good but.. ultimately it's strangely dull. If you think for a moment that the Doctor is going to blow somebody's brains out with a six shooter under Julie Gardner's watch I think you're late for your methadone. There is no more foregone conclusion than the Doctor taking a third option that nobody has even alluded to and so he does. Albeit after receiving the information in High Gallifreyan Eye Braille from his mum.

To get to that point, though, we DO get to see Wilf gunning down the entire nuclear arsenal of the United States from the Millenium Falcon , of course, and John Simm beating the shit of Rassilon as he vanishes into what amounts to a gateway to hell. It's hard to think of any cooler moments of padding in the series history. Definitely beats the accumulative half hour we got of Davison wincing quietly as his companions insulted him/said something retarded.

Immediately after that, the second set piece comes - I was about to say one that the show amazingly hasn't used, but then my mind reminded me of Caves of Androzani and pointed out how fucking stupid it would be to forget that. Especially since it makes this story and David Tennant in particular look distinctly unimpressive - when your competition is the absolute best of the best, though, what can you do?

The scene seems to be heavily controversial - for my part I thought it was very well handled. The ego of the Doctor has grown too large and his outbursts in this scene are to show us that it really is time for him to go, and that his anger and bitterness have kept him clutching on to life. Gradually we see his true colours taking over, defeating the resentment he feels at his pathological need to do the right thing - the length of time that he argues the point with himself clearly betrays that he does not believe his argument at all, though the darker side of his mind tries with all its might specifically to believe it.

Apparently the scene was to originally feature a complete random scientist who had had no dialogue at all up to this point in the story, to drive home the fact that the Doctor was giving up his life for a nobody. That would stick closer to the theme, but I think the version as is is more effective. For a start, Bernard Cribbins' performance is brilliant as always. Second, we have the element that Wilf is old, has lived a full life and does not want the Doctor to lay his life down for Wilf. And finally - it is so utterly in character for Wilf to be the one to save the random scientist in the midst of all the chaos, without even thinking of the consequences.

The third point, which I think is very important, is to show that the qualities the Doctor possesses are not just his, to reinforce his companions are chosen for a reason, and that we can be like him. Wilf does what the Doctor knows he shoud do, without thinking. He is ready to die for the sake of somebody he has never met, and is willing to die in place of the Doctor. This does quite a bit to bring the Doctor down to size, from his demigod status...

..which is a bit of a pity because the rest of the story doesn't make much of an effort, does it? He knows the Time Lords' entire plan, already knows the flaws in it, can apparently defy the laws of physics utterly when jumping from speeding spaceships and continues to know more about the working of said spaceships than their owners. A bit of consistency would have been nice.

Also, from my recollection I've reviewed about half of the story. The second half is disgustingly self-indulgent. And the main reason for my lukewarm response - in the finest traditions of clip show television the Doctor goes back to visit all his companions giving the viewer little. Aside from baffling revelations such as two characters have hooked up based purely on their own skin colour and fan judgements upon their acting abilities and decided to run around the abandoned factories from B7 shooting Sontarans as an optimum use of their medical and computer hacking talents. Was there no other way to say "These fuckers will NEVER be part of Torchwood!!"?

On that note I thought the sequence started especially poorly with the Doctor first saving Martha and Mickey from being shot and Luke Smith from being run over by a car, like he's re-enacting the end of fucking Groundhog Day. These losers are his heroic companions? Rushing like lemmings to get themselves killed! How did they ever survive without him! Thankfully the conceit is dropped suddenly, though in the process it's distinctly jarring. The Doctor goes back to his reliable unjustified wish-fulfilment ways.

Oddly the only sequence from that I enjoyed was probably the most self-indulgent - meeting the Matron's descendant in the book shop. But I liked it because it was clever and did very little to talk down to the audience and make it clear what was happening. Took me a moment to remember who she was, actually, which I'm not used to. Of course it's also one of those things that makes less sense when you think about it because it would be more logical to leave the ethnographic present for a few moments and look at the ACTUAL woman you fell in love with as opposed to Daisy Steiner, struggling writer and convenient identical granddaughter.

