Archive for January, 2012


S2E4: The Girl In The Fireplace

If you’re looking for another episode with a little romance in it, then you’ll certainly enjoy watching The Girl in the Fireplace. If you think that the previous episode (School Reunion) was crazy as it was filled with romance and jealousy, then you shouldn’t be all that surprised with how the Doctor charms his way to Reinette’s heart. It’s not all that hard to believe since this new Doctor really has a way of appealing and tempting the hearts of young ladies.

Another thought that repeated itself from the previous episode was talk of the loneliness experienced by the Doctor. This was highlighted when the Doctor tried to look into the mind of Reinette. It was unexplainable how she was able to read his mind as well. Perhaps this was one of the reasons to why the crazy ticking creatures chose her and wanted her brain. This was a very emotional moment, because the Doctor is not very open about his feelings with his companions. This is clearly seen with the unlabeled and unclear romantic relationship between the Doctor and Rose. We all know how they feel for one another, but they obviously don’t do anything about it. But it’s through Reneitte’s character that we, the audience, can get to know this new Doctor a lot more. We discover that there truly is more to his eccentric character than he shows.

The sudden twist of bringing the characters to Paris in 1727 was certainly unexpected, but something I enjoyed. The sci-fi part of this episode once again brought me back to my experience of sitting through The Empty Child of series 1. This feeling came about when the Doctor first met Reneitte and discovered the ticking creature dressed in clothes of 1727 and had a jester mask. Its face gave me quite a fright because of the whole context. The camera zoomed into its face and there it stood, staring right back at the Doctor, with its head tilted. Definitely creepy.

If you took out the spaceship aspect of the whole episode and simply had the time-warped-fireplace rotate to a different world, then I think it would be less scientific and more on the fantasy side of things.

My favorite scene of this whole episode would be the knight-in-shining-armor part. The Doctor wasn’t exactly covered in armor or any protective gear to make him look like a soldier. However, he did fly through a glass mirror, on a horse, to save Reinette. His entrance was at the exact moment that Reinette needed him. It was such a romantic gesture. You’d think that he actually had an immediate back up plan as to how he would get back to the spaceship. Because he didn’t, that made all the difference. With the surprising turn of events, it was even Reinette who saved his life and found a way to send him back to the spaceship.

It makes me question though if he really did have true feelings for Reinette, or if he simply did all that to fulfill his duties like any regular mission. If it was because he had true feelings for her, then I must say that he is giving off such a “player” image. He knows his charm and I guess, can’t really help himself.

Advertisements

S2E4: The Girl in the Fireplace

This episode brings in another woman in the Doctor’s life. I enjoy seeing famous historical characters on the show so I was delighted to know that the chief mistress of King Louis XV, or Madame de Pompadour as she was called, will be appearing in this episode.

Although the clockwork villains were admittedly creepy, since evil clowns are known monsters, I was quite confused at the story of the villains. From my understanding after watching the show, the villains were from a ship that was missing parts; hence, it was operated by human body parts which were from the crewmen who used to operate the ship. Since it lacked a brain, the clockwork clowns, using timeframes, trailed Reinetter or Madame de Pompadour and watched her life closely because as soon as she becomes of age, they will take her brain to operate the ship. While at first it was not revealed as to why the brain must be Reinette’s, of all the people in the world, a brief scene at the end of the episode implies that it was because the ship was named after her. While the entire story already seems bizarre to me, what is even more puzzling is why the villains simply gave up after the Doctor tells them that their plan is a hopeless cause. They gave up so quickly, even just at the Doctor’s word. The story of the villains, in my opinion, seemed to be a bit off and seemed to have no direction, as if the clockwork villains were there just for the sake of having a villain.

