Tag Archive: 100442


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.

S2E10: Love & Monsters

This episode was by far the most relatable storyline I’ve seen in the entirety of my Doctor Who experience. Comedy clearly also plays a huge part in this episode as the audience was privy to the mind and musings of this slightly kooky but relative normal lad as the central agent in the story.

There is of course the usual villain by the name of Victor Kennedy who may as well be the epitome of all the S.O.B. bosses that everyone absolutely hates. He is figuratively and literally the kind of person (or creature) that will stop at nothing until he eats your soul (or you) alive. His disturbing presence in the episode exemplifies how aliens show how human we are. The morphing aversion that Abzorbaloff personified just emphasized how gifted the human race is.

Despite all the mucking about and the frantic researching, kinships can be formed and romantic relationships can blossom. Snacks and impromptu jamming sessions between people who share the same fascination are bound to keep them together.

As a contrast to the light-hearted mood of the story, Elton also played a hand in the part wherein Jackie gets hurt. It can be so frustrating when Jackie life’s is unintentionally screwed up as well due to her daughter’s’ dealings with the Doctor.

On a lighter note, I just absolutely love the fact that Elton is the representation of the spectator or the audience. It helps that Elton also is a metaphor for the awkward kid in all of us. We are all just a group of people in awe of the Doctor and for most part; we were not that interesting before he came to our lives. It’s just a refreshing feeling to be able to relate to a character that seems to not know he is one. It almost encourages the breaking of the fourth wall.

The video diary as the medium of storytelling is also as effective because the Elton speaks in such blatant manner and he is totally unapologetic about it. It shows that this form of storytelling is undauntedly authentic in its presentation. Don’t expect blemish-concealing make-up with lights all around because this is real nitty-gritty journalism as it gets.

This method of storytelling also gives the audience the most authentic experience in trying to decode the Doctor. It may be gruelling or downright frustrating, but the manner of presentation was just so creative it comes off as genius. It’s the attention to the detail that also gives the comedic hints without looking too trying hard. The mini detective-agency-cum-basement-band is so aptly named it renders the viewers positively pleased. L.I.N.D.A spells out the utterly cute group name: London Investigation ‘N’ Detective Agency.

I can see why the little sexual innuendo at the end can come off a little bit brash. I guess followers were more used to such innuendos being more obscure and wittier. But nevertheless, the Elton and Ursula love angle was a nice breather as opposed to the sexual tension between Rose and the Doctor. Overall, this episode was a great showcase of the writer’s ability to mix up the repertoire and keep everybody interested.

S2E9 The Satan Pit

Part two of the dramatic story opens and we are reintroduced to the epitome of the evil that the series has seen—The Beast. The episode reveals how evil can be of different configuration and have different manifestations. The human manifestation is clearly Toby who now serves as the human life form of the Beast’s consciousness. The audience is now privy to the Beast’s past and his capture in probably the best prison for a creature of his magnitude. This shows that there is a story behind everything that we conceive to be true-even our deepest and darkest fears. One can even reason out that the explanation why Toby was susceptible to the evils of the Beast is that there is a part in everyone that is shrouded in a kind of darkness. All that must counter such tendency is a pursuit to keep that notch in ourselves always in check to prevent whatever evil or darkness from entering us.

This episode deals with the choice the Doctor has to make and the dreading feeling he has while making them. We have seen enough instances wherein the Doctor has been forced to see and figure out which situation bears the greater good.  His past lamentations bear no effect as time and time again, his position places him in instances wherein sacrifice is as essential as life itself. We are also shown the lengths the Doctor goes through to keep Rose’s best interests at heart. In keeping that in mind, he shows no hesitation must he plunge into his own death if it meant saving her.

Through some sort of luck that seems to be a constant figure in the near-death escapes of the Doctor, he manages to come across the initially lost TARDIS. The defiance of the Beast renders Toby possessed once more. The last ditch attempt to save what is left of the crew and Rose in the escape rocket proves fruitful as the Doctor was able to tow it via the TARDIS. The Beast falls to resounding death along with the Ood, the casualties of the war. This comes of as a bitter pill to swallow for the Doctor. The Ood represents those who have only good intentions but due to fate and circumstance, were never awarded the life they deserved. This can be seen as reminiscent of the Time War wherein the Doctor has encountered innocent blood in his hands.

