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Last Nights Who: [huge, long, meta/theory review - somebody please read this!]

Last Nights Who: [huge, long, meta/theory review - somebody please read this!]

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hugh house
[original post title] Life is wasted on the living...

...and it's certainly wasted on this episode.

Suffering endless squirming, this episode was a good idea.

A good idea beaten to death kicking and screaming and replaced with an "escape the monsters", plotting which made little (no) sense, and huge squandered actual clever solutions. Like the egg thing...

Okay, where to begin?

* Good things:
Pretty much all of the initial Tardis exploration, especially pretty much any of the bits Clara finds. The Library, with the bottled (liquid) Encycopedia of the Time Lords (it comes out in letter-y fumes) and the ghost voices (dosk tells me it included Susan) and the nursery... running past (an unconvincing) swimming pool room,


Oh you clever, clever girl.

She knows it, the name of the Doctor. She enjoys pointing this out to the Mad Man in his Box.

The Eye of Harmony - a quick punchy explanation for the non-geekboy viewers (too much incomprehensible pseudo-science lately).

The infinitely expanding Tardis. Making more rooms/corridors that you might need and copy/pasting key areas where it thinks you want to be. This is so, Doctor's Wife.

ETA: TARDIS thinks it's being helpful, it is giving the people what they want: people want rooms, so it makes more rooms, it makes more of the rooms they want to find

*squishes TARDIS* I love you, old girl.

The centre in its time-stopped explosion, with the Doctor and Clara walking around the static fragments... would have been a good time for that egg, guys.

*Everything Else

Starting with a little niggle here: The salvage team, sloppy characterisation, lack of any real brains in the outfit, let alone actual technological ability -- this does not present a comfortable racial thingy

Second thing: The Big Character Revelation for the boys -- so, they have a confrontation about the not-an-android thing and they fall into histronics (this is just your idea of fun, innit) [like I said, stereotyping much] and glossing over the bit where "Captain" lost his voice, eyes and memory. There's no way that was fixable. So, what kind of person won't question why they have zero memory? An android who was running from factory settings.

Third thing: The tree. I love the tree. Boys, put the tree-egg down. So much was made of the tree-egg and then nothing. It can become any technology you want (i.e. a Tardis stem-cell), wouldn't that have been the solution to the explod-i-cated "heart of the tardis"? Instead of the creepy hand-writing (geddit?) being actually seriously lame and (oh gosh) another paradox/brain-wipe plot. Convenient with all that Clara personality and character building. (oh, you clever, clever girl).

Fourth thing: it's kind of obvious, the monsters. Disturbing, turn you into them monsters, monsters "it's best you don't know about" that seem to multiply exponentially. IT'S YOU, CLARA! Oh, joy, (seriously, this made my heart sing) the Doctor has been all Bluebeard's Castle (or the Bloody Chamber) this season, trying to make his own Claras to understand what is going wrong/weird/reincarnationally. If he hasn't been creepy enough this season to justify an answer as to... *waves around hands* stuff. And why Clara goes from "creepy stalker guy with unhealthy interests" to "oh boy! Doctor, what does this do?" depending on what episode you like.

Fifth thing: [this is really the Fourth Thing in Disguise] why would you get all those "future" Claras running around en-masse working together in a pack? The Doctor and (pretty much everybody) have been trying to avoid meeting each other because they are all echoes and can't hear/see the future "ghosts" talking about them. And if the Eye of Harmony is going to burn Clara to a crisp and turn her into infinite monsters (to occupy the infinite exploding tardis), why isn't she burning? The Doctor said 30 seconds (at least the humans, his mileage may vary) so why not any crispy-fried humans? And why are the ghost/clone/monsters turning the Salvage Boys into more ghost/clone/monsters? It doesn't make sense.

Sixth thing: [this is endless, I know] stupid message on hand, explody thing, the time gash... time to get the tea on.

So, there. I think I had a number seven, but I was as fed up watching the episode as writing this. zzzzzzzzzz

Now for some exciting cross-stitch. Goodnight children everywhere.
  • I read it! LOL! I didn't really understand the episode, but the sad thing is I don't care enough to rewatch and find out. I'm just finding DW so blah at the moment. I'd like to like Clara - I certainly don't hate her - but apart from the Big Mystery, she isn't actually that interesting. She has no friends, no past, no family, and nobody seems to miss her when she's gone. Apart from being a bit perky, there's not much there. Plus, she needs rescuing a lot, which I thought we'd got away from to an extent in New Who but now seems back.

    I usually love TARDIS stories so the fact I was only lukewarm about this one says something about the show. I'm not sure why, but the quality seems to have dipped - and I was never a fan of Amy or Rory so I know it's not because they're not there! But there were at least some funny, interesting scripts for the Doctor when they were. Maybe those are yet to come but at the moment there's an awful lot of running away from monsters going on.
    • This is why I like talking to you about Who so much, you come from a completely different angle. (in a good way)

      But, yes, Clara, it did seem weird that she just upped into the TARDIS without even telling the folks she was baby-sitting for. I thought it might be a bit of a "slot in" Clara, i.e. *waves hands* I( can't even figure out what I'm thinking on that one. Maybe she is automatically stuck into a reality whenever something goes a little bit wrong... like an unwitting white blood cell.