Once the obligatory Rose Tyler appearance is over, complete with all the "Awww, she's just like us but simultaneously so much better than we could ever be!" nonsense it's time for the Doctor to actually pop his fucking clogs, just as he would have done in the smouldering wreckage of Joseph Naismith's (or Rairf Kcut, if that joke hasn't overstayed it's welcome) lab, alone and friendless, save for the last companion standing to hold his hand and be bewildered if we were in the good old days. But there's nothing without closure now.

He gets an entire bloody day to travel through the time vortex, looking for moments where his companions lives were emperilled enough for him to look cool by rescuing from there own pigheaded foolishness, or else running into hotties that he'd encountered for all of 30 minutes on a previous adventure and so could hook up on a wing and a prayer. Yes, the Doctor enjoys acting as pimp for sole survivors of horrific interspace disasters. Is this the grey morality the character has needed? But anyway, after all this it is at least semi justified as the Doctor gives a self-pitying solliloquie to make sure everyone in the audience is over his shit where he whinges it hasn't been enough, to the bemusement of those half-awake glancing at clocks, and that his audience figures will never be so good again, not even if ITV go on strike again!

Such is his refusal to die that the Doctor effectively DESTROYS THE TARDIS. What a prick, but at least it gives Smithy an excuse to redecorate. And speaking of Smith - no fucking idea. He's on screen for ten seconds and gets to yell nonsense. Nothing to analyse at all, not even to excitingly email your friends and say "See! He ISN'T A SHIT ACTOR HALLELUJAH!" as some may have.

This story and the RTD era are one - it is both awful and brilliant.


5/10

Here's what I had left from my very brief attempts to write a review while I was watching:

Motherfucker, this goes for an hour and twelve minutes? It's like they haven't even put the pausing-it-every-ten-seconds demographic in mind at all!


2:01 - Isn't it interesting that the first story to feature the big-ass wooden collars worn by the Time Lords, Bob Holmes' The Deadly Assassin of course, made it clear that they were

a) Purely ceremonial wear
b) Only worn by members of the High Council, apparently during important ceremonies only
c) Not particularly well-loved by the Time Lords


and all three of those details have since been ignored in just about every Time Lord appearance since. (Although it only shows up once in The Five Doctors, I noticed - at that time worn by Chancellor Flavia bestowing emergency powers upon the Doctor which does rather make sense)


2:16 - Aha, so this is a prequel bit... how many scenes that RTD would never ever show us does that make now? I guess I shouldn't complain - they've all been about stuff we wanted to see anyway...

2:22 - Man... the council standards have dropped a bit. Is this Compassion in her later days?

2:42 - FLAVIA!!!! .... or just some random.

3:17 - THE HAND OF OMEGA!!!! .... or just a death-glove.

4:13 - Two survivors? Locked in time? The enmity of ages? Hey, that old tart's just ripping off unfilmed Eric Saward scripts.

...man, now I've got a bad feeling about this... are they about to pull out the contracts?

Also, any votes for most annoying Oracle ever?

5:00 - I was about to ask how the Master got Wilf out of the tube... then I remembered that this is the bloody Master, the Doctor's intellectual equal, so if anyone should be able to find a way it'd be him.

6:40 - "It was this thing the Doctor did... he did it to her..." Hehehe

6:51 - "He loves playing with EARTH GIRLS *ugh*!" Well, nice to see a return to high camp from the Master but could that be seen as slightly hypocritical from a guy who was recently maried to one and asked her to put a lesbian show with a maid?... or did I just imagine that scene? Was she just a rubbish beard after all?

8:06 - ..like a lot of fans, I am sure, I'm hoping at this stage that Donna's apparent ability to fry Masters in a time-fuelled EMP blast is a freak effect and she is not to be turned into a walking weapon by the end of this story..

9:02 - Wow. The Doctor is verging on obsequious groupy here. What a bizarre thing the Doctor-Master relationship has turned into...


48:57 - See this is the bit I have the bad feeling. It looks like the plot has been resolved and there is nearly 30 minutes left. This had better not be a trademark RTD ending that's as long as the actual storyline...

*

Radar does not actually detect energy - it detects matter. Shutting off the ship's power would achieve absolutely nothing, nor would keeping deathly quiet.

*

Did RTD cameo as a guy running in panic down the Nobles' street?

*

"You weren't there - in the final days of the war?" ... I got the impression that he WAS...

