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S1E10: The Doctor Dances

… teenage single mother in 1941”, says the Doctor. I was a bit shocked by the idea the Nancy was the mother of the creepy looking kid.  It looks like I was not clever enough to see that coming. To me, since I was not able to guess that she was the mummy, I find that twist very effective in ending the episode. It makes me remember the episode not only because it would give me goose bumps because of the scary looking kid but because of the heartwarming mother and son reunion in the end. It felt that Nancy was no longer carrying the world in her hands. It is a good lesson to teenage mothers out there. It is knowing how to take responsibility for one’s actions. It would be never easy to raise a child. It is already difficult today, what more during the year 1941?

I liked Jack’s character here because of the change that he had undergone. He started as a self-centered man who wants to get what he wanted no matter what the cost is. We see a scene that he runs away thinking that he would just leave everyone but he did not do so. As the episode continued, a lot of things changed in his character. There was more to the character we saw at the beginning of the episode. It is interesting to know that there was already a full blown change of this character just by watching one episode. I was able to see change in him when he goes along saving the world. He was more unlikely the hero here. He was able to prove that he was more than his looks and he was way better than Adam as a companion.

This made me realize seeing how the Doctor really shows care towards the people he saves. He does not do these things not just because it is his obligation to do so but it also boils down to the idea that he cares for these people. He cares for humanity. It is not about he must but he really wants to. This makes him more awesome as a hero of the world. I think that is his Philosophy in life. Caring for the other and being for the other even though one does not know who the other is. I admire the Doctor for that burning fire that keeps him going in spite of all the loneliness he is going through. He was devoting all his time to care for the human race no matter how sticky the situation may be.

Well, the title was sort of weird since this was the continuation of a very scary episode, The Empty Child. The Doctor dancing? Hmm. What coud that supposed to mean? Despite the un-usual-ness, it seemed like it literally ended with the Doctor dancing. Even though it was not the biggest thing about the episode, ending with that scene was sort of cute. He does not actually look like a dancer , if you know what I mean, but it really seemed cute with that scene in mind. Hihi.

The Serial Murderers

“So, how did the Barstows reach out and possess people?” This question can be redirected to the people (including me) who have been so addicted to the televisual experience. For most part, I think TV’s relatability comes from the fact that it has a tendency to mimic society as we know it. TV can be the alluring dream we only wish we had and at the same time it can show the reality people live day in day out. “This is all about showing people what they want to see and telling them what they want to hear.” This line basically sums everything in the “alluring section” of television. For the things reality cannot offer as of the moment, people tend to substitute it with the magic that streamlines television viewing.

Given that TV is an irony of sorts, here is some contrast: “No one around here was who they pretended to be, and most of them weren’t even the people they seemed to be behind the obvious pretence at being someone else again. The onion layers peeled off, and there were sour little cores in the middle.” The Barstows might be an exaggerated example of such caveat, but some fact does lie beneath the fiction. There is a fine line that separates the reality of television as a concept and medium from the fiction of the actual story. The important thing is for the viewer to develop a sense of where that line stands in order for them to make best use of the viewing experience.

We have a duty to our viewers. They depend on us to take them out of their drab, wretched lives for two brief half-hours a week. Half-hours of entertainment, of education, of magic.  I think that society must revert from indifference when it comes to the importance of television. Although “drab, wretched lives” are neither a requirement nor an excuse, the general public is becoming more aware of the more intrinsic values of television. In some degrees, TV viewing is an art, a commitment, and a leisure.

“Eventually there would be only television. More and more of it, expanding to fill the unused spaces in the general consciousness.” This line can be a reason why this television class is essential and relevant. Since we experience television in all physical dimensions and all facets of culture, it is just right to learn the methods to the madness. It is not anymore constrained to witless material or cheap laughs. TV can be expressed in the multimedia scene, the arts, and can even tackle the politics that encompasses society today. It manages to be relevant and still somehow revolutionary. I think that’s why even as times and technology progress, nothing beats some good television when all else in this fast paced world falls away.

“All that belief has to mean something, has to do something, has to go somewhere!”Indeed, all the things we get from watching TV does something far greater than the confines of a television set. Television raises questions, instigates conversation, encourages thought and criticism, and most especially, moves us,the people it has so greatly affected—forward.

S2E13 Doomsday

DISCLAIMER: NO SELF-RESPECTING HUMAN BEING SHOULD STOP TEARS FROM FLOWING NATURALLY DUE TO THE HEARTBREAKING SPELL THIS SHIT IS ABOUT TO SET FORTH IN THREE…TWO…

If there is to be a deeper valley of tears from expressive women and real, emotionally-stable men than when Zanessa (or Brad-Jennifer) broke up then I guess this moment right here would be it! There is some late-episode sniffing and silent comforting to be done because this episode left the biggest dent in my heart that the Doctor has ever managed.