When the survivors are back and safe, they said their goodbyes and finally went their separate ways. The Ood finally are given the respect they deserve when Zack reads off the people who have given up their lives in their noble pursuit. In totality, any appearance is just a mask that never really determines what lies underneath. No judgement can ever be fully warranted as it may be the product of deceit or prejudice. What truly matters is that when anyone is left in those empty moments, only all that is good and all that is just must fully prevail.

S2E8 The Impossible Planet

Let’s just say that if the TARDIS gets all queasy and off –that’s great sign that some kind of shit hole is about to come your way! But come to think of it, who are we kidding? It’s not like a warning from good ‘ol TARDIS is gonna stop the Doctor at his tracks at all. If anything’s gonna happen, that might just make him more excited!

Well, for starters, the Doctor and Rose find themselves in the middle of an intergalactic position that defies all science lessons and logical understanding. That position is the base of aplanet that seems to find its fancy in orbiting a freaking black hole! We are also introduced to some pretty normal people who man the ship, a “Sanctuary Base”, which drills toward to the centre of the whole world. It’s main goal is to claim all the reserve power that keeps it in orbit.

There are also these shrimp-like creatures called the Ood that toil within the drilling site. It is quickly noticeable how badly the crew treats them. For a race that has suffered all ages and forms of involuntary servitude, the display of total superiority and indifference was quite appalling. That is also why it also comes to no wonder what kind of havoc the Ood may bring about later in the story.

The base is damaged by some sort of quake that renders sections of the ship incapacitated. There have been many cases wherein the TARDIS was out of commission for a few hours or needed some repairing time and again. But this instance was the realization of Rose’s that they may never make it back home alive. This is signalled by their inability to translate a certain ancient script that turns out to be pivotal in their discovery of what really lies beneath.

The danger escalates as the drilling awakes a being that has every right to be scared of, Toby, one of the members of the crew, experiences the Beast in his solitude. The Beast relays his threats in an eerie, authoritative voice that gets scarier and scarier. The fact that it insists that Toby must not see it adds to its menacing qualities. It can be said that the greatest fears in life are that of unseen horrors and the terror that blankets a human’s very imagination.

I must admit I was positively scared when the ancient script started appearing in his flesh, when he started speaking in the same dark and deep voice, and when his eyes started turning beet-red to express the evil that fills him. This can be seen as a taking over of Toby’s humanity and transforming him to a creature that reeks of revenge and damnation. His possession drives him to murderous heights as he is consumed by the dark forces that malign the place.

Back in of the base, the Doctor decides he is accompanying another member, Ida, to the center of the drilling. The descent is long and arduous and was a sign of the worse things to come. They finally reach the end and see a door just waiting to open. In a synchronized motion, the door opens, Toby is possessed once again, and the slaved Oods rise up as an army against the crew they have served for so long. In the depths of the planet lies the Beast that awakened all the fears and weaknesses the mere mortals and the Doctor had to offer.  Almost in sync with my racing heart and the fears I try to control, everything scrambles into disarray as they are about to experience the most dreadful nightmare known to man.

 

S2E7 The Idiot’s Lantern

“Goodnight children…everywhere.”

This episode basic premise is about the invasion of one of modern technologies greatest feats (and the main theme of this class), television, by another alien life force. The grandmother’s sentiments at the start of the episode echo the old wives’ tale of television being bad for little girls and boys. Many of the stories of my childhood were of the detriments of too much TV watching with some scary tales mixed in the lot for an added extra effect.

As the Wire stole every face and mind of an unsuspecting victim, a metaphor can be drawn in comparison to her methods. The fact that the face is the initial feature tells us the physical distinction of one person from another tells us that the lady in the telly is up to no good. By removing the face of each person, the Wire is stealing not only her humanity but also the identity that each person can boast of. The victims are seen as covered in cloth and that can be interpreted as shame or an embarrassment. As the spokeswoman renders each victim “brain dead”, it shows how dehumanizing her processes are. It is revealed that the Wire turned itself into a sort of electrical entity to escape certain damnation from where she came from. The brain power that she sucks from viewers are then transferred and generated to recreate a body to be filled by her electrical form.

We also see how Rose was robbed of her face in the process. I think it has been quite some time wherein she was endangered separately from the Doctor. I think what this occurrence brings forth is a sort of empathy from the viewers since we were able to relate with Rose so much as a “companion”. It also quite a refreshing thing to see the Doctor engaged with the authorities as opposed to positively repelling them. Rose’s predicament also saw some involvement from another person, Tommy, in the bringing down of the Wire.

