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S2E13: Doomsday

And that was it.

 

Rose is dead. At least, in one universe. Now she exists in another, the one that didn’t have her in the first place. Unless you count the dog. This series finale was another goodbye, but this was a more permanent goodbye. One that can’t be reversed…well, at least for moment. We never know when the impossible in a show about the impossible will happen again. A lot will definitely be different, be changed. Rose isn’t like the Doctor. She didn’t and isn’t going to regenerate and take her place again. There’s going to be a new companion, and this one won’t be Rose, not like when David Tennant replaced Christopher Eccleston. I wonder if viewers will have to deal with this sort of loss every time a new series come around. Quite emotionally draining.

 

The Doctor Who cheekiness was there when the Doctor figured things out with the help of 3D glasses. I didn’t mind it at first, I didn’t think it was that important at first, but looking back, it should’ve been pretty obvious that the glasses were doing something. The Doctor kept on peeking through them as the Daleks and Cybermen were fighting. Anyway. It was brilliant how everything that I loved in the series was brought together in this episode: the epic aliens and battles, the complicated and emotional moments, the humor, and so on. It was all weaved together quite nicely. The emotional parts felt a bit long during my second viewing of the episode, due to the fact that in the back of my head, I was just thinking: there’s a war going on, can’t you do that later? Suspension of disbelief was needed, and I guess most didn’t have trouble with that as they were so involved with everything that was happening. The first time around, I didn’t really notice it. One part that was quite strange and out of character was the Yvonne Cyberman. I think her emotional inhibitor was broken or something, since she was still going on about doing her “duty for Queen and country.” I felt so bad for her, though I thought it was quite melodramatic how they had to show her, erm, tearing up (out of context, it looked like she was leaking).

 

Rose was the Bad Wolf, though it was never really explained to us why she was the Bad Wolf. I mean, of all things, why Bad Wolf? She could have been, oh I don’t know, Red Thorn or something (okay, that was bad but at least it was kinda connected to “rose”). It was nice touch that they ended Rose’s run and time with the Doctor in Bad Wolf Bay. Bad Wolf, scattered across time and space, meant to lead Rose back to the Doctor, but this time, it was the Doctor who was led to Rose. Several of my classmates cried the most during this part, the final goodbye, but I wasn’t really led to tears. I felt like crying, but unlike other episodes, I didn’t cry. I used to cry so easily at things like these, but now, not really. I guess it wasn’t as specific, I couldn’t relate to it as much as the other episodes. I’ve had relationships that have ended, on a note that sounded like “we’re never seeing each other again” even though I loved them dearly, but we’re still on the same universe. There’s still a chance that we bump into each other, like that one morning when I was on my way to the train station and he seemingly came out of nowhere. A universe dividing us, I guess that’s not really a reality right now. Oh well, I don’t really know. I might be looking way too hard at my inability to shed tears from watching this episode.

 

I can’t wait to get the rest of the episodes. I think I know what I’ll be doing during my free time this summer. “The Runaway Bride”, let’s do this! 

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This is the story of how I died.”

 

I didn’t quite know what to make of Rose’s statement. In “The Satan Pit”, it had been predicted by the Beast that she would die in battle. I guess this is it then. It was still quite shocking though, and I definitely wasn’t looking forward to Rose’s death, even though I didn’t always like her. I had become attached to her character as well.

 

This was a very exciting episode, very intense indeed. I liked how they went from the small scale, from the thought that Jackie’s father was returning as a ghost to the bigger picture, to fact that Cybermen from another dimension were invading our world. It seems so minor and insignificant at first, but it’s just the beginning. It was a bit weird though how these “ghosts” were already so well-integrated with their world – the examples were hilarious and did a great job illustrating how the ghosts were already integrated – but they’ve only been around for about two months. I guess people took to them the way they take to new technology. A bit odd at first, but then they just embrace it whole-heartedly. Oh, the human race.