I will not delve into the specifics because I believe this blog entry should be devoted to how I, as the devoted viewer, was able to feel every stolen breath and captivating moment in such ending. Also, since I think the disclaimer above is worth mentioning—this episode is a must watch for devotees and non-believers alike!

I guess the biggest crumb in the giant Whovian cookie that is dealt with in this episode is all about suffering and surviving goodbyes. It is but human to be afraid of being left alone. More so if you have invested your time (years in the life of Rose), effort (all those near-death experiences), and “love life” (because we were all secretly and naively hoping for a happy ending) in a figurative and literal journey you were willing to spend your whole life pursuing. There is also the fact the Rose has embodied and voiced out that fear so many times before that it makes this reality so much more powerful. As much as Rose is held at the most painful standstill, the audience is also kept at the most riveting cliff-hanger of them all. I guess for the most part, it’s more of the audience hoping that this is a cliff-hanger mainly because they don’t want it to end. The Doctor-Rose saga could very well bid its adieu this episode but this only leaves the fans longing for so much more.

The dream wherein Rose sees the Doctor is so captivating as I see myself in that room again, trying but failing to hold back tears. Rose’s faith brings her back to the Doctor, although this time it’s a lot less physical but a whole lot more personal. This time, a breach works in their favour as they converse one last time. Rose breaks down and confesses her love for the Doctor and he stares and in true television-cliché-madness, the breach collapses into nothingness. Rose screams and cries like a jilted bride with nothing more than faded memory to console her. We see the Doctor, which as much emotion as he has ever shown, also stuck in that moment with barely enough strength to confess that he loves her too. The room is silent with a tension so deadly no one dares to speak.

We see a woman, quite prematurely in a wedding dress, nonchalantly hanging out in the TARDIS. The mini-war freak in all of us is astounded, even thoroughly concerned, that maybe the Doctor will move on all too fast and all too painfully this time around.

…ONE… ZERO.

*Lets the manly tears and womanly sobs shamelessly commence! *

S1E03 The Unquiet Dead

If you think the Doctor has mastered his time-travelling schemes so well that he’ll never make a mistake? Well darlings, think again.

By some sort of dumb luck, the Doctor and Rose find themselves in Cardiff. In retrospect, the place is seen to be the Canada from America’s point of view or the Twilight compared to the Titanic. In other words, Cardiff’s seem to be a big joke.  That aside, we are introduced to one of the best and greatest novelist of all time—Charles (FREAKING) Dickens! Talk about major, major celebrity appearance right there! There are several literary references strewn in the fabric of the dialogue. It sure takes a well-read person to nitpick all of them but even an average person can surely enjoy all its pun-ny glory.

With all the fanfare conveniently set aside, we come to know of a certain blue vapour that has been awaking the asleep of this small town. This episode is also conveniently set in that old, squeaky funeral parlor that seems to be a main fixture in too many recurring childhood nightmares. We are then introduced to the Rift in space and time which these creatures seem to have a fancy in. The cries of the dear departed seem honest and wholesome as the Doctor, with the help of the kind Gwyneth, give in and help them.

One wrong move and everything goes wrong as these spirits, known as the Gelth, are really trying to score some of the living for the devious desires. They are, in fact, out to steal the world as we know it. The audience also becomes privy to the hazards of being involved in the Time War. This makes the viewers see how bloodied and how damaged the Doctor (or, in fact, anyone) can be. Gwyneth was reduced to an object which was the medium for the transportation of the Gelth. Her body was the bridge for the Gelth to finally cross the Rift. This scene shows how people or things can consciously take advantage of people who do things out of the kindness of their hearts. Gwyneth represents the collateral damage, the innocent, and the ones who were sacrificed willingly for the greater good.

Dickens, being the utter genius that he is, notes the Gelth is ultrasensitive to gas. He turns the gas on full and gives way to a sacrifice that will inevitably favour of the whole world. The Doctor and Rose rush out just in time as Gwyneth flicks the solitary flame that sends her and all of the Gelth into their fiery deaths.

To cap things off, Dickens thanks the Doctor and Rose for their help and segues to referencing to another novel that although remains unfinished, gives the dialogue some effective boost. In its totality, the episode shows how much we feel alive when we are at the brink of death. The story is a irony of sorts, one that leaves the audience satisfied but still wistful—wondering what it takes to bring such beautiful past back.