*

Something that will amaze nobody who knows me - when Luke Smith appeared on the phone to Clyde I said "Aww, fuck off!" quite loudly to my computer screen.

*

I also am imagining at the time of writing that the note that Captain Jack has gotten from the Doctor will read "Don't go with the goat man, he'll fuck you up so bad you'll look like Bob Crane." Jack will then write a note back saying "No, I'm into that. And stop reading my Facebook in the future you git." And then the Doctor will write another note back saying "Why the fuck haven't you added me as a friend?" and the scene goes for a very uncomfortable ten minutes.

*

Wait... when was there any suggestion Alonso was gay?

*

FUCK YEAH! Cameo from... okay, it isn't India Fisher she just looks and sounds ever so slightly similar... Spaced Girl? Is that her name? Erm... no. That would be unlikely. She'd be all like "Hey, Simon, I want to do a show." and he'd be "Really, Spacey? What are we going to call it?" and she'd say "You name it after me, you arsehole, because I'm writing it! I bet you'll take all the credit for it on the internet though, as soon as it has been invented because this is the early nineties even though the year's actually around 1998." and Simon says "So THAT'S why they call you Spaced Girl."

In writing that I actually remembered her name is Jessica Heinz nee Stevenson. And doesn't detract from the awesomeness, unlike Invaders from Mars.

Needless to say I noticed her name was Verity Hussain Nation-Newman and approve.




Oh, and I just remembered that other thing I used to do, where I post responses to all aspects of a story from all manner of folk...

WHAT THOSE OTHER LOSERS SAID

Ritalin Response:

Another thing that confuses me and another fan mentioned it before stolen earth when the doctor goes to davros the entire war is timelocked when the doctor mentioned the timewar he said his planet was gone forever how did that change or did the writers decide to change it to timelock?
why is timothy dalton voiceovering events on end of time part 1?
am i right in thinking in the timelock the events go round and round in circles so they never truelly die they just cant change it they just keep dieing over and over again? if this is the case i think thats neat cause it shows oneday they maybe able to escape the timelock there not extinct just in endless death.
If im wrong how and why are the timelords alive now is it because dalek khan went into the timewar and saved davros which enabled them to have a second chance?

TVTropers Response:

But the worst of all was The Doctor's 'Why Me?!?' speech bemoaning his fate to die regenerate. Not only was the rant unbearably whiny, self-centered and completely OOC, it also came across as RTD using The Doctor as an Author Avatar (" Look at all the wonderful things I've done! It's not fair that I have to leave!"), perhaps suggesting that his own departure isn't entirely voluntary. If the only reference to the Doctor's reluctance to regenerate had been Tennant's final line (" I don't want to go."), the whole premise, while flawed, would have had so much more impact. Instead, we get this drek combined with the most maudlin, cliched and drawn-out series season finale scenes I've witnessed in a long, long time, which sadly had the accumulative effect of making me almost RELIEVED that Tennant and RTD are done so we can move past the sentimental claptrap and get back to having fun. YMMV, of course


TVTropes Response to Love & Monsters

There is the fan theory that Elton is meant to be an Unreliable Narrator and was driven a bit nutty by losing Ursula so now he's just imagining her as a piece of pavement. Note how we only see her face from his point of view, while his camcorder only sees the back of it... Which means that the Doctor has left Elton to go completely insane in the privacy and comfort of his own home, with a slab of concrete to obsess over. How is that any better?

(The idea of Marc Warren fucking a lifeless concrete slab for the rest of time appeals to me. I don't know what that says about me..)


Lawrence Miles Response:
If you can survive the sentence "a two-part story about Professor River Song and the Weeping Angels", then nothing in life will ever be able to harm you again. What's that Hansen? Stopped paraphrasing me? HA! I AM INVINCIBLE!!


Moral Guardian Response:

Exactly. Gay men are so shallow. It's all very well going for superficialities like looks and shaggability but they're going to look pretty silly if they decide they want to have children and only then discover that they're genetically incompatible. The relationship is doomed!!!

Paranoid Etomologist Response:
Someone on another forum just pointed out that, just as "Mister Saxon" was an anagram for "Master No Six", "Wilfred Mott" is an anagram for "Time Lord WTF". Add to that the incredibly unsubtle "Donna Noble", and my theory that there's at least one and possibly two silver fob watches hanging around in that family is confirmed.