 

This seems to be the culmination of something that we’ve first heard of in “The Christmas Invasion”: Torchwood. In the first series, there was the Bad Wolf thing going on, appearing everywhere randomly like some sort of Easter Egg. The Bad Wolf was more of a visual thing, it’s something you literally see. Torchwood, however, is something that people talk about in hushed tones, only with certain people that they trust. I guess that makes it more noticeable than Bad Wolf. Here we see Torchwood as it is in the present, still here after all those years that Queen Victoria decided to set it up after she meets the Doctor in Scotland, in the Torchwood Estate. It’s a place that I hope to one day stumble upon if ever I don’t become the Doctor’s companion, hehe. Though hopefully, they’ve got uhm, better morals later on. Torchwood currently seems to be the same old colonizers of the past, claiming everything to be theirs. They just have more high-tech things and they’re no longer after earthly places.

 

The ghosts turn out to Cybermen. That in itself is crazy enough, enough to know that this episode and the next will definitely be interesting. And Mickey is also back. Things that we thought we had left behind in the other dimension, in the “Age of Steel” are back again, and they’re in this world. But it didn’t end there…the Doctor’s greatest enemies, who we thought were already wiped out in the previous series, are back. The Daleks. I’ve kinda forgotten about them, to be honest, and it was totally unexpected when they came flying out of that freaky sphere thing. This episode is definitely for fans of the show, for people who’ve been following it. If this was the first episode that a person would watch, the Daleks coming out would have no impact all. It wouldn’t really make sense to them why it makes such a great cliffhanger.

 

The next episode is the last for this series. This episode set it up quite nicely. I’m looking forward to it!

s2e9: The Satan Pit

This was a fantastic episode in my opinion.

Let me just first talk about Rose, and how much I liked what they did with her character here. If in other episodes Rose found herself rendered useless if the Doctor was gone or incapacitated, here she was the one who pushed the team to move on and to do what they had to do. I think she’s developed into a much stronger character, and perhaps it was done to move the plot along, but I like it because we gain much more respect for her character now. In the end though, she still remains the same old Rose who refuses to leave the Doctor behind, and this is not entirely a bad thing. Of course Rose would want to stay behind, she loves the Doctor very much, and no matter how strong her character becomes, she’s still just Rose Tyler.

I liked the discussion of belief between the Doctor and Ida. I liked what the Doctor said, that he believed he “hadn’t seen everything” and that he could not believe certain things, like when the Beast said it came from “before the universe” because they didn’t fit his rules. And the reason he kept travelling was to be proved wrong. I like it because it’s very philosophical and where do you ever get that much insight out of a TV show?

I also liked how the episode revolved around ideas. The devil was not an actual being, it was just an idea. An incarnation of our biggest fears, and that I think is much scarier than an actual being because that means the devil is ourselves and other people.

Before the Doctor releases himself from the line, he tells Ida to tell Rose something, but then he hesitates and says “Oh, she’d know.” And this moment just gets me every time. The Doctor doesn’t even have to say anything because we all know just how much he loves Rose and how important they are to one another. And call me out on being such a girl about it, but I love the Doctor and Rose’s relationship. I really like how it isn’t exactly a romantic relationship, but it isn’t purely platonic either. It’s a bit of both and neither at the same time, and I don’t think I’ve seen that sort of relationship between anyone else on television either. And so I think Doctor Who is such a spectacular show for doing so many things that you’d never see in any other show. They’re doing things so differently, and it’s not just because they’re having their protagonists travel through time and space in a blue box, or that they’re dealing with all sorts of strange creatures and ideas and the lot, but because the show is constantly evolving into something, and yet allowing us to look back on ourselves and on humanity to reflect and think about so many things.

S2E11: Fear Her

I am not quite sure what the title’s real connection to the episode is. I mean, yeah, I guess you can still connect it, but it doesn’t seem to quite fit. It all feels a bit off. It sounds like there’s some sort of impending doom, something dark, but it was only a child who needed to be loved. She wasn’t really something to be feared. Perhaps “Fear Him” would’ve been a more appropriate title, since the monster dad in the closet was more the one to be feared. The dominant themes are love and family or companionship, and yet the title suggested the opposite.