Despite the disjunctive villain plot, just as I had immediately liked Sarah Jane’s character from the previous episode, I also enjoyed Reinette’s character. She was glamorous, gorgeous, well-mannered, smart, impulsive, and French, and there was much chemistry between her and the Doctor. I cannot help but think at how Reinette, with her reputation, used the term “dance,” saying that every little boy must learn how to dance, must have implied some innuendo. I honestly thought that Reinette would have been a great companion to the Doctor, especially since they have excellent romantic tendencies towards each other. Although the role of Reinette in the narrative wasn’t particularly striking as I thought it similar to the previous episode where another woman is seen to have relations with the Doctor, the presence of Reinette must have made Rose think her relationship with the Doctor through once again. Inferring from the way Rose was looking at the Doctor when he was trying to save Reinette, Rose must have doubted the Doctor’s promise of never abandoning her, as he instantly left Rose and Mickey to save Reinette, with the knowledge that he would not find his way back and that he would be trapped in the past with Reinette (although he does eventually find a way home). Reinette also highlights once again how those who are affected heavily by the Doctor, such as his companions like Rose and Sarah Jane, feel as though they have spent their entire lives with him, while to the Doctor, the lifetime must be only a few hours or so. Similar to the last episode, this emphasizes how complicated and difficult a romantic relationship with the Doctor can be and how truly different it is to be involved with him in a relationship as opposed to being involved with another human being.

The episode also exhibits a difference between this new Doctor and the old Doctor. This new Doctor is more impulsive and might I say, reckless with his actions as compared to the old Doctor. The old Doctor was more careful and focused in saving the world while Tennant is easily distracted, as evidenced by his “snogging” and “dancing” with Reinette. He also seems less trustworthy as just in the last episode, he promised Rose that he would not leave her, and all of a sudden, in this episode, he leaves her behind without much of a thought in order to save Reinette. What if he was not able to find his way back? What if he was truly stuck in the past with Reinette? Then again, since this is a television series, he must find his way back in order for more adventures with the TARDIS and Rose to occur.

On a side note, Mickey and Rose seemed to have had a lot of fun together, with the Doctor occupied with Reinette. Perhaps their romantic relationship was not closed shut and would be awakened and explored further by future episodes.

From such a strong preceding episode, I must say that I was quite disappointed with this one. I keep comparing because they have the similar element of the women in the Doctor’s life and the consequences they must face after knowing the Doctor. Reinette, as Rose and Sarah Jane, loved the Doctor after she met him; as a result, she never loved anyone else like she loved him. Even the memorable quotes from this episode, such as “the Doctor is worth the monsters” and “one may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel,” with Reinette referring to the Doctor as the angel, echo the sentiments of one of the striking lines from last episode, about the Doctor being worth the heartbreak.

Despite my general dislike for this episode, I am still looking forward to what the next episode has in store. I suppose I have truly become a fan of the show now! I just hope they won’t repeat this theme anymore.

S2E3: School Reunion

School Reunion, I believe, was the title of the episode because the setting was in a school, and the Doctor was reunited with his old assistant, Sarah Jane, answering questions about the lives of companions after traveling with the Doctor.

While the Doctor has faced the consequences of his actions in previous episodes, they were related to the death and destruction of races and the world. In this episode, the subject matter was a more delicate and intimate matter. It was of his relationship with his assistants. By his actions and inactions, they get left behind. This episode focused on companions and why they matter instead of concentrating on the Doctor, as the Doctor is actually presented as not having much control over things as evidenced by the scene where Sarah Jane and Rose were laughing about him and the Doctor seemed confused about what to do.