Alan Stevens Response:

.... the bit where somebody looks down at the Earth and is amazed has been done before.

(Okay, how can the dude bag me out for reviewing audios from 2001 when he/his missus uses the blog to review relevant cinema hits such as Catch-22 and The Deer Hunter when DT's last ever story is out there and all he's done is written it's a bit similar to Space: 1999?)


Sir Kelsea of Chelsea Response:
I said earlier this year that if Martha ended up married to Mickey, it would render her awful character a billion times worse - she does come across as a Rose Tyler stalker. And the terrible way her character has developed from medical student to Lara Croft in a catsuit!

It's like that husband and wife detective series Hart To Hart except in their case it's Hart To Tart

I just love how The Doctor didn't bother speaking to them. He just appeared and walked away.

Paranoid response:
Did Tom turn into Mickey like everyone else turn into the Master

Spock response
Personally, I thought getting together with Tom in the first place was the odd bit. Time had been "rewound" back to a point before Tom met her. Why would she feel the need to pursue a man who had no idea who she was?

Tinu response
waiting for the fanfiction so it can make sense for me

Cameron J Mason response:
Maybe [Tom Milligan] found his calling in Africa?

(Okay, not mind-blowing, I just rarely see a post from him and thus get excited)

eFXBarry Response:
Martha the heart breaker.

Noel Clarke Response
Mickey Smith has had Rose and Martha. whooop whooop

Nicknacks Response
Seemed a bit like a case of pair the spares. Either it was cheaper for the two characters to have their sendoff in the same scene, or it was because Davies was feeling a little uninspired and thought he'd just shove the two characters together. It's just... problematic. And have the two of them spent any time on screen talking, at all?

Clutching at straws response
Maybe when she said 'you shouldn't have married me' she meant Mickey was a priest

DIE FOR OUR SHIP response
I PREDICTED IT. Really, I've written two post-JE fanfics and RPed Martha/Mickey at www.votesaxon.org.uk

And I like it. It works. Way I see it, Tom was too cocky with the Daleks and got zapped... Or was guarding the tunnel in PotD and got zapped. Or was in the building with the 456 and got vapourised-zapped. Or was investigating Naismith and got zapped. Or it was in one of those many many alien threats that happen off-screen, and got zapped.
Really, in a show like Doctor Who, do you really NEED to LOOK for a way of getting rid of a minor character? No! He was Third Corpse on the Right.

And Martha love(d) the Doctor, who love(s) Rose. Mickey love(d) Rose, who love(s) the Doctor. Martha/Mickey + Rose/Doctor = Happy world, happy fandom, unangsty clean slate for the Moff/S4 of Torchwood.

poetryG response:
Why do you think Mickey hugs Martha so tightly? He's already had one woman taken away from him by the Doctor. The Doctor scares him. And you can see from Martha's expression that she still has feelings for the Doctor.

Charles Daniels reponse:
... man what the FUCK??? [paraphrased]


ME: But Martha was meant to be married to the medic dude from The Last of the Time Lords - am I the only guy who remembers this? The result was more propaganda about how white guy-black girl interracial relationships never work out - just like season 4 of Scrubs! They made up for it by bringing back Jessica Stevenson for a cameo, though.

AK i just got the impression that russell t davies just wanted to wrap up everything nicely and quickly. 2 be honest i didn't mind that they were married.

ME How's about this - David Tennant goes to Martha's house "You still married to whitebread?" "Yeah!" Tennant goes to Mickey's lair "You still being co-erced into gay sex by the former Blue Peter host with ultra-gelled hair in Paris regularly?" "Yes! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP" "Allonzee!" That's about 30 seconds of screen time and would have been much ... See Morecheaper to film. Why do you want that dude from Last of the Timelord's fictitious life to end in horrible heartbreak, Ashley? First his wife does a face-heel-turn then he's rejected for MICKEY SMITH of all people. That dude was probably jumping off a bridge right as the newly-weds rutted disgustingly in front of their mighty swag of festering Sontaran corpses. You think that is a happy ending? A man DIED! You make me sick.