S2E12 Army of Ghosts

This is the story of how I died.

Emotionally loaded like a gun all too ready to fire—that was the description that seemed to consume the once giddy girl I knew named Rose Tyler.

The episode opens with the Doctor and Rose coming back home to Jackie. It seems like just another spring cleaning for both of them as they are ready to unload whatever physical and emotional baggage they’ve accumulated throughout their journeys. Jackie acts like an oddball that just becomes completely crazy. She introduces the idea of “ghosts” that have seem to plague the world with its timed appearances and ghastly apparitions. Something very human was shown in the show when people started accepting the “ghosts” as justifications of long-lost loved ones manifesting themselves. It is all too easy for us to think that maybe, just maybe, these “ghosts” from beyond are the people we have loved and lost a long time ago.

The Doctor, being the all-knowing alien that he is, dismisses that assumption and proceeds to know of Torchwood, the eponymous name that has a special place in the hearts of people that know its reference. The mysterious object that seems to resemble a sphere is then discovered to be of existence in a universe between the universes, a “nothingness” that seems inhabit said ship.

The personnel of Torchwood continue to pursue the greatest human fault—exploiting everything of every source of every energy we come across to. It is seen that even though that unknown adversary has already crossed enemy lines and is soon sweeping in for the kill.

Rose avoids detection and scores herself an almost-all-entrance-pass to the place where the “void ship” is located. She is compromised and recognizes Mickey as one of the professionals in the building. The manipulated Torchwood employees open the said rift through an unscheduled and unadvised “ghost shift”.  We then see the ghosts are just another dosage of those iron and steel monsters in the form of Cybermen. The Doctor comes to know that something more menacing and more technologically capacitated is about to come to Earth and make it surrender to its power.

Samuel, who is really just Mickey to you and me, proceeds to explain all the pieces left in the puzzle. He still believe that maybe those atrocious pieces of metal may be behind all the ruckus. He aims a gun until that sphere opens up once again, now producing the most well-known and passionately-hated of all of the Doctor’s foes—the Daleks.

I must admit that a season finale wouldn’t seem and feel like a good season finale without some good ‘ol Dalek destruction. This being the first half of such finale, I believe it provided enough substance to be able to bridge the story quite well. The lingering feeling of fear and utter sadness that opened this episode is still ringing in every aspect of my Doctor-Rose ship. How they’ll do that ending is all a big question just waiting for a final and definitive answer.

S2E11 Fear Her

This story’s central protagonist is a seemingly-normal girl, Chloe, who has an ability that is, let’s say, oddly God-like. One quick sketch here and a few dabs of color there and you have the quickest, meanest, manned disappearing act know to man.

This story basically talks about a certain kind of profound loneliness. The alien life-form, Isolus, was able to assimilate itself with Chloe because it was able to relate to that kind of troubled childhood in the past. We come to know of Chloe’s father, the person that exemplified fear and violence in the early stages of her life. I guess this dilemma can be seen as a metaphor for one of humanity greatest fear—that someday, some place, we run the risk of forever being alone. Chloe’s case didn’t show a kind of physical distancing, rather it was an emotional incapacity to belong and find solace in other people. The main purpose of the Isolus within Chloe is I guess to capture the people in those sketches to provide her with a distorted view of company. Given that both Chloe and the Isolus both share that lacking of emotional attachment shows how screwed up things can be if more integral things like affection is substituted with isolation.

One can also draw the comparison between the Doctor and the alien life-form, the Isolus. The Isolus was travelling through time and space with its clan in tow before it crashes into Earth all because of a solar flare. That occurrence seems all too familiar with the Doctor’s family which remains to be a touchy subject. What this comparison shows, however, is that no amount of intergalactic loneliness can justify the means by which the Isolus tried to capture all those innocent people.

The Isolus-possessed Chloe went to greater heights as the story’s peak saw the Doctor and his well-love machine go into Chloe’s binding albeit artistic spell. Rose was able to save the day once more, thanks to her brilliant puzzle-solving skills that have imperative to her very survival. Chloe’s mother sings to her to soothe her of the demons that have seemed to plague the scared child from both the inside and the outside. The ruckus of people reappearing bring into light that the monster Chloe has portrayed may also come back to life. The songs the mother and daughter sang brought calm to the otherwise horror-stricken mind and heart of Chloe.