Sarah Jane was a delightful character; she must have been a wonderful companion. I bet I would have loved her instantly had I watched the series with her as the companion. She was beautiful (as she must have aged gracefully, if I may add) and I could tell that she was intelligent, sharp, and that she loved the Doctor very much. Her eyes sparkled when she saw the Doctor, as the Doctor’s face lit up as well. However, while happiness took over her heart, having waited on the Doctor for so long allowed her to confront the Doctor with the consequences she had to face having been left by the Doctor. Seeing another companion, Rose, by the Doctor’s side, Sarah Jane squabbled with Rose over who the better companion was and who had the better experiences. However, it was probably only a defense mechanism, as the feeling of being replaced naturally would have launched in a person. Having traveled with the Doctor, Sarah Jane must have felt extremely special to the Doctor; perhaps that she would be the only woman in her life. However, that was not the case, as she was left on earth to adjust to earthly life after having seen and experienced the universe. She then reveals her tender side as she confronts the Doctor about leaving her and the consequences of that. After the Doctor left her, she always waited for him, hoping for the blue box to appear one day. Evident from Sarah Jane’s and the Doctor’s actions and emotions, they loved each other; however, they could not be together, as the Doctor reasoned that he couldn’t go to earth when he left Sarah Jane due to rules. Essentially, she is asking for closure as she has not moved on since she last saw the Doctor. When the Doctor invites her to travel with him in the TARDIS once again, she declines by saying “I can’t do this anymore,” meaning, she had to move on with her life and let him go because they could never really be together, perhaps like normal couples on earth. The Doctor rebuilding K9, a truly adorable character, to watch over Sarah Jane and be her companion was such a thoughtful gesture that I cried. As the old K9 “died,” so did Sarah Jane’s holding on to the Doctor. Thus, the new K9 could be thought of as a mark of symbol for Sarah Jane’s new beginning, without forgetting all her wonderful experiences with the Doctor.

Seeing Sarah Jane, Rose in this episode realizes that her future may be the same as Sarah Jane. She is obviously in love with the Doctor as the Doctor must also be with her, and she felt very special to the Doctor as the Doctor had demonstrated extra care for her, by always saving her life for one. Naturally, she felt betrayed as she saw another woman from the Doctor’s past, and then horrified at how she was just another companion in a long list of the Doctor’s previous companions. Moreover, she was terrified at the prospect that the Doctor would leaver her one day, just as he left Sarah Jane. Interestingly though, the Doctor promises that he would not leave her, setting her apart from Sarah Jane, who I believe will always have a special place in the Doctor’s two hearts though Rose may take up the romantic spot. Nevertheless, despite the Doctor’s promise, Sarah Jane tells Rose to look for her if ever she needs to, implicating Rose’s future. I am curious if the Doctor would be true to his promise no matter what happens.

In the first parts of the episode, I was rooting for the companions as I found how the Doctor would simply leave his assistants behind rather heartless. However, his side was also presented in the episode.  “You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t spend the rest of mine with you,” was a heartbreaking line of the Doctor’s, and here I was thinking of how selfish the Doctor was. He also mentions how painful it is to see someone who is important to him wither and die right before his very eyes. All his lines point to the fact that he was truly a lone traveler, and that no matter what he does or who his companions are, since they are human, he will always end up alone, as it is his tragic destiny. Everything becomes gray now. I cannot really blame the Doctor for leaving the companions behind as he also experiences much pain in doing so. He probably thinks that by leaving them behind, he won’t be too attached to them so should they die, goodbyes won’t cause so much pain.

I liked how this episode was focused more on character relationships rather than end-of-the-world or world domination by aliens. It was a nice break from the latter kind of episodes. Also, due to either the brilliant script or the Doctor’s beautiful and convincing performance, I am really warming up to the Doctor now. This was a very lovely episode. I also liked how it was filled with quotes that struck me, one of which was Sarah Jane’s line to Rose, “Some things are worth getting your heart broken for.” Truly an inspirational line that talks about taking a chance on happiness, despite the threat of pain that may come afterwards.

On a side note, I find Mickey’s presence in the TARDIS amusing. Now that he’s on board, with Rose not the most thrilled person about it, I cannot wait to see how future episodes would unfold.

I hope it’s not too predictable when I say that I love everything about “The Girl in the Fireplace.”  It is another Steven Moffat episode, but that man really knows how to capitalize on my weak spot for stories about brave little girls who grew up waiting for an imaginary friend. Reinette Poisson, later known as the famous Madame de Pompadour, is the brave little girl here whose life is littered with visits from threatening space-age clockwork humanoids and, of course, the Doctor. Although she has never really been cast as a tragic historical character, this depiction of her is is gut-wrenching; yes, she grew up to be an accomplished woman  (“Actress, artist, musician, dancer, courtesan, fantastic gardener!”), but she still spent even the last few moments of her life waiting for the Doctor to save her and bring her to the stars. If an image of a dying Reinette penning a letter to her lonely angel on her death bed, hoping against hope for him to fulfill his promise, doesn’t stir at least a twinge in your heart, you should know consider pouring some multi-grade anti-oil on your head just to double check if you’re part machine.