NTR - No, i picked up on that too, i thought it was weird that the medic guy was gone and mickey was the husband, and speaking of which, how many interracial couples are there in the whoniverse? Jack and whoever he is putting it to don't count, he's a different species

AK - jack loves everyone bless him. but coming to think of it there was only mickey and rose, but we know how that all ended. and jared i think you've either had to much coffee or not enough sleep, lol. yes i do remember she was married to someone else, but lets just think he couldnt handle her alien battling ways, got divorced, she and mickey had a few... See More adventures and fell in love. and furthermore who said anything about mickey being co-erced by the gay ex blue peterhost from the parallel world. him and rickys relationship was a deleted scene, hardly enough to justify your allegation of gay coercion to mickey.

ME - Sigh. I thought you guys were fans. Donna and Lance, Donna and her new hubby, the young couple in Gridlock, Ianto and Lisa, Owen and Tosh, Mia and Yuri, Martha's cousin at Torchwood Tower and some random due and buckets of others I'm sure... did they mention if 'The New Doctor' and his black prostitue companion were doing it?

NTR - First of all, I'm talking about successful relationships, not those that are a) brought about by a need to infect the other partner with huon particles, b) settling for someone because you can't remember the fabulous adventures you had with the Dr, c) half human half cat, d) confined to semi robotic status for the rest of her miserable existence (... See MoreIanto and Lisa just confirm that white guy/black girl relationships don't work, not the other way around), e) unrequited. I will give you Mia and Yuri, but Martha's cousin... All those I would not call great interracial relationships

ME -Well, you should qualify a little further in future. I thought you just meant people who had relations with one another. And with regards to Gridlock I was talking about the couple who kidapped Martha rather than the cat dude from Father Ted.

NTR - Ok, so, of successful interracial relationships in the whoniverse, can you name me any besides Mia and Yuri? Cause I'm struggling to find one that doesn't involve the kidnapping of innocent bystanders or alien sleeper agents that end up killing their partners

ME - So you're not accepting that the kidnapping was done purely out of love? Just as well I DIDN'T put Yana and Chant'tho on my earlier list... erm, now I can't think of any more from the top of my head. Martha's sleazy dad and that blonde chick who's the same age as his daughters? There's nothing to suggest that they're an UNhappy couple. [/baiting]

NTR - ut not a successful couple either, she walked out on that birthday dinner in a huff and who knows what happened after that. And Yana and Chant'tho- what part of different species do you not get? He hated her anyway. I think secretly RTD doesn't like the chocolate/vanilla swirl, and it subconsciously leaks through to the shows

AK - chocolate/vanilla swirl, love it lol :) i dont think rtd didnt like interracial couples, if anything he tried to show love and acceptance between everyone hence the multitude of different people getting together. but of course in such a chaotic universe as doc who i doubt many same race relationships would last as well. its just to improve the characters and move the plot along

ME - Yana liked Chant-tho, Nadia - it was THE MASTER who hated her. Heh, I find it funny how seriously you seem to have pursued this discussion - it was just an offhand joke from me to start with. You sound like you're an even bigger supporter of Tha Swirl than I am!

NTR - Mate, i love the swirl! I'm a fan. But i still contend that rtd is not a fan, and furthermore, you know you can't bait me bout this! Take you all down! :)



Man, that was a big one. And I didn't even touch on the whole "Rassilon?!? What the FUCK??!?!" aspect...

8 comments:

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Youth of Australia said...

Great. Now I'll HAVE to do my own review... and personally, I agree that reviewing the story is damn near impossible.

there is a palpable feeling of "Right, follow that you Scottish sweater-wearing bastard!"
LOL. Moff was on the radio recently saying he intends to 'top' The End of Time. Though it IS rather hard to tell if he's talking crap or not (like the anecdote that his kids kidnapped Matt Smith to go shopping...)

And given Grand Moff Steven has gone on record as saying he finds the Time Lords boring and doesn't want to write about them, bringing them back and thrusting them to the foremost of the fan consciousness seems like a mite unfair. Painted into a corner with Seals of Rassilon, anyone?

That said I've seen the Series 5 trailer and the best way to describe it is very Moffat.
I have my own thoughts, but the trailer is as about as different from any RTD trailer as possible and, ironically, comes across as far more Buffyish than anything the Welshman did...

With a lot more guns than I think anybody would have expected..
Yes, trying to win an audience with a hero you'd established is the undeserving replacement for the hero you just watched die would be hard enough without the "I punch people, shoot people and get off with BOTH my female companions" angle...

under Moffat, Gatiss and Gervais.
I am now scared.