The episode ends with a sort of fortune telling or a look into the things that may come a bit too early. In this case, the Doctor appears to have the most uncertainty he has had all season that brushes on a very sensitive topic. Rose remarks that nothing seems to be able to separate them apart, even with all the gruesome and terrifying aliens that have come their way. Rose’s positive attitude is not reciprocated for once; just enough to hint that maybe next time, a storm is approaching that they may not be able to just blow by.

s2e13: Doomsday

I really didn’t want to write about this episode because it meant finding out whether or not Rose was going to live. But here it goes.

The Daleks and the Cybermen have invaded the earth at the same time, and as frightening as it is, I thoroughly enjoyed their first encounters with each other. They have a sort of face off where all they do is insult each other, and I think it’s classic of Davies’ to do that. Who else would pit two emotionless alien races against each other and just insult each other that well?

My favourite is when the Dalek tells the Cybermen that they are superior in only one respect and then it proceeds to say “You are better at dying.” Talk about a solid burn.

Anyway, just when all hope is lost Jake and the rest of those over at Pete’s World come to save the day. Only, Pete isn’t after saving our earth, he wants to save his world as well. He asks the Doctor for help to get rid of the Cybermen and close the breach forever, so that it may stop causing damage to his world. The Doctor accepts this challenge. He finds that he can keep the breach open long enough to suck the Daleks and the Cybermen in so that they may get lost in the void forever. But when he attempts to close the breach something goes horribly wrong. The Doctor cannot save Rose, and at the last minute Pete jumps in to save her, leaving the Doctor to close the breach forever, making it impossible for the Doctor to cross from our world to Pete’s World.

This is the moment the Doctor saves the world. This is the moment Rose Tyler dies on our Earth, because she no longer exists here, she now exists in the parallel earth. And I guess you could say that this is the moment my heart breaks into a thousand pieces. I was absolutely devastated  when I realized that there would be no way for the Doctor and Rose to be together ever again. I think this is one of the most heartbreaking and yet beautiful moments in the entire series, and maybe I’m just too attached to the Doctor/Rose team, but it was such a bitter moment for me.

When Rose follows the Doctor’s voice along with her family and Mickey, and end up in Bad Wolf Bay, I think it’s a great way to sum everything up and end the series. And then the Doctor materializes in front of her and I just cannot stop crying.

When the Doctor says “I’m burning up a sun just to say goodbye.” The deal is sealed for me, I will never stop loving this team.

And then he says “Here you are, living life day after day. One adventure I can never have.” And we’re reminded of how the Doctor isn’t travelling because it’s his choice. No, that’s the companion’s choice. The Doctor is The Doctor because it’s his job. But he doesn’t resent it, he loves it. And again, like I’ve said so many times, I think it’s amazing, the Doctor’s character.

I’m a little angry at Doctor Who for having to put its fans through so much emotional stress every time they change a Doctor or a companion. But that’s the way things are, and I think it’s a measure of just how loyal fans are to the entire series. Doctor Who fans, they don’t just stick to the show because they like a particular character, or a particular team. They stick to the show for the entire show, and they trust the writers to take it further and keep doing what they’re doing. And so I think this is one of the most perfect shows to study, and to be a fan of. It’s an amazing experience like no other, and I’m so glad I took this class.

s2e12: Army of Ghosts

As soon as Rose says “This is the story of how I died” and they begin to show clips of the ninth Doctor and her travels with the tenth, I literally began to freak out. As much as I had a love/hate thing for Rose, I did not want her to die at all. I enjoyed the Rose/Doctor dynamic so much, and I was going to be devastated if anything happened to Rose.

When the ghosts first come out, I love how the Doctor finds out just how widespread the whole ghost thing is through the TV. On TV, every single channel talks about ghosts, and it’s through different kinds of shows. I like this a lot because it’s another way of showing how important TV is, that it provides us with additional information about what’s going on around the world, and we see how people are using the ghost phenomenon for profit. It’s a classic incidence that we barely ever notice anymore. How something seems to “sweep the nation” because it’s all over the television. The Doctor goes through shows that resemble talk shows, news reports, commercials and even soap operas and I think it’s just the most hilarious and creative thing ever.

Moving on, this is the episode where Torchwood is finally revealed. We find out that they’re the ones controlling the ghost shifts. They’re also responsible for taking care of any alien activity happening on Earth. Torchwood controls the opening and closing of a breach, which allows the ghosts to cross over. The Doctor finds this to be incredibly dangerous, as it continues to destroy the Earth. Torchwood doesn’t believe the Doctor and even tells him that he’s “Lording it over” again and “assuming alien authority over the rights of man”. And again it’s another look into humans, and how they become too full of themselves once they gain the smallest bit of power and authority. People assume that they can do whatever they want once they find that they’re successful in their little experiments. They become greedy and careless, and now refuse to listen to the Doctor, claiming that he is assuming authority just because he’s an alien, and aliens think they’re better than humans. Luckily the Doctor’s reverse psychology works and it stops them from performing another ghost shit that could pose even more danger for the Earth.