 

The entire episode doesn’t really feel like it’s part of the series, it feels a bit forced. Maybe it’s because of the alien. The alien was really strange. And ridiculously cheesy. I mean seriously…love? Love is good and all that, but it ended there. The Isolus was just this thing that functioned because of love. It’s the whole episode was contrived just to promote love and family values. And that’s all good, but it just…could’ve been a lot better.

 

The episode also felt like it was meant to promote the 2012 London Olympics. I dunno if it was really meant to be that way, or if I just feel that because it’s already 2012. And the commentator kept on going on about how the Olympic torch symbolized love, hope, and all that jazz. It was conveniently there when it was needed, and it just so happened to be perfect for sending the Isolus pod on its way. That lonely Isolus pod…it said that it was alone, that all its brothers and sisters were still up there. I wonder why they didn’t come looking for their missing sibling? I mean, there are four billion of them, but since they function on love, shouldn’t they notice once one goes missing? Or did they never notice that one went missing?

 

In past episodes, before Mickey became a companion, Rose would tell him of times that she and the Doctor went to this planet and did this and did that. Mickey wouldn’t be able t relate, and the audience too. Rose sometimes tells stories of trips that she and the Doctor have had outside of the episodes. This episode felt like one of those trips, one of those trips that aren’t really that significant to merit their own episode. It was perhaps only the last scene, with the Doctor and Rose watching the fireworks, that was important, as it had foreshadowing. The Doctor mentions a storm approaching. A bit strange though, since he is supposed to be “the oncoming storm”. Well, I guess we’ll just have to see what he meant exactly by that.

I enjoyed this episode a lot. I think I’d grown tired of all the grey and gloomy doomsday-ish episodes we’d been having lately that I was excited when the Doctor and Rose were finally on a brand new, real life space adventure. It was one episode where i was quite literally on the edge of my seat, but at the same time I was feeling tickled by the funny things that are the Ood. This episode reminded me of those classic Hollywood films that had something to do with exploring deep space, and in the same sense, that’s why it was really fun to watch.

One thing i want to note on is the Ood. It’s another look into humans and their apparent thing for domination over people that are lower than them. And although they say the Ood enjoy being slaves, I don’t like the realizations we make and must face as humans. That we feel like if we can get a species to be our slaves for us, we’d never have to work a day in our lives. I suppose we’re all trying to look for things to make our lives easier, like silly inventions and the like, but i still think it’s not a good way of thinking. That we can abuse certain things as long as they make us comfortable and they supposedly don’t harm anyone.

So anyway, another thing I’d like to point out again is the Doctor’s fascination and respect for humans, because he seems so amazed by the fact that humans are going further into space for science, and risking all of their lives “just because they can”.

When we find out that the TARDIS is gone, it’s an instant signal for disaster. You just know things are going to get worst from there. And it almost makes me lose hope because how are Rose and the Doctor going to get back to travelling the universe now? They can’t just settle on the impossible planet forever, right? And so I thought it was both nice and a little annoying to keep us, the audience on the edge of our seats, breaking our heads trying to figure out how they’re getting the TARDIS back.

When the Ood turn into a legion it’s almost terrifying, and we’re hurled back into another domination-zombie set up, where the Doctor and his friends are outnumbered by strange mindless creatures. I enjoy the thrill you get out of these sorts of set ups, and it’s interesting to see how they put so many variations to it, but after a while it gets a little tiring.

Anyway, all in all I liked this episode a lot because it was pretty different from the past episodes. It really did have a very Hollywood adventure movie feel and sometimes that isn’t a bad thing. I think a big factor is that the science part of this episode was a lot more real in the sense that it wasn’t nearly as impossible as all the other stuff they’d had to go through.

Before re-watching this episode, I had watched a tribute video. This entire episode sort of felt like a tribute video at times, a tribute to the Doctor and to LINDA. It obviously very different from the other episodes, as this was from the video diary of Elton. Rose and the Doctor do play a significant role, but their screen time is very limited.

