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08 July 2008 @ 10:40 am
Doctor Who 4x13: The Journey's End (Late Thoughts)  
So despite my petulantly putting my foot down and saying I'm not going to watch "The Stolen Earth" and "The Journey's End" and you can't make me, the urging/badgering of certain people (you know who you are) and my own mind supplying 4,000 ways it could be worse than it probably actually was and torturing me lead to me finally throwing in the towel and watching.


Well, I cried, but that's because I'm a pussy. I didn't nearly cry myself to death like I did with Doomsday and it didn't last long, so by that gauge, I have to say it wasn't as bad as I expected. ("Bad" as in "heartbreaking", not the quality.) I all I found the last two episodes to be wonderful and brilliant and heartwrenchingly horrible all at once, which I guess is the mark of great TV: the emotional resonance.

That being said, the parts that got to me:

1.) Someone on Snopes started to approach this, but I didn't really see the point until now: where does the Doctor get off being high and mighty about killing all of the Daleks? It wasn't until Series Three that he started to feel that maybe it wasn't such a good idea himself. I mean, look at Nine and Ten's track record:

Nine:
Killed all of the Daleks in the Time War

Ten:
Killed all of the Daleks and the Cybermen in Doomsday. Or rather, sentenced them to a fate worse than death, in a Void Hell.
The ethical nightmare that still makes me cringe when I see it of deactivating the part of the Cybermen that blocked off their consciousness of their original selves, making them kill themselves out of horror.
Killing all of the children of the Racnoss.
What he did to the Family of Blood.

Okay, I get it, the entire point of the fourth series was to show that he's come a long way and now he's practically Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. rolled into one when it comes to a stance of nonviolence. It still doesn't sit well with me entirely. Maybe because the transition didn't seem as fluid and believable as it could have, especially when he declared he wouldn't kill the Daleks at the beginning of Series Three, but was torturing the Family of Blood at the end of Series Three. He seems to be rather across the board with what he finds acceptable when. It's no wonder even he (other him) didn't know exactly what to do. Also, because I have to go there:

Rose:
Killed all of the Daleks at the end of the Parting of the Ways.

But then, for all that I love Doctor/Rose, the Doctor seems to have a lot of double standards where she's concerned. (He kills Daleks, it's evilbadnono. Rose does it, it's fucking cool. Martha carries a gun, he tells her off. Rose comes in with a huge fucking gun, not one comment. Rose tells him she's joined Torchwood, he praises her. Jack says he leads Torchwood, he practically kicks his ass on the spot. Yes, I am fully taking into account the huge amounts of mitigating circumstances and backstory here, I'm just feeling ranty panty.) But basically the Doctor, not even Ten, not even new enlightened!Ten, bothered to mention to Rose that one time she took the TARDIS into her and blew up all the Daleks? Not cool. Don't do that. And apparently she hasn't learned her lesson, either, because she's running around with a huge gun blowing their heads off. (Seriously, does the Doctor allow any wiggle room for self defense?)

In closing, I think I like New!Doctor more, just because Old!Doctor seems to have gotten suddenly insufferable.

2.) On that note, we go into the My Two Doctors and Rose situation. This was the thing that had me so hesitant to watch for so long, I'll admit. I expected to be heartbroken when the "real" Doctor left Rose with a cheap knock-off, or even pissed off that they would expect Rose to adopt a "can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" attitude. But then my mind turned this around, and it churned, and it bubbled, and after I realized that the original, real deal Doctor is suddenly insufferable and preachy, the lightbulb dinged: it's not so much that New!Doctor is the Doctor before he had Rose to show him the way. He's really the Doctor as Rose remembers him. He has the same memories, thoughts, emotions, feelings for her, everything, except for apparently he's less marred by the heartbreaking tragedy than the original. I know Rusty wants us to think Rose is magical and heals the cranky Time Lords and turns them into great men, but he's the one who was capable of telling Rose he loves her, capable of showing affection. And maybe it's because he's free to, whereas the original would never quite be able to because of the universe of differences between them. So I can by Rusty "this Doctor needs Rose's influence" explanation, but not so much because I think he needs to be fixed: I think it's because she needs to keep him from ever becoming as utterly crushed and broken as the original. And yes, I do think she could be a better moral compass for him than the original Doctor, who has drawn a line in the sand and so firmly refuses to cross it he can't see that in time of war, yes, compassion is needed, but also sacrifice. New!Doctor's not the real deal, sure, but he's what Rose really wants and needs deep down.

*Puts on asbestos suit and waits for people to pelt him with flames.*

3.) And at last we had Donna. I actually agree with what everyone else has said many, many times about the utterly raw deal she got, so I don't have much to add, except for how the Doctor went about it totally didn't sit right with me and made me a little squirmy. At the same time, I can't really see how he could have gone about it a better way: Donna was dying, she knew that, and understood it, but still refused to let the Doctor do what he had to to save her and give up everything she had with him. The Doctor had to force her. But it still felt a little...mindrapey? Like...Donna was irrational and scared and dying, and her biggest fear was losing everything she had with him. Maybe she would rather die than forget? I don't know.

These are my initial impressions, all. They are all firmly changeable and as I mull the episodes over more and more, I may even change them on my own. And I'm sure I will be bombarded with tomatoes when people see how I basically called the original Doctor an insufferable jerk (that's not to say I don't like him or don't understand where he's coming from, I just think the pendulum swung too far in the other direction for now), said the new!Doctor is the better one for Rose, and called the Doctor a mindrapist.


And now, to temper my possibly unpopular initial reactions, your moment of funny: PAPELDANSEN!

 
 
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eldritch thoughtform: Ten/Rosemanekikoneko on July 8th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
I think you make a good point that Doctor 10.5 is probably better for Rose than the Doctor that's been away from her for our past two years. Also, if we think about it from the Doctor's point of view, he doesn't even get a pretend Rose. He can't tell her he loves her, because he has to turn around and leave (they never quite explain why Rose can't stay in her original universe (apart from Billie being a guest star), though I suppose the thought is that people in the alternate world have come to depend on her), and he wants her to be happy with 10.5 instead of pining after him.