Guardedness and emotionlessness are generally signs of a villain or else somebody who the Doctor will not get on with
Hmmm. I agree about the Doctor bit, but the first proper villains RTD had were Cassandra, the Editor and the Dalek Emperor - and they weren't exactly shy about their feelings or lacking a sense of humor. One can easily imagine them yelling "Group Hug... AS YOU DIE!!!"

Moff's into unemotional villains, really - braindead zombies, mindless robots, statues, dust...

bad-ass dudes with Sonic Mittens capable of 5,000 amazing tasks (2,800 of which are entertaining ways to kill people)
Interesting the Mittens are the Resurrection Gauntlets from Torchwood... mind you, it could just be reusing a prop rather than anything deeper. It IS Torchwood we're talking about, the BBC's not-so-secret shame...

if the Doctor was involved in the war effort for longer than the Master, apparently on Gallifrey until it's final hours then how did he not hear about the Master's resurrection and eventual escape?
Well... he did. In SOTD, the Doctor says, after hearing the story, "I know." When he asks the Master what happened, he seems to mean, "How did you end up on Malcassero?" rather than "How did you escape the Eye of Harmony?"

Like the 'run through the fields', these guys seem to spend a lot of their lives at cross purposes...

Also other questions such as if the Doctor was on the planet, why didn't he rescue any other bloody Time Lords?
Well, only two of them were on his side. And one of THEM was his mum! Plus, of course, most of the Time Lords would know him as "Lucie Miller's chauffer" and he couldn't possibly suffer their humiliating PITY...

Yes, I am now allowing Ben Chatham parody fics into my personal canon. Alyson Hannigan gets to be a companion if nothing else!
I weep with joy.

Youth of Australia said...

Firstly, Donna is in absolutely no danger at all and the Doctor apparently knew this, I guess feigning pissing his pants just as a ploy to make the Master look like a right git.
Yeah, that got to me too. Especially as the Doctor almost is in tears whenever Donna might be in danger, it now turns out she can bug-zap people...

But I suppose it makes sense for there to be a safety thing, as - for example - Donna would be surely a little bit reminded of Midnight when all the kids start chanting the words of the 456. So there is a mechanism that will stop a Cyberman or whatever carting her off as she is unable to defend herself.

But we all know that part of the Doctor's "SHE! MUST! NOT! SEE! MEE!" is just emotional trauma on his part. Donna doesn't blink when she sees him in JE, or hear the TARDIS take off, or hear about a Dalek Invasion. So that's clearly some strong blocks and the Doctor could probably have turned up to the wedding and posed for photos without risking her life - he just gives himself an excuse not to.

Secondly, when the alien spaceship is disabled and the Doctor is in space, he is completely un-stranded and... just feigning being at a loss to make the green aliens look like complete gits. Is he that insecure at this stage he needs others to look stupid?
AFAIR, he refused to boot up the ship because the Master would nuke it, but when the Master rang up and says, "You'll never guess who I invited to dinner today!" he decides 'stuff it' and goes ahead with the suicidal approach.

It's hard to think of any cooler moments of padding in the series history.
I think that sentence should be in RTD's CV...

the length of time that he argues the point with himself clearly betrays that he does not believe his argument at all, though the darker side of his mind tries with all its might specifically to believe it.
It's a bit Avonish, really. "All right Orac, use your mighty computer brain and give me one good reason not to run for it. Zen, you too. And then I shall toss this coin. Best of four. And... ooh, pursuit ships! Oh well, best go and save the day..."

The second half is disgustingly self-indulgent.
I dunno if it's a defense, but the whole 'companion cameos' was up in the air for a very long time - RTD made it clear that if they couldn't get one of gang, the whole sequence would be scrapped. And it was a lot harder than it sounds to get them just for one scene.

So there is a dub where the Doctor regenerates right after leaving Donna's wedding.

it would be more logical to leave the ethnographic present for a few moments and look at the ACTUAL woman you fell in love with
Who told you you were a completely insensitive asshole who murdered her lover and she never wants to see you ever ever again.

I get the impression that the Doctor wasn't actually INTENDING to save people or meet Daisy (in her case, he was probably passing the bookshop and double-took something chronic). But then, I get the impression he was keeping his distance because he was in fact radioactive... but that can't be right, since several of our heroes would now need chemo...