The fact that Reinette never lost hope in the Doctor is another thing that makes me want to grab a box of Kleenex. She always had faith in him, always believed in him, that she waited until the very end. In some ways, the story always reminds me of Peter Pan and the way Wendy Darling (again with the little girls with so-called imaginary friends) also waited for Peter, which I’m sure was a conscious decision by Moffat*. All the similarities between the two stories I noticed while watching the episode—the young heroines in big silly nighties, the never-aging heroes, picking out stars from the window sill—cemented the love I already had by default for this episode.

A part of me really wishes Reinette never told the Doctor about her old fireplace and that they could finally have more than an hour to together. I’m sure Rose would have eventually stopped ignoring Mickey’s questions and found a way to get the TARDIS to 18th century France, or contacted Sarah Jane for some help. But, of course, history won’t allow this (at least right now we know that  Madame de Pompadour never kept the company of a man in a brown pinstripe suit), and the show needs the Doctor to go on his next adventure. It’s times like these that I understand why people are compelled to read Doctor Who fanfiction, where even the most impossible/bizarre/amazing things can happen thanks to the wild imagination of the fandom.

Another thing I really liked about the episode is the production, which is on a much grander scale than anything we have seen before. Although “The Christmas Invasion” comes to a close second because of the detail that went to the Sycorax and the inside of their ship, the costumes and the sets used to depict 18th century France are commendable when compared to previous episodes. I especially liked Madame de Pompadour’s gowns, which became grander with each scene, clearly reflecting her rise to power in Versailles. The space-age clockwork men themselves were very impressive not because of their science (I know nothing about robotics except Wall-E), but their appearance; seeing robots with heads of glass and metal gears gives the episode a truly sci-fi feel more than the abandoned space ship.

In conclusion, I love this episode and I can’t wait for the next Moffat episode even though I’m sure it’ll tear me to pieces again.

*If you’ve seen future episodes, you’ll understand.

S2E3: School Reunion

It’s a blast from the past and I don’t really think there could have been a more appropriate time or setting for this episode to happen in other than a school. I think this episode was less about the weekly adventure/featured alien but rather more about certain issues that audiences of the show might have asked at least once while watching and supporting the series. Let’s go through the ones that this episode was able to answer.

The episode introduces a former companion of the Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith. The main plot of the episode was the Doctor and the gang stopping the Krillitanes from discovering the Skasis Paradigm and controlling the universe in their own image. Although this may seem interesting enough in itself, I think the appearance of Sarah Jane is just as important and what really sets this episode apart from other episodes in the series. Because of this reason I would discuss more about the effects of Sarah Jane’s presence than the plot of the monster of the week.

The episode reveals through the appearance of former companion, Sarah Jane Smith that the Doctor has had various former companions during his travels and adventures. This might have come to a surprise to newer fans of the show since this would be the first reference that the new series would make on the issue of former companions.

The episode’s takes an interesting angle, instead of focusing on the monsters I felt that the bigger struggle that the characters were dealing with were the following.

  • The Doctor had to deal with seeing his former companions, Sarah Jane and K-9, once again.
  • Sarah Jane Smith had to deal with seeing the Doctor after all the years that they had been separated.
  • Rose Tyler had to deal with the revelation that she was not as special as she thought she was in regards with her relationship with the Doctor and is locked in a constant game of one up manship after meeting with Sarah Jane. (that is until they were able to put if off)
  • Mickey Smith had to deal with feeling inadequate once again, ultimately realizing that he had played the same role as K-9, as the tin dog.

All these problems intersect with each other and ultimately causes a big change in regards to the series’ continuity.