But then Torchwood employees who seem to be possessed by something override the system and put them into another ghost shift. The ghosts then materialize and become Cybermen. They have been taking advantage of the opening of the breach to cross over into our world so that they may dominate it. All of a sudden the sphere that had been hanging inside Torchwood opens up and in a bizarre plot twist, the Daleks come out. It’s the first time I think in the history of Doctor Who that the Daleks and the Cybermen are in the same time and space together, and it’s extremely terrifying. Two of the Doctor’s most difficult enemies have now invaded Earth and there’s seems to be little room left for the Doctor to save the day.

By the way, I was really happy to see Mickey again. Like I said before, Mickey is probably one of my favourite characters in the series, and I’m really happy that he’s so much more bad ass now. He isn’t the bumbling sidekick anymore. Now he’s the one protecting Rose and saving the earth. That, I think, is one of the best things that could happen to a character.

s2e11: Fear Her

I don’t think I enjoyed Fear Her very much. The concept was very interesting, but it felt very forced. Like, what was an episode like this doing here? I felt like they were just filling up a space before the finale.

Anyway, the concept of using drawings to manipulate the real world is a very cool one, although it’s not very original. I’d seen it in an episode of another British TV show, Misfits, where a guy had the power to control the future depending on what he drew. In Doctor Who however, drawings were being made to create new things, and to capture things that already existed. It’s a really creepy idea if you ask me, and having a child do it makes it even creepier.

At first I was thinking about how they would explain how the child got her power. Maybe she was exposed to something radioactive? Maybe she was being possessed by some evil force? Maybe her pencils and papers were magical? But alas, once again it’s aliens. Of course it’s aliens, it’s Doctor Who. I guess i was just a little disappointed at the story of the alien, and why it was doing the things it was doing, and again it felt a little disconnected from everything. I guess i just didn’t see the point of this episode.

Something i really liked though was how the Doctor and Rose were all cute and couple-y again, going around a normal little town acting like detectives. It felt a little refreshing to see them in such a normal setting. It’s a nice break from all the big battling hordes of zombiefied aliens and saving the Earth from sheer destruction.

Another thing i enjoyed, although found a little strange and AGAIN a little out of place, was the whole Olympics thing. It just felt so random to have all of these things coincide with the Olympics. Perhaps it was just a way to get David Tennant to run with the Olympic torch? And I don’t know, even if it was a little weird for things to add up to that, I found it really funny. The Doctor not only saves the Earth, but in a completely random turn of events, saves the Olympics as well. And this actually got me to thinking, why hasn’t anyone noticed the Doctor or recognized him yet?

s2e10: Love & Monsters

When the episode began I was initially confused with what was going on, as with the rest of the class. Actually, I was pretty confused throughout the entire episode, but I just kept thinking to myself “Why do I still get surprised when it comes to this show?”. Watching Doctor Who sort of makes you get used to expecting the unexpected, or well, accepting that strange things are bound to happen whether you like it or not. I think that’s part of the appeal of the whole show, that no one’s really sure what they’re going to get next.

Like  in The Girl in the Fireplace, I realized how many people the Doctor affects in this episode. How all his travelling and combating aliens and saving the day has implications that we do not see, and this goes back to the issue of the consequences of time travel. The Doctor may not be changing things drastically in the time periods he arrives in, because he is careful and he knows what he’s doing, but he probably doesn’t realize that he unknowingly leaves his mark every so often, and he affects different sorts of people. And these people, they never forget the Doctor. I mean, how could you, right?

So I think that’s interesting, especially since Elton and the rest of his gang have almost spent their entire lives dedicated to finding the Doctor.

Another interesting bit of the story was Jackie. Despite being lonely she still protected the Doctor and Rose because in the end she is still Rose’s mum, and although Rose leaves her always, she still loves her very much. I like how we got to see more of Jackie in this episode, especially how she is without Rose. It’s like getting to see a whole other side to Jackie, but the funny thing is, she’s still pretty much the same.

I like the concept of Doctor-lite episodes. It’s like looking at the Whoniverse through a pair of new eyes. You see what the Doctor and Rose look like from outside their little bubble, and we’re sort of zapped back to the real world where not everything revolves around our favorite pair of time travelers. We’re reminded that even though they’re out constantly kicking alien butt and saving the Earth, they’re still part of a bigger picture.