dr who 2 jamie

More with the S3 Who viewing

We watched a bunch of S3 New Who tonight, from "Gridlock" through "The Family of Blood".

"Gridlock" was amusing but meh. Was I supposed to care about the Face of Boe? They forgot to tell me why. My reaction to its sacrifice was perhaps modulated by the fact that I'd just watched another Heroic Self-Sacrifice from the the red spiky dwarf character in the "Poseidon Adventure of the Damned" Xmas special.

"42" was decent, though perhaps too reminiscent in feel and setup to "The Impossible Planet"/"Satan Pit" two-parter. Also, I'd like to ask what Russell T Davies has against mothers: the over-protectiveness of adult children was okay from Jackie, but I'm now a little weary to see it again from Martha's mother. She's a med student, for heaven's sake, not an uneducated naif like Rose. This ep at least felt like it was science fiction.

"Human Nature"/"Family of Blood" was by far the best writing in the season to this point. I am thinking there's almost no comparing it with the cliched junk that was "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks". The two stories exist in different realms of writing skill. I enjoyed this one start to finish, and found Mr Smith's anguish and final choice moving. Mr P said "it only annoyed me once or twice, which compared to the others we just watched is impressive." Tennant also got a bit of a chance to act; I almost warmed up to his Doctor there.

Martha is a problematic Companion. I'll hold off on a solid opinion until I've watched the rest of the eps, though. (I'm sure you care.) Four more to go and we'll be caught up.

Had sodden thought: I much prefer my Doctor to be a picaresque rogue, not a messiah. Well, at least a little rogue-ish.
  • Current Music: Inner Peace : Jon Hopkins : Opalescent
At the end of S3, you'll find out who the Face of Bo really is (or, at least, used to be).

There are reasons Martha's mother is reacting as she is.

And omgyes, HN/FoB is awesome.
Yeah, I picked up on the "Saxon" references, and the election day, and the deal with the menacing people attempting to trace her cell calls. So I realize there's Season Arc going on there.

And I think I might watch HN/FoB again tonight I liked it so much.
Human Nature/Family of Blood are my favorite episodes of the season, even surpassing the finale. It was written by the same guy who wrote the beautiful "Father's Day" episode in S1 with Rose and Pete Tyler. Defintely puts some of the other writing to shame, esp. Daleks in Manhattan. Although it wasn't just the writing that was bad in that episode, the special effects etc. were also silly -- I mean, the stupid head on that so-called Dalek, ugh.
Aha! Same writer. Makes sense. I just looked him up, and find that he's a classic Who novel-writer, and this one was based on a very popular novel.

Lord, the Daleks thing was awful. Pure classic Star Trek... which would have been fine 40 years ago.

[edit: grammar ftw!]

Edited at 2007-12-31 07:05 pm (UTC)
Watching the "Confidential" for the Dalek one, I find myself surprised that they seem to have no idea how very awful it is. I suppose when one is that close to it, it's hard to tell.
The Doctor's transition from Loki to Jesus has been the absolute worst thing about the new show, IMO. As for Martha, I sort of tend to interact with the Martha in my head rather than the one onscreen, which might or might not prove your "problematic" point. :-)
The character isn't the problem; it's the use to which the character is put. She seems to have a minimal character arc of her own. She's there as a device to comment on the Doctor's relationship with Rose, and his anguish about losing people (all the other Timelords, Rose, random redshirts of the week). It's completely fine for Martha to be used this way, but she needs also to have her own story. And I'm not seeing it yet. Unrequited love does not a character arc make.

Waste of an interesting Companion, I think.
Ironic that what you just said is routinely adjuged heresy in DW fandom proper ("OMG MARTHA HAD LIEK THE BESTEST MOST FEMINIST STORYLINE EVAH Y R U COMPLAINING?!"), as it's all completely true. The Doctor interacts with her as a blank spot where other people used to be.
Ah, but that's the point. Love her, hate her, or really don't give a damn, Rose was a very important person in his life. After losing her (especially the way it happened), the Doctor was going to grieve - which is what we saw with s3. I honestly don't understand why some of the fandom says that he should've just shrugged, said 'too bad so said,' and bounced merrily along. I'll agree that being so soon after Rose made things tough for Martha, but the unrequited love thing (which is somewhat brutally pointed out later) is what killed her for me.

Now, if the writers had gone for 'I have a crush, but it's not going to happen so I'll be his friend,' THAT would have awesome. However, I think we're getting it with Donna, which should be fun to watch.

Oh, and if it's not too much trouble, could you post an indepth response to 'Blink?' I'm dying to see what you think of it.
I would say, as one very amateur writer analyzing the writing of highly-paid professionals, that it's a waste to have Martha serving only one function. Have several things going on at once! Principle of writing: there needs to be three things going on at any one time. The viewers/readers are smart. They'll pick up on it all.

I'm completely fine with her being there as a device to explore the Doctor's grief. As you say, his love for Rose was significant, and he's going to feel her loss for some time. I think the Doctor falling into Martha's arms would have been unbelievable. I'm not gonna ship those two (apologies to the parts of my flist that do see 10/Martha happening). But I also want a meatier storyline for Martha at the same time. Do both at once! Use the character! She's interesting.

Am looking forward to "Blink", which I see is a Moffat script.
I agree completely. Writing Martha the way they did was insulting to everyone - not to mention painful to watch.

And I had forgotten that Moffat wrote 'Blink.' I'm not surprised, though, given that his scripts (TGitF notwithstanding - 10/Rose 'shipper here) are some of the best I've seen. Also, before you watch the finale (either the last ep or the last 3, depending on you view multi-parters), go back and watch EotW, NE, and 'Gridlock' again. It'll refresh your memory about the Face of Boe.