I think one of the biggest quotes in this episode was the Doctor’s reply to Roses incessant questioning of whether she will be treated the same as Sarah Jane, dumped off in Earth after all the adventures. The direct quote was

You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t spend the rest of my life with you

In itself I think this really encapsulates how lonely the Doctor can be, without anyone approaching a lifespan that is even remotely as long as his, he is forced to develop feelings and to force them away later on just for the sake of being able to continue on. As last of the Time Lords he is forced into this situation, unable to settle down and destined to keep jumping from every kind of when and where in an effort to fix it. The quote itself, by the way it was delivered by the Doctor was undoubtedly full of emotion, a tiny glimpse of life as the Doctor.

In the end, Rose asks Sarah Jane for advice on whether she should stay or leave the Doctor, and her prompt reply was

Some things are worth getting your heart broken for

which was a line that really did hit with a punch after its delivery. And yes, some things are worth getting our hearts broken for simply because to do so otherwise would be a great disservice by denying ourselves of the joyof experiencing it.

Steven Moffat is without a doubt quickly becoming my favorite writer. From the hit BBC series, Sherlock to this doozy of an episode, I have found myself looking forward to any episode penned, in any way, shape or form, by Steven Moffat.

Back to the topic at hand. I just have to say that this is my favorite episode so far, beating any contenders by a mile. It would be obvious by now that I have nothing but praise for this episode, and honestly I really am sure that this episode deserves it. The episode has touched on a personal favorite of mine, clockwork robots, add that to the odd mystery of why a space ship three thousand years into the future would bother punching a hole through time and space just to stalk a girl and the obvious chemistry between Madame de Pompadour and the Doctor and you got my whole and undivided attention.

The first scene with the clockwork robots or repair droids, after being identified by the Doctor, was truly creepy. The way that the director just had to include a shot of the droid’s shoes before showing the 18th-century French  mask and attire that the droid had, brought numerous chills running up and down my spine. The scene might as well be from my own nightmares. In a more personal note, although I found the idea of having space-age clockwork to be certainly unusual it was certainly cool, I think this might be because adding space to anything can actually make anything sound cool i.e. space blender, space ball.

My favorite and what I found to be the most crucial part of the episode was after realizing that the Doctor could comeback to the future by using the fireplace he asks Reinette to wish him luck in which she quickly responds with a no, with the same tone that one could say would come from a person who had had her heart broken. That scene right there honestly broke my heart the first time I watched the episode especially after seeing the Doctor’s face after realizing that she didn’t want him to go.  The execution of the whole scene was just perfect. I found the whole episode heartbreaking, as honestly some part of me wanted to have Reinette and the Doctor to have more interactions or at least more screen time together. The scene in which the Doctor gets back to the future relates the entire relationship between the Doctor and Reinette, one that couldn’t possibly happen because each has a duty to fulfill, a duty that would never intersect except in this particular episode.

Speaking of intersections, I found it odd though that Mickey and Rose seemed to be more comfortable with each other, specially after Rose seemed to be upset that Mickey had volunteered to come along with them. I quickly got around this by just assuming that this episode was a one-shot instead of a part of the series or that the crew had gone through other adventures before this one that just wasn’t filmed. I guess this would be one of the disadvantages that a series encounters, having to make sure that nothing is out of continuity, else risk the ire of a fan base or worse, lose them entirely.

I find the part where the Doctor rescues Reinette in the hall to be very interesting and revealing. As she introduces the king of France, Louis XV he comes up with a quick retort stating that he is the Lord of Time. I interpreted this part as the Doctor letting his guard down and actually getting more attached to her as he is practically showing off, for lack of a better term. Although I think this wouldn’t be needed seeing as she is actually smitten over him already.

Another angle that this episode seems to take is that of Rose seeing the Doctor fall in love with somebody else. For the character I think this past couple of episodes have become a roller coaster of emotions specially regarding the matters of her meeting a former companion, having Mickey tag along in the adventures and now the Doctor falling in love with somebody else. She did however still opted to trust in the Doctor and send a his promise to Reinette that he will come and save her. This would be the second time too in which another female character who relates with Rose gives her and advise to not leave the Doctor saying the the Doctor is worth the monsters and how one cannot have one without finding the other.

The last couple of episodes seem to delve into heartbreak a lot perhaps this is a foreshadowing of sorts? That in the next episodes, one of the cast might actually be saying his or her goodbyes. Regardless of the speculation I still loved the episode, its message and generally everything about it.