And I barely recognized Billie Piper. She doesn't really convince as a 2004 Rose anymore.

Youth of Australia said...

Not particularly well-loved by the Time Lords
Maybe this is another sign they have become cruel and corrupt fashion nightmares? Only the two good Time Lords wear anything 'normal'.

or did I just imagine that scene?
You did. He really wanted to have her 69ing with his Swedish masseusse.

Wait... when was there any suggestion Alonso was gay?
He didn't notice Kylie Minogue in a french maid outfit? I dunno, maybe because the actor's gay and RTD had a huge crush on him?

And I didn't even touch on the whole "Rassilon?!? What the FUCK??!?!" aspect...
Despite the very 'loose' interpretation of the episode, all the media seems to be taking it as read that he really IS Rassilon, summoned back to the present like Davros getting rescued from the clutches of Eric Saward.

Family Guy Cutaway:
(Davros waves his metal hand.)
Davros: Couldn't have got there a few second earlier could you, you horse's arse?!

But my initial ideas were

- the Doctor was just insulting the President by mocking his incredible pretentions to godhood, so it was kinda "Back to Hell, you Jesus Christ wannabe!!"

- the President renamed himself Rassilon in a pathetic bit of PR campaigning

- like Winston Churchill, "Rassilon" is an INCREDIBLY popular name for babies on Gallifrey, and so many Time Lords end up called Rassilon they have to come up with stupid tags so they can be told apart. That's why the Doctor and the Master chose their names, sick of the inevitable "Oi! Rassilon! No, not you, the other Rassilon!" conversations at the Academy

- the Doctor has smacked his head landing and is talking total bollocks, since the Master never once acts like he's dealing with the First Time Lord BadAss Evil Mofo From The Divergent Universe. I dare say Braxietel would have got more respect, or at least the Master clearing his throat and muttering, "So... why didn't you ring?!"

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Moff was on the radio recently saying he intends to 'top' The End of Time.

I have to assume it's as genuine as his many tales about drunkenly promising to do the Press Club reunion special.

I am now scared.
I only picked Gervais because he is the least likely person to ever get the job. He's one of those guys who's essentially said he hates sci fi and fantasy because they're sci fi and fantasy.

Interesting the Mittens are the Resurrection Gauntlets from Torchwood... mind you, it could just be reusing a prop rather than anything deeper.

That was my assumption.

..speaking of which, did you think Owen was a complete dick when he smacked Tosh down saying that "Resurrection Gauntlet" isn't a cool name? I think it is pretty damn cool. And definitely better than 'risen mitten'.

Well... he did. In SOTD, the Doctor says, after hearing the story, "I know."

Damn. Maybe if I ever re-watched a new series ep I wouldn't make these mistakes.

Well, only two of them were on his side.

I thought that was just the high council.
.. and did Rassilon say "They will be made into Angels of old"? I liked the Weeping Angels as odd stand-alones rather than part of the mythos.. I really didn't think they had sequel potential..

Plus, of course, most of the Time Lords would know him as "Lucie Miller's chauffer" and he couldn't possibly suffer their humiliating PITY...

Lmao!

he refused to boot up the ship because the Master would nuke it,

He also acted like the ship was disabled. Again, this could fit in with the aliens being complete morons (as you posthulated) who don't actually know how their ship works.

I dunno if it's a defense, but the whole 'companion cameos' was up in the air for a very long time - RTD made it clear that if they couldn't get one of gang, the whole sequence would be scrapped.

...no, I dunno... I mean if you couldn't get Luke and Sarah would it really matter? Their role is really on the same level as Gwen's. Then when you throw in Jessica Stevenson, then it gets to the point where you're wondering why not Jackson Lake, why not Lady Whatserface, why not pre-mortis Adelaide, Astrid and Jenny, etc. That's the trouble with being all-inclusive.

At least he was committed to it, I guess, but this comes back to my main beef with modern television is that people never seem to make anything understated at all.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

And it was a lot harder than it sounds to get them just for one scene.

No, I assume that it would be difficult. It's rare for anything to be straightforward in television and working with a dozen actor's schedules is possibly the biggest headache out there.

(in her case, he was probably passing the bookshop and double-took something chronic).

