prof_pangaea: the master (Default)
random whovian thoughts:

donna is the companion that ten never gets over. i mean, End of Time takes place at least a few years after the events of JE, and yet seeing her through a window and a short conversation about her with wilf is enough to drive him to tears. obvs the initial tears are linked to adelaide's death, but that is also linked to his loneliness and inability let a new companion into his life precisely because of how much he can't deal with what happened to donna. SitL/FotD tells us that he's still not got over it years and years later, because he's talked about it with river. more telling even than the tears is the fact that when wilf says, "you need her, doctor!" he nods, almost says something ("I need --"), stops himself, and then has to flee from the scene. because i think he was thinking, "i do need her, i bet if i tried i could fix her, and then we could be together again", and that scared him, because the last time he thought he could do anything he made someone kill herself.

god, ten was fucked up.

meanwhile, russell seems to really like stories where characters set up their own downfall in some way. this is usually only implicit in doctor who, so we watch s2 and think, "does he realise he wrote a story about how rose and the doctor create the very circumstances that lead to their being separated?", or we watch s3 and think, "when he wrote the master coming in and taking over the power vacuum that ten left when he deposed harriet jones, did he actually do that on purpose?" because these things don't get addressed directly by characters, they just happen. but when RTD wrote children of earth it is explicitly stated that jack created the circumstances that lead to the ianto's and stephen's deaths. he gave the 456 those initial sixteen children or whatever back in 1965, and the other characters are like, "why the fuck did you do that?? you're the reason they're back!" so i do think that we (the adult audience) are supposed to watch doctor who and go, wow, ten and rose, you guys really fucked yourselves by acting like arrogant jerks to queen victoria, didn't you? he just doesn't have another character come in and say that, because he's writing it for the childrens, and doesn't want to freak them out. it is telling that he originally had a line in The Sound of Drums or Last of the Time Lords where the master explicitly says that he was able to rise so easily to power because the doctor deposed harriet jones, but ended up cutting it (this info from a panel at chicago TARDIS a couple years ago, if i recall correctly).

it's weird because he can't stop himself from trying to make the stories darker and more complex than he thinks is appropriate for the audience, so he compromises and tries to shellac everything with a distracting layer of glee and fun, which... doesn't always quite work. until waters of mars happens, of course, and it's like watching all those previous years without the protective layering and it's rather scary. but also quite good. which i suppose points towards children's television as possibly not the best place for him to work, in general. maybe he's fine if he doesn't write it himself, since SJA always strikes a very good balance between some quite dark or serious storylines but always keeping it appropriate for The Kids.
prof_pangaea: (the doctor)
so i have been watching new who with my roommate, starting from the beginning of s1, and not skipping the bad bits. i think everyone else i have hooked onto doctor who i've hooked through watching s3, since it was a very good starting place and didn't have huge amounts of facepalming and explaining to do, plus i love it (and i would skip tSC code until they were good and hooked. mwahahaha). except for my ex-guy, we watched old school videos from the library and then s1 when i got my hands on it. ah, olden days.

anyway, watching new who with someone who is also a fanboy type, but has no previous doctor who experience has been interesting. we have had many conversations.

here is a visual aid:

prof_: "Damn, Jackie, I LOVE YOU. Look at her! She is sitting with Ten, trying to help him, even though she sort of hates the Doctor. That's real compassion. People are always going on about Rose being compassionate but --"

Land: "Wait, when was Rose ever compassionate? Maybe in an episode I've never seen? I am seriously trying to think of anything she ever did that was compassionate. Like, what? I'm just going to leave Mickey while he maybe dies?"

more wittering under here )

but it was all worth it because we got mickey. mickey, i love you. if you were mah boyfriend i would not leave you behind during an crazy apocalyptic earthquake/time storm. and if RTD wanted to make a character people could relate to, i'll take him -- a good, decent guy, kind of goofy, tries to do the right thing, in love with someone who doesn't love him back, but strong enough to face up to that in the end, starts off watching the game on telly and goes on to save the world with the skills he taught himself. also he's hot. i like that too.

also jackie. i wish i had a jackie.
prof_pangaea: (the doctor)

some thinkins about the themes for this series of doctor who. general spoilers for the entire series up to "the stolen earth".