 

 

 

 

I’d say this episode was one of the more mind-boggling ones I’ve watched so far. Understanding the premise and sense of the show really took so much effort on my part. Although I realize everything that takes place in Doctor Who is impossible, I always end up trying to rationalize the events, asking myself questions like “How can they just simply travel to different moments of a person’s history so seamlessly?” This is one episode that entailed so much rationalization. But, I have to say that the concept was pretty sick indeed, and I mean that in a good way.

It was the way the Doctor worded the dilemma of his that blew me away, that is, the idea a 51st century spaceship stalking a woman of the 15th century. I had so many questions running through head. Why this girl? What’s with the spaceship? How on earth is the spaceship a gateway to different moments of Reinette’s history? The involvement of another historical character, Reinette or Madame de Pompadour (the mistress of King Louis XV), contributed to the show’s relevance and added to the Doctor’s ever-growing list of admirers.

The episode highlighted once again the ability of the Doctor, more specifically this certain Doctor, to capture the heart and imagination of any lady he encounters. Continuing from the previous episode, the Doctor is portrayed to have formed a very romantic and deep relationship with Reinette, one that climaxed in a sincere and heart-felt kiss. In one scene though when the Doctor was trying to read the mind of Reinette, she was simultaneously able to read his and what she found was very striking. She felt the Doctor’s tremendous loneliness.

“There comes a time, Time lord, when every lonely boy must learn how to dance.”

This line of Reinette brings back the scene of the previous series when Rose danced with the Doctor in the basement of the hospital. At the end of the day, I admire the Doctor for being able to mask his loneliness behind his jovial and selfless personality. And I think this is what appeals to the girls, his sense of vulnerability brought about by companionship. The Doctor thrives with his various companions because that sense of being with someone is what he cherishes the most. Coming from a dark and terrible past, the Doctor has the uncanny ability to make everyone he encounters feel an emotional and even physical attachment of sorts. It can be seen through the Doctor’s behavior that he does not want to live his life all alone. He loves bringing along all sorts of companions in his voyages through space and time. The sad reality though is that he cannot enjoy a lifetime of companionship. He will eventually have to return to a state of loneliness because of the impermanence of human life.

“One may tolerate the world of demons for the sake of an angel.”

This episode is just full of memorable lines that I will never forget. The Doctor falls in love with Reinette so much so that he voluntarily trapped himself to be with her. Although he later found a way out, it would have been interesting to watch events unfold if he indeed were stuck. Unfortunately, the Doctor, in an attempt to bring along Reinette in his journey, was informed of her death. And it was obvious from the Doctor’s face that he was beyond miserable. This was another reality check – it is inevitable that people will die either under his watch or as a result of human nature. He just can’t be Superman all the time.

Surprisingly, the episode portrayed a very good relationship between Rose and Mickey. It’s surprising because Rose reluctantly accepted Mickey into the TARDIS at the end of the last episode. But, I have to say that Mickey is starting to prove his worth. Mickey’s growth into a major asset on the Doctor’s team is nice to watch. His cleverness and technological knowledge can certainly make up for his clumsiness. Looks can really be deceiving.

Based on how the last two episodes have gone, my liking for the show has tremendously grown. I like how the episodes have continuously tested the relationship between the Doctor and Rose in a way that brings out his vulnerability and her increasing questioning of her ever-diminishing role in the Doctor’s life. This episode, in particular, was very powerful indeed. Reinette’s death greatly affected me and the Doctor as well, putting him in such a shattering emotional state. The slow path is unavoidable for mankind, a path that I feel, the Doctor would be willing to experience for the sake of life-long companionship. The episodes have been successful in interweaving the delicate nuances of the Doctor’s character to the lives of the people, historical or fictional, he meets and situations he encounters.

S2E3: School Reunion

“Yes, some things are worth getting your heart broken for.”