 

During the opening scenes, I thought that Elton might be a new companion. I was wondering whether he’d just be a bother to have along, like Adam, or if he’d make things a lot more interesting, like Jack. It felt a bit strange when all of a sudden, the point of view suddenly went to Elton’s video camera. It was new, and I haven’t seen a Doctor Who episode that was told from anyone else’s point of view.

 

This episode had been the last episode for the seniors in the class, and indeed, it was the perfect episode to end with even though it isn’t the season finale yet. Rose was the original vessel for the audience to be able to relate, but now we have Elton as Rose is now well-integrated into the show. Elton is the audience, the fan of not just the Doctor, but also of Rose. It was nice to go back and see some of the bits and pieces of the Doctor’s adventures, but from the point of view of a commoner, a man on the street. I wonder if they had planned for this episode long ago, and had shot it alongside those previous episodes? I noticed that they recycled some shots, such as that of the Big Ben being destroyed by the alien ship in “Aliens of London”. I think though, that this episode was a bit early. There’s been less than two series, and there’ve only been two Doctors. It would have been a lot more interesting if they had done this episode in the next series or so. A lot more would have happened. But since they decided to make this a sort of regular thing, then it isn’t so bad to have it now. It’s a nice little recap, and it answers the question of what it would be like had we actually been there when those things had happened.

 

It was nice that this episode wasn’t completely a “tribute”, but it had its own story as well. You don’t even have to watch all of the episodes of Doctor Who to watch this one. Come think of it, it’s not really a tribute to Doctor Who, but more of a tribute to the audience, to the fans of the show. It focuses on one unique “fan” of the Doctor and Rose, and follows him around, not only for his Doctor Who-related escapades, but also for other things that make him him, such as the LINDA bonding sessions and his growing relationship with Ursula (strange as it eventually became). Even the alien of this show is from the audience. There was a contest, a make-your-own-alien sort of thing, and the child who made the absorbaloff won. I don’t know if the producers of the show meant it to be that way, as an audience-tribute sort of thing, or if they just wanted to give the lead actors a break by making others the leads. I suppose Mickey would have been part of this episode, except he was left behind in another dimension. It was nice that they showed Jackie, crazy Jackie with her antics, and how lonely she was. Jackie can be quite annoying, like most mothers are, but she really does love Rose. It was touching how she pushed Elton away despite her loneliness so that she could protect Rose and the Doctor.

s2e6: The Age of Steel

I’m going to talk about Mickey through out most of this entry because I’m giving this episode to him. He deserves all of the awards here.

First i would like to commend Noel Clarke for his portrayal as both Mickey and Ricky. Two completely different personalities and yet he does them so convincingly that if i didn’t know any better I’d think that the pair were played by twins. He’s great at channeling both the bumbling sidekick and the mysterious renegade.

Anyway, in the very beginning Mickey starts off as the “idiot”, providing comic relief when needed. He would also be there whenever it was convenient, like when they needed an extra hand. He would never really do much help, although sometimes he’s able to prove himself. But even then, Mickey is never considered as one of the team. Even now that he tags along with Rose and the Doctor to the parallel universe, he’s still ignored and regarded as the one with the least say in things. However, as we move on into the second part of the two-parter we realize just how much potential Mickey has. When he is faced with the death of his alternate self, I think he realizes some very important things. He sort of becomes his alternate, not by taking on his personality, but by taking on the role that he left behind. And I think this was amazing for Mickey to do, because I don’t think anyone expected him to turn out this way. He came out as the hero and we realize just how important he is.

I was really sad when Mickey decided to stay and help fight off the Cybermen even if there was no chance for Rose and the Doctor to come back and see him again. I like how he’s accepted his fate because he finally found a place for himself. He never quite fit in on Earth when Rose was not around, and he certainly did not feel appreciated when he was with Rose and the Doctor. But here, on the parallel world, Mickey found that his life was worthwhile. He was actually doing something to help people.