Heh, I like that idea.

He didn't notice Kylie Minogue in a french maid outfit?

I still maintain it was the frumpiest, least-sexy french maid outfit ever.

the Doctor has smacked his head landing and is talking total bollocks, since the Master never once acts like he's dealing with the First Time Lord BadAss Evil Mofo From The Divergent Universe.

Hmm... good point... I was about to say that I've recently watched The Five Doctors and didn't remember the Master showing any concern about tomb-robbing Rassilon so thought for a moment he was especially flippant on the matter of The Father of All Time Lords... but then remembered there's a shot of him looking up from the floor when Rassilon appears and he looks like he's bricking it.

All your theories are good ones, though. The idea of everyone with titles being named Rassilon is crazy, but pretty cool. That would be funny, if we get to the point where Moffat feels the need to reveal the Doctor's name.

THE DOCTOR: My name... is Rassilon Omega Braxiatel.

FANS: OMG! HE IS THE OTHER!

THE DOCTOR: Because my parents were complete wankers who named me after the Founders of Gallifrey. Speaking of which my mum's now an evil time-travelling statue. Awkward. But yeah, every Time Lord and their dog is named Rassilon so I go by the Doctor. Or R.O.B. I went by Rob for a while. Maybe even Bob, in a blue moon.

FANS: ... this sucks.

Youth of Australia said...

I have to assume it's as genuine as his many tales about drunkenly promising to do the Press Club reunion special.
What is HILARIOUS is that "follow that, you Scottish bastard" is a genuine quote. From Bernard Cribbins.

..speaking of which, did you think Owen was a complete dick when he smacked Tosh down saying that "Resurrection Gauntlet" isn't a cool name? I think it is pretty damn cool. And definitely better than 'risen mitten'.
Oh yeah, but Owen's a complete dick full stop. It was a moment of characterization, I thought...

Damn. Maybe if I ever re-watched a new series ep I wouldn't make these mistakes.
It's OK. It didn't leap out at me, but the scene is the Master telling his re:origin because he needs to get it off my chest. I can only imagine the Doctor was out of the room when he was resurrected (and promptly fled) and when he came back, there was Drax laughing uneasily and saying, "Hey, Thete, you'll never GUESS what happened while you were out..."

I thought that was just the high council.
I thought that was all the Time Lords not on the front line.

... and did Rassilon say "They will be made into Angels of old"?
He said they will be frozen LIKE the Angels. For a laugh. Kinda like what he did to Borusa. RTD was annoyed the music covered the line to the extent it looked like this was the Genesis of the Lonely Assassins (when actually RTD added the line because he noticed the covering-the-face-motif could be miconstrued... and it was ANYWAY!)

He also acted like the ship was disabled. Again, this could fit in with the aliens being complete morons (as you posthulated) who don't actually know how their ship works.
HE was the one who disabled it, wasn't he? With the sonic?

I still maintain it was the frumpiest, least-sexy french maid outfit ever.
Well yes. I am kind of scrabbling for any kind of evidence. Mind you, Stow society seems to hate androids and cyborgs more than homosexuals. Maybe they're all bi?

Hmm... good point... I was about to say that I've recently watched The Five Doctors and didn't remember the Master showing any concern about tomb-robbing Rassilon so thought for a moment he was especially flippant on the matter of The Father of All Time Lords... but then remembered there's a shot of him looking up from the floor when Rassilon appears and he looks like he's bricking it.
The Fifth Doctor seems similarly surprised.

All your theories are good ones, though. The idea of everyone with titles being named Rassilon is crazy, but pretty cool. That would be funny, if we get to the point where Moffat feels the need to reveal the Doctor's name.
Like in Shakespeare Code, "Why would a man hide his name in such misery?"

THE DOCTOR: My name... is Rassilon Omega Braxiatel.
The answer.

FANS: OMG! HE IS THE OTHER!
THE DOCTOR: Because my parents were complete wankers who named me after the Founders of Gallifrey. Speaking of which my mum's now an evil time-travelling statue. Awkward. But yeah, every Time Lord and their dog is named Rassilon so I go by the Doctor. Or R.O.B. I went by Rob for a while. Maybe even Bob, in a blue moon.
FANS: ... this sucks.

*RTD laughs at them all evilly*

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