What do you have, now? )
prof_pangaea: the master (it's a gas mask)
so maybe unrequited love is the wrong way to think about season three of doctor who and of love in general. how can love be so one-sided that it is truly unrequited? i have honestly tried to think of examples in my life and those of the people i know/have read about/what have you, but come up short. maybe it is a symptom of thinking about love as an all-or-nothing phenomenon, maybe it is just talking about love in a way i don't understand. like how i don't understand killing yourself because your loved one has died as being an act of love. isn't that completely against the idea of your mutual love? would your loved one have wanted you to be so empty without them that you must die? if so, wouldn't that make their love a love of themself, and not of you? and if not, wouldn't your death make you the selfish one, thinking only of your sadness and not of your love?*

so how can you LOVE a person if there is no love in return, except abstractedly or intellectually? i may love a person i have never met, but it would be an abstract love, one-sided, not unrequited. if i met them and they had no love for me, my love for them would be qualified as a love of certain aspect -- their art, their work, their speaking, their looks. maybe that is a personal thing, though.

but i don't know. biological life is complex. it is very hard to have a human relationship without some measure of love, i think. i love my friends. i love my partner. i love my family. i love people i have never met. i love some fake people. i love ideas. i love places. i love the universe. but those are different loves. our vocabulary is not very precise with this, although many people react as though it is.

so i tend to be interested in stories in which there is love. so much love, but love isn't always enough. actually, love is never enough. humans are complex and have many needs. intellectual stimulation, the ability to act, the freedom to think and feel many things, they are all necessary but are not synonymous with love. love is necessary too, but there are many kinds, so maybe you don't have the love of a good woman but you have the love of a mountain or a book or a sibling, and that doesn't mean you don't want the love of a good woman but conversely the love of a good woman doesn't mean you don't want the love of a friend, or a mountain.

and thus the idea of "unrequited love", as such, seems simplistic and maybe even a bit juvenile, when faced with the menagerie of loves that surrounds every human at every moment. most of the pain of love comes from mutual love, mutual love that is embroiled within all of the other needs, concerns and events of biological life and society. my parents loved each other but broke apart and came together over and over, and might still be doing it if my mother hadn't died eight years ago. you can love someone and be completely irritated by them, you can love art and be a bad artist, you can love mountain climbing and die falling off of a cliff, you can love someone and still be the worst thing in their life. there's a great line from the hound of the baskervilles where holmes says of beryl stapleton: "There can be no doubt that Stapleton exercised an influence over her which may have been love or may have been fear, or very possibly both, since they are by no means incompatible emotions."

and with this segue back into fiction we're back to doctor who. and keep in mind my prejudices, which are probably obvious but just in case they aren't: the biggest reason that i love doctor who (other than the time travel and the aliens and all that) is the doctor, because to me he is a character capable of near infinite amounts of love and wonder -- as we all are, except that he is more conscious of it than the average bear. so the three best scenes of the third season are: the bit in "gridlock" where he sits down and tells martha about gallifrey and the war; the bit in "evolution of the daleks" where he decides to help dalek sec make a new species of human/dalek hybrids; the bit in "last of the time lords" where he tells the master, "i forgive you". i remember when i first saw the latter that i thought the doctor was going to say, "i love you", but in context it amounts to the same thing. in EotD his decision to help sec is based on love of life, and hope. in gridlock the moment he sits down with martha is the moment he decides he must open his heart up to a friend, because he loves her.

few people would argue that the doctor does not love the master, as hopefully few would argue the converse, that the master does not love the doctor. they've loved each other for nearly a millenium, but sometimes you need more than love to keep the earth from being destroyed by paradoxical spheres from the end of the universe. so what's up with arguing for unrequited love between the doctor and martha? she loves him. and he loves her. it's on screen in every episode. but love doesn't unmake the past, and it doesn't fix everything that's broken. sometimes (always?) it's a necessary component, but never the only one. so in a season where we are presented with so much undeniable love, why would we deny it for martha and the doctor?

because the showrunners say "unrequited"? perhaps their spoken vocabulary isn't capable of expressing the word love in any but a sexual or romantic fashion, but the show that they actually make is, and does. not perfectly, since you do tend to be able to express and idea more clearly if you've thought about it or specifically intended it, but any artist can tell you don't have to have thought about saying something specifically for it to come out in the finished work.

*it occurs to me that this particular argument is rather culturally assumptive. but on the other hand i do think that many of the stories and myths that have revolved around the idea of dying because your loved one has died are not necessarily literal (since... no myths are strictly literal), but metaphorical of the death of the life that you had. maybe that's still culturally presumptive, but it seems useful for analysing a product of western culture (like doctor who, or me).
prof_pangaea: the master (Default)
comrades, it is time for textual and scientific analysis. with visual guides. when you see the most wonderful insights within, you will be happy that you made with the clicking, for sure.

42 -- or Why It's Not About Martha, And It Was Never About Rose Either. )

this part is even more scientifically accurate and also relevant, because it has star trek in it.


mah reactor!!! it is totally made of obsolete parts that cannot be replaced!! without it we will go super-critical in 48 hours!

mah engines! they are totally made from obsolete parts that cannot be replaced! also that are maybe illegal! without them we will go super-critically into the sun in 42 minutes!
More Scientific Accuracy Within! )

good times, friends!


prof_pangaea: the master (Default)

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