Doctor Who: Back to the Beginning
NOTE: This post may contain spoilers about season 6. I’ll not reveal anything about the season 6 finale, and I’ll try not to throw out TOO much about the preceding episodes, but fair warning: anything before “The Wedding of River Song” is fair game.
I’ve decided that, when I die, I want to start glowing like a radioactive school of jellyfish and then become this woman:
I have a few gal-friends who cannot stand River Song, but I personally get stupid excited whenever I hear that, “Hello, sweetie.” Nearly every episode that she’s been in has been fantastic. “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” were, in my opinion, the best episodes of season 4. “Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone” are possibly my favorite episodes of season 5, and the two-part premiere of season 6 was a diamond in the rough that was the rest of the season. An old not-really-my-friend-anymore-for-lots-of-unrelated-reasons wrote a riduculously long essay about how Steven Moffat clearly hates all women because River Song and pregnancy tests. While she points out some inconsistencies in his writing, I think she’s making mountains out of imaginary mole hills. Her argument less makes Moffat sound like a misogynist and more makes her look like a misandrist.
There is some weirdness along the River Song thing, but mostly it’s just trying to wrap my brain around her relationship to Amy and Rory. I understand it, I don’t really feel like it’s creepy or anything, I just feel like I’m back in my freshman acting class, watching two people act out a skit and the thirty-year-old woman is playing the twelve-year-old daughter of the thirty-year-old character, who is played by a nineteen-year-old girl. Everyone’s uncomfortable and the suspension of disbelief just isn’t kicking in.
Now with that bitter bitchfest out of the way…
Techno Jesus and I watched the last episode of season six the other night (“The Wedding of River Song”), and while I enjoyed the episode, I didn’t think it had the same oomph as “Big Bang.” It was a bit too frenetic, and tried to slide a lot of things past us and just hoped we would be too distracted by “OMG RIVER SONG’S GETTING MARRIED” to notice. Granted, it made WAY more sense than “The Stolent Earth” and “Journey’s End”, but I was crying at the end of “Big Bang” and I just didn’t get that reaction from “Wedding.” (Although the last three lines of “Wedding” were haunting, and I thought that bit was very well done.) There are people who disagree with me, who say that “Wedding” was much better than “Big Bang”, so clearly some of it just comes down to personal preference.
With two months and some change between us and the Christmas special, Techno Jesus and I have decided to go alllll the way back to the beginning and watch Doctor Who from its very start. Which means, yes, we’re now hanging around with this guy:
Okay, yes, but I mean… well, not what I meant. I meant this guy:
That’s the 1st Doctor, played by William Hartnell. And he’s nothing like you’d expect.
He’s grouchy, but three times worse than Christopher Eccleston. He’s brutal, but with less provocation or incentive than David Tennant. And there’s no comparison to our darling 11th Doctor. He spends the better half of “An Unearthly Child” sounding like he’s possibly considering killing off Ian and Barbara to protect the secret of the TARDIS, despite the fact that these two people are schoolteachers who were just concerned about Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter. Later, he’s willing to leave Za (the caveman up above), brutally mauled by a wildcat, to die – because he can’t be bothered to help him. The only thing that stops him from buggering off completely is that Ian, Barbara, and Susan all know the meaning of friendship.
Tonight I think we’re moving on to the episode where we meet the Daleks. I’m hoping it will be far more interesting than 100 minutes of two humans, a whiney fifteen-year-old, a clan of cave men, and the grumpiest Time Lord in the universe arguing about making fire. While I don’t dislike the show, I defnitely dislike the character of the 1st Doctor.
Who’s your Doctor?