I like Mickey’s character development. I think it was much deserved. He fought his way and got what he wanted. A purpose and a place in the Whoniverse. And even though he couldn’t be with Rose anymore, I think he’s accepted that long ago. And it’s a little sad to see how Rose just sort of does that to him, but it’s also amazing, how well he accepts it.  Mickey is one of my favorite characters in Doctor Who, and perhaps on television.

s2e5: Rise of the Cybermen

Before I begin my blog entry can I just say that I was incredibly excited when I saw that the man who played Lumic, the main antagonist of this story, was the man who played Barty Crouch Sr. I was having a Harry Potter fan-girl moment because I knew that Tennant had played Barty Crouch Jr and I was so happy that they were going to be in the same episode together.

Okay, anyway, I think this is a really interesting episode because it features parallel universes. I’ve always been interested in the concept of a parallel universe because I like to think that somewhere out there there’s one or more alternate version(s) of me living all of the lives I could never live here. In the parallel universe that the Doctor, Rose and Mickey fall into, they find that it’s similar to their world, but not quite. Here, one of the biggest changes is that there are zepelins in the sky and every human uses earpods. The earpods are an interesting addition to human everyday living, and i’m quite glad that we don’t have earpods in our version of reality. I think they’re representative of an obsession with technology and having to be updated an in all the time. It’s a bit of a study into the effects of mass media, and humans’ constant need to be in the know. I don’t like how we must always be updated and sort of think the same thing. Sure, it’s great that we’re all connected now, but i feel like we’re all losing our sense of identity and originality.

Anyway, aside from the earpods, one of the most significant changes is the fact that Pete, Rose’s father is alive in this universe and he also plays a vital role. Lumic sends a new pair of earpods to Pete’s wife, Jackie. Apparently, the earpods turn into a device that controls people and it sends them to be converted into Cybermen.

About the Cybermen, I was aware of their existence prior to this episode, but I had not known about their origin. And my oh my, they must be the creepiest enemy I have ever seen on Doctor Who. But I can’t hate them, I actually feel sorry for them considering they were real people stripped of all emotions, trapped inside a metal body. It’s so sad and sometimes I think about how absolutely horrifying Doctor Who can get sometimes. I mean, human test subjects in New Earth and now humans stripped of their whole… humanity? That’s really sad and really scary.

Lastly, I want to note on how I feel for Mickey. I love Mickey so much, and my affinity for me even got an upgrade as we find out about his story. That he was pretty much raised by his grandmother. When he goes looking for his grandmother in this alternate universe my heart melts as I realize that Mickey is an actual person with an actual story and that I feel so bad for him because of how Rose and the Doctor continue to treat him like the tin dog. They don’t respect him enough and I really understand where Mickey comes form when he gets mad at them for frequently forgetting about him. I love this because it doesn’t only boost Mickey’s character development, but we’re also reminded of the flaws of both the Doctor and Rose.

Once again Steven Moffat doesn’t fail to amuse me by giving us a beautiful period piece with a strange little twist. Yes, strange even for Doctor Who. Actually no, scratch that, nothing is strange for Doctor Who.

But anyway, I love this episode so much because it’s so complex and it’s got so many things going on. First is the obvious. Three thousand years into the future and aboard an abandoned space ship, the Doctor, Rose and Mickey find an 18th century fire place. The fireplace is apparently a hole in the universe that serves a door from the past and the future, and the door leads just to the life of Madame de Pompadour. As the Doctor goes in and out he discovers that it takes him to different times of her life, where he frequently saves her from the evil clutches of strange clockwork robots that are out to get her. Let me just stop here and stem off into two topics. First is Mickey Smith.

It’s Mickey’s first trip on the TARDIS and his first time as a companion outside earth and it’s cute how Rose is teaching him the tricks of the trade. It’s nice to see Mickey get more action.