Given that the happenings were near the date of the Coronation, there are also some politics involved. It was evident how instead of solving the immediate problem, the police authorities started hiding it to retain this squeaky clean image of nice and lovely small London town. For most part, this is a good example of how sweeping things under the rug can be a tad too dangerous for everyone involved. Even despite the detective’s personal sentiments, the focus and police force the Coronation attracts is too much for him to handle the situation at all.

Mr. Magpie, the man caught in the crossfire of sorts, also represents people who have good intentions but are taken advantage of by more powerful and more menacing beings like the Wire.

At the end of the day, widespread brain damage was prevented as the Doctor was able to connect his device that inevitably entrapped the menacing creature. It is quite an irony how such a big phenomenon can be reduced to a prisoner—lone and defeated in a Betamax cassette.

To be perfectly honest, I was not that big of a fan of the way the villain is characterized in this episode. Although a woman behind a television screen stealing your being is horrifying, I just find that the methods to the madness a bit lacklustre, at least in comparison with all the other alien life forms encountered in Doctor Who.

Let’s just say that this episode didn’t exactly have me shivering with fear, but yes—maybe just a little anxious that a crazy, lanky woman gets on my television screen to wake me up and steal my soul!

 

The Christmas Invasion

As an essential contrast, the Doctor is portrayed as this healing creature that almost looks like he is frail and scrawny for the first time. I am so not used to this that the start of the episode got me questioning if in fact, the physical transformation is the only change the Doctor has gone through. A scene also tries to resolve whether the Doctor just has a different face or is it really a different person altogether. I think this part is important to reconcile with the viewer because it is one of the many aspects wherein the audience can reconnect with each new incarnation of the Doctor. Rose is distressed at first as grapples with that same dilemma.

To segue into the storyline, I found it so funny how Rose checked the Doctor’s vital signs by checking both his hearts to which the startled Jackie replied, “Anything else he’s got two of?” I think that this streamlining of comedy and drama into a unique Whovian experience is what makes Doctor Who so watchable.  You just gotta love the quips and banters in each episode.

The scene cuts with probably our favourite honest politician, Prime Minister Harriett Jones. Space exploration is on full blast much like how mundane Christmas figures and accessories go blasting all over town. Jackie is then portrayed as the equally-confused mum that keeps on babbling nonsensical medical stuff. This plays off as an irony as she tries to give every over the counter medicine to a being that is the least bit human in the room. The Doctor is seen again as almost helpless in his recovering state. It is showed that unseen alien forces are drawn to the energy of his regeneration.

We are introduced to the Sycorax which is by far the most hideous aliens in all eternity. They intervene in the broadcast of Jones’ flagship space probe, Guinevere One. The Sycorax are after the Earth’s surrender in exchange for the third of the world’s population with the same blood sample that are literally standing near the brink of death. Negotiation ensue until everyone is transmitted the to Sycorax’s equally hideous spaceship except for dear Jackie who was not too ready for the end of the world. It looks as if the good guys are almost defeated just before the almost-regenerated Doctor charges from the Tardis thanks to the help of steam from some good ‘ol tea. The quintessential English reference is so blatantly saluted here with the importance of tea and all that jazz. A not-so-usual swordfight ensues that sees the new and improved Doctor as the victor.

Harriett Jones pulls off a douchebag move as she sends Torchwood to fry the Sycorax into smithereens. The Doctor is appalled at such move and shows the viewer how much compassion he really has. He has no double standard for life and whether it be human or alien, he knows that there is value to it. Harriet tested the Doctor and in probably the cleverest six words, she got into trouble of a lifetime.

As the episode wraps up, we can see in a metaphorical sense that the Doctor picking the perfect garb was like that time a boy becomes a man when it’s out with the shorts and in with the “grown-up pants”. The transition in the clothes also represents the transition of the Doctor as well. Eccleston’s black leather get-up is contrasted with Tennant’s sleeker and sunnier outfit.  This style later on being his signature look that is serious-looking but really  cute and funny with the sneaker bringing a touch of extra kookiness as if he needed any more. But really, with a fresher and happier sight of the future (and the Doctor), I can honestly say I’m not complaining.