This is easily the most heart-warming episode I’ve watched so far, including those episodes from series one. This episode delightfully introduced us to one of the Doctor’s former assistants, Sarah Jane Smith. Sarah’s involvement in the story brought up many key issues. A recurring theme in the entire series has been the pitting of Rose’s fleetingness against the Doctor’s immortality. In series one and the beginning of series two, Rose felt heartbroken because she felt like the Doctor abandoned her with a total stranger who seemed indifferent by just resting on a bed. The succeeding episodes saw the development of the relationship between the characters in the sense that Rose began to re-like the Doctor. In this episode though, the episode accentuates Rose’s trivial and impermanent role in the Doctor’s life because of the appearance of an old flame. His companions are made to seem like specks of dust in the vast universe we call the Whoniverse. Amidst some initial tension, Rose and Sarah eventually learned to cooperate quite well and helped the Doctor finish off the Krillitanes.

I liked that the episode surprised me by bringing in an old companion of his this early in the series. What this did was create some tension between Rose and the Doctor. Again, Rose had that realization that she won’t live her life forever with the Doctor. I think this fear of separation will subconsciously haunt Rose all the way to that point of separation itself. It will be very interesting as to whether she will accept such a fate or continue to fight for the person she loves, the Doctor. For me this is interesting because, in a way, it does foreshadow another poignant separation scene between the Doctor and Rose, maybe this time around with no happy ending/reunion. I also find the Doctor’s behavior and response to this whole situation worth taking note of. Again and again, he indirectly mentions in front of Rose that he will indeed have to leave her because of his nature as a Time Lord. He has the capability to live with Rose until eternity but not the other way around. According to him, this is the curse of the Time Lord – that is, he has to live on alone. At this point, one just has to feel for the Doctor. Amidst the seemingly absolute power the Doctor possesses, he is unable to live a life of constant companionship. The question probably running through the Doctor’s head at the time was “What’s the point of living forever if there’s no one you can forever live with?”

Sarah Jane Smith’s insight into the human life is striking. In an attempt to persuade the Doctor to join forces with them by unlocking the Skasis Paradigm, the Krillitanes told the Doctor of the power both of them could hold. They could be Gods and the Doctor can give rise to the rebirth of the Time Lords. Sarah interjected by exclaiming that pain and loss make the universe go forward just as much as joys and successes do. Human flaws define us. Unsurprisingly, the Doctor sided with Sara Jane Smith. He decided to preserve the old order. Time and time again, the Doctor upholds the very human values of justice and righteousness. He neglects that which makes those creatures what they are to be and fights for what makes humans nothing more and nothing less than humans themselves.

K-9, another character of the Doctor’s past, was a fun element added to the story. It was amazing how the sacrifice of a robot dog elicited feelings of pity and admiration from me. This re-establishes the show’s brilliant ability to make the viewer feel very much vulnerable and emotional while simply watching weird events unfold. Being a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it also was funny seeing Anthony Head take on a role of the villain this time. This was definitely a far cry from his role as Buffy’s mentor. Lastly, Mickey was finally accepted, reluctantly in fact by Rose, to the crew of the TARDIS, something he was wishing for ever since.

Honestly, I didn’t really like the premise of the show, that being the cafeteria food was used to make the students much more intelligent. It just seems so old and over-used. But looking beyond this, the episode, at its very core, was certainly poignant. It confronted Rose with a harsh reality that is surely to come. Sooner or later, she will have to find a life of her own as Sara Jane Smith did when the Doctor never came back for her.

S2E2: Tooth and Claw

Based on the first scene of this episode, one can already predict that it would be full of action and mystery. Although this is the case, I personally feel that the plot was not boring despite it being a bit predictable. Coming from the New Earth where watching felt a bit monotonous, this episode was full of excitement, but just like the New Earth, Tooth and Claw was just like an episode in the first series, the Unquiet Dead.