Second is the Doctor and his well, past with women. It’s funny how the writers seem to be using Tennant’s good looks and younger age now and set him up with all these different women. It’s fun to see that he Doctor is a bit of a playboy, but not in a bad way, but still a playboy. And it’s funny to see Rose get jealous of all the women the Doctor’s had in the past, and how he seems to get attached to people so easily. I think this says something about Rose’s insecurities about just being one out of dozens of companions the Doctor has had and will eventually have. But who can blame Rose? She’d always thought that it would be her and the Doctor forever, so when she’s reminded that this is not the case, she has a little difficulty handling it.

Moving on, I really like the character of Madame de Pompadour. She is feisty, and despite coming form the 18th century she is incredibly smart and picks up on what is happening despite not knowing anything about the future. i was disappointed to learn that the Doctor did not reach her in time before she died, but after hearing what she had to say in the letter i realized something really nice. i realized that the Doctor affects so many people’s lives without even realizing it. And it’s amazing how much impact he’s had in the entire world.

s2e1: New Earth

New Earth is a fantastic episode that has so much to say about humanity. But let me get sidetracked for a bit and talk about Rose. We’ve always known that Rose is incredibly attached to the Doctor. But now it’s becoming clear that her view of her relationship with the Doctor is something other than purely platonic. She even refers to the first time they set out on an adventure together as they’re first date. It doesn’t help that the Doctor is a “New New Doctor” because I think this makes her even more in love with him.

Anyway, on to the episode. Rose and the Doctor find themselves on New Earth, a hopeful place that i guess is also representative of how the Doctor and Rose are about their lives. They’re also hopeful because they’ve just survived certain death and now they’re at this wonderful place that’s beautiful and high tech. However, trouble is afoot again as we learn that Cassandra has survived for some reason and is now living on New Earth as well. She spots the Doctor and Rose, and lures Rose into her hiding place so that she may use Rose’s body. Let me just commend Billy Piper here on her amazing acting as Cassandra trapped in Rose’s body. She does a splendid job and it’s very convincing if you ask me.

Anyway, meanwhile the Doctor notices the amazing sorts of medical feats that are being performed at the hospital they’ve ended up in and he wants to find out how they’re doing it. We later on discover that there and hundreds of hidden pods containing artificially created humans and they are given thousands of diseases to serve as farms to breed cures. Later on we find out that these aren’t just creatures, but they’re actual human beings with thoughts and feelings. I think it’s a great way of looking at humanity as a whole and to look at what we’ve been doing lately and if it’s right. Currently there are people debating on the ethics of cloning and creating humans so that we may have organs ready for transplanting. However, a big question that is frequently raised is whether it is ethical to harm the clones because they will be human as well.

In a turn of events, the episode becomes a zombie story when Cassandra releases some of the plague carriers. The Doctor and Cassandra flee for their lives. Somewhere throughout all of that, Cassandra has to transfer from Rose’s body to a carrier’s body, and it is here where she realizes something of utmost importance. The carriers are not only plagued by illnesses but are also plagued by an immense loneliness because of the fact that they were never given the chance to touch or be touched by anyone all their lives. And so this answers our question as to whether or not what the sisters at the hospital were doing was ethical or not. These people, despite not looking, sounding or acting like people still contain emotions, souls even, and are being tortured day by day by the deprivation they must live with. It’s sad and I guess it’s a really nice way of looking at humanity. Does the origin of a person make him any less human?

Moving on, the Doctor saves the day and forces Cassandra out of Rose’s body. It is then when we realize that Cassandra is still a human despite being reduced to a pale over-stretched sheet, and she deals with the loneliness of being not only the last full human, but being one that is trapped in a state of ugliness everyday of her life. Chip offers his body to Cassandra but as a half-life his body fails and Cassandra accepts her death. Although it was a little too quick for me the way Cassandra accepted her death, I enjoyed the ending a lot because here the Doctor does one last thing for Cassandra. He takes her back to the past to see herself when she was still beautiful. “Chip” approaches the Cassandra of the past and tells her that she is beautiful and then dies. This is the last time someone has ever told Cassandra she was beautiful, and I think that in itself is very beautiful, because the future Cassandra could finally die beautiful.