      Maybe the Great Intelligence just screws things up (more than) enough to get multiple Claras turning up. A giant explosion of (more than usually) insane daleks creates a "clever clever girl" who doesn't really know her own biography. Entertainment manager on a space-ship? She might as well be extemporizing it (or, if we follow through, the universe is making it up in a hurry). Might explain why we also got a bad encounter with the Rift In Time. Both are signs of things going Very Wrong. Maybe Claras are not created to survive whatever Universally Fucked Up Situation, so maybe the Doctor has just created his own when Clara did not die.

      This all probably makes close to zero sense.


      I quite liked Amy and Rory, not least because they knew what impact/toll the Doctor and his mad-man-in-a-box advertures were having on their lives. Also: LOVE WINS! Every single time Amy and Rory save the world... Love comes into it. They jump off buildings together, fight monsters together... and Amy doesn't want to be in a world without Rory.

  • It was a bit blah, wasn't it? Man, I miss the Ponds, and/or the way the show was written when the Ponds were there.

    I am intrigued by the Clara mystery, but Clara herself so far is less interesting to me than her clothes (really liked the little dress this week). I jumped to the Bluebeard's castle explanation of the burny things too, and though I was relieved in a way that it wasn't the explanation (would have been way too dark) I didn't think much of the real one either.

    Though I don't think there are future Claras working as a pack - I thought there was one burnt version for each person, not lots of Claras. Not that any of it made much sense, and I thought they missed a trick with the egg too - why use all that time on it and then do nothing? And they wasted the opportunity to do really cool and interesting things with the TARDIS. A couple of rooms and three hundred identical corridors doesn't really cut it. Why not switch gravity round, or do something interesting with perspectives, or paradoxes like Inception?
    • I'm beginning to think that Clara's vapidity (spell check tells me this is a real word FTW) is some kind of Sign. Interestingly, the Doctor keeps bumping into her whenever something is going Totally Fucked Up Wrong and she never seems to have a cogent (big vocabulary day, it seems, *points up*) back-story. Let's see, we have a space-cruise entertainment manager (wtf?), a bar-girl masquerading as a governess or vice-versa (why the fuck?) and a girl who intended to go Travelling (nicely cutting her off from everything) and a very (vaguely) generic back-story. It's all about her dead mum. Because she loved her mum. And she died.

      So, maybe the point of Clara is that she is mostly generic (she has wild splashes of individuality) and has a generic kind of extreme enthusiasm, a convenient level of intelligence (she seems to know What Is Needed but doesn't seem to know why) and...

      As I've been saying to Xanthe *points up stream* maybe Clara is a sign of a universe/history going Totally Fucked Up Wrong and/or the Universe *occult finger waggling* trying to bug-fix it. Or like Clara is a sort of universal white blood cell designed to kill reality pathogens. [All those daleks in one place, with an unattended Tardis? - a sort of weird bad wolf scenario?] and The Great Intelligence (I seriously <3 the Great Intelligence) seems determined to undermine the Earth outside in/inside out(?) and Earth is [as various Who things mention] a key point in space/time. Covert mind-robbing intelligent multi-dimensional entities are not a universally good thing. Especially as it seems to be using humanity as a convenient vector (I'm getting visions of a space elevator right now).

      Uh, this is getting complicated long and speculative, I'm going to make a comment to this comment...
      • Okay, the GI is a threat.

        Now, where did I lose my thought-track?

        Okay, the "Universe" *spacey finger quotes* inserts Claras where there is a Threat. Claras come as convenient anti-bodies suited to their time, environment and purpose; hence

        genius!Clara: ooh, the daleks need a genius to come out and play, so here is a convenient genius with a convenient (and highly stupid) backstory and with convenient skills. cue dead daleks and amnesia!daleks
        governess!Clara: there is something in the snow and things being two things at once - we get a Clara who can be two things at once and kicks ass in smart ways - she nobly "enables" the solution by being exactly what people wanted to be
        instant hackstar!Clara: some how suddenly gets the know-how to hack things and hacks the GI and then...

        every one of these scenarioes end up with a dead!Clara.

        Maybe antibody!Clara is a one-use disposable product - zaps the infection and goes pouf. And the Doctor has gone and royally fucked this up (would we have him any other way?) and this is doing weird things (like the Tardis not liking her) to reality (Tardises do not spontaneously explode) and waking up very big monsters (okay, that one is generically who) and...

        the Doctor has to have got his convenient need to run around stately homes and spout entire biographies of things that did not (officially) happen. Maybe this is like the Flesh check-out (he needed to understand the technology) to see if Amy is a Something. Clara is a Something and the Doctor is obsessed by finding out what kind of Something and trying to find Anything scenarios in the hope that one might match up.
        Ghost? No.
        Strange Intergalactic God Thing? No.
        Martian? No (okay that one, I admit is stupid even for me)

        Maybe not. Hmmm...
  • *nods so hard head falls off*

    I hate mind wipes so very much.
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