 

Here we see Rose and the Doctor in a werewolf story in the past. It was your normal werewolf story as it was set in a very gloomy setting and the main characters are trapped inside a thick concrete building with no where to run to. Comparing this to the Unquiet Dead, both portrayed a horror story that we grew up with – werewolves and ghosts. As such, the show was able to properly execute this episode to be able to live up to a werewolf story because of the use of the mystery in the plot. You don’t understand why the waiters are behaving in a weird manner and you just get that sense that something is not being revealed to the audience. True enough, in the basement is a creature that was supposed to be a kept secret. That mystery to me was crucial to be able to pull of a horror story like this. The show was able to conceal enough information that when the time came where they would reveal the werewolf, the emotion was already built up really well. The pace of the episode was impeccable as there was no dull moment and the Doctor was continuously finding clues and information to be able to save Rose and get rid of the situation that there in.

 

Aside from the traditional horror story, we also see another historical character come in to play in this episode. But unlike Charles Dickens in the Unquiet Dead, Queen Vicoria’s character here was also concealed a little bit. She did enjoy the Doctor’s presence as much as Charles Dickens as seen in the last seen after she honored Rose and the Doctor for killing the werewolf, she immediately sent them out as she was annoyed with their presence. Here we see that the Doctor and Rose are much confident as they were compared to the first season. Rose was not startled by the werewolf and portrayed a character that was already prepared to die and was not intimidated by the situation. In fact, she even had the courage to mock the werewolf in the face of danger. Here we see what a whole series of travelling has done to the character of Rose. It is like he has already understood what the travelling is all about and what it required from her, and add to that is her trust to the Doctor. She has repeatedly brought that up in the Christmas Invasion where she would always say that her Doctor wouldn’t allow certain things to happen.

 

Overall, this episode was a good one in terms of plot. It brought to live a classic horror story with the werewolf and at the same time did some characterizations on Rose and the Doctor. It was a nice bounce back episode from the New Earth.

S2E1: New Earth

Much like The End of the World, we see the Doctor and Rose travelling far to the future- way past the ‘end’ of the world and in to the New Earth. We again see an earth that is already alienated from the humanity that we know now. ‘Humans’ that exist in that realm are not pure that’s why when Cassandra saw Rose in the planet, she was immediately surprised to see that a real, pure human is in the new earth.

 

In this particular episode, we see the story alluding to certain things in the first season. It is nice that the show is building on what they have produced in the past to reward the viewers for their continuous following of the show. Personally, it’s nice that we can watch Doctor Who episode on their own, but because I was able to follow the show religiously, relating a new episode with a past episode makes me feel that watching the first series was worth it because it would come in to play in the future episodes. Having said that, it is nice to see some past characters in this episode like Lady Cassandra and the Face of Boe, but what’s better was how the show dealt with their characters. For Cassandra, this was the last that we’ll see her as she would die for good, but it is very nice to see how she was while she was indeed a human. We can finally put a face in her being and see where she came from. At least now we know, that she isn’t an alien to begin with. I know it may mean nothing to the whole of the series as she was not really a main character, but because she was one of the characters that really stuck to my memory from the first series, it is nice that there was some sort of closure.  As for the Face of Boe, we know that it isn’t the last of him as we are anticipating the significance of his letter to the Doctor when they next meet.

 

However, aside from that bright spot, the plot of this episode did not impress me. Coming from the Christmas invasion where hints of a good storyline are brewing when Harriet Jones killed a whole race of aliens, this episode deviated far from it. We see patients from a hospital, much like the Empty Child, but we all know that the Doctor would eventually find the cure and give a happy ending to the chaos of the New Earth. I have nothing against happy endings, but I just find the story so series 1. I don’t understand why the plot needed to be deviated from the pilot, but then again, that’s the essence of an episodic serial. I’m just looking at how all the episodes would come together in the end again. Also, we again see in this episode that the Doctor and Rose are really getting much closer and continues with their inter-species love relationship. We see how Rose expresses her love for travelling with the Doctor and some may find the explicit push for the romantic relationship in the show cheesy, but for me I’m not bothered by it at all. I know that with any series you can almost expect that the main character would have a love interest and for me it helps the show a bit to justify why the Doctor cares for Rose so much.

 

Overall, the episode was able to allude to the first series very well, but to me I think that the show should move forward from the ‘traditional’ Doctor Who episode. I did not hate it, but I feel that the show took a dip coming from the Christmas Invasion.