Friday, August 6, 2010

One Hundred!!! Round Numbers Are Cool!!!

The milestone is here, one hundred posts since starting this blog almost one year ago. A project that started out as a way to track Heroes as it slowly sank into the quagmire of high expectations and an inability to maintain a coherent storyline has evolved into...well, I don't quite know, actually. But I've watched a lot of shows, enjoyed many of them, and that's good enough for me. As promised, this will finally be my Doctor Who post, which I've been putting off for a while.

Doctor Who: So Matt Smith has one season under his belt, and this is actually the first full season of Doctor Who that I've watched. I've seen some of the David Tennant episodes, but those were spotty at best, mostly the product of the occasional BBC America mini-marathon of episodes. I enjoy the concept of Doctor Who though: Well-written science fiction stories, aliens, time travel, a charismatic lead, an attractive Companion, and through it all an example of the potential of humanity.

Matt Smith's doctor is...he's like a cross between a Muppet and a samurai. From the first episode, he begins it dipping fish fingers in custard and ends it giving a heated speech to an alien race, warning them what will happen if they tangle with him. That's what I loved about an episode like "The Lodger"; it was some brilliant comedy, but in the end, it was his belief in humanity that helped save the day. Even in an episode like "Cold Blood", where the Lizardperson was killed, he still trusts in us to do the right thing.

In the case of the finale, a chain of events from Van Gogh, to Churchill, all the forward to Liz 10 and River Song leads us to...an exploding TARDIS. And Stonehenge. And...the Pandorica. What is it? Who is inside? Why is Rory a Roman centurion? Oh yes, and all of the Doctor's enemies have shown up, all at once. As the Pandorica continues to open, Amy has to fight off a Cyberman, Rory wonders why she doesn't remember him, River recruits a Roman legion, and The Doctor employs some stalling tactics to buy them some time. Seriously though, that whole scene was amazing, with The Doctor holding off the combined forces of countless alien aggressors with nothing but the memories of how often he's defeated them.

So Amy and Rory. Amy doesn't remember Rory, and Rory doesn't remember how he became a Roman soldier. Then the Romans start growing lasers out of their hands, because they are actually robots programmed to believe they're human. Rory fights it, but shoots Amy in the gut. Not the best reunion ever. River is in the TARDIS, unable to stabilize it, and is stuck in a time loop (for her own safety, of course). Downstairs, The Doctor is confronted with his enemies, and the Pandorica opens with no one inside. Yet. Because it's a prison meant for The Doctor. The Rogues Gallery believes that The Doctor will be the one responsible for destroying the universe, and that they are saving all of time and space by sealing him away. The Doctor pleads with them, telling them that he's the only one who can stop it all, but it's too late. What a downer.

But luckily, there's a happier Part 2, and even better, it involves Li'l Amy! A series of mysterious notes leads her to a museum where the Pandorica is on display, having been guarded over the years by a mysterious man in a centurion's uniform. Oh Rory, you sly devil, you. Amy touches the Pandorica, which opens to reveal...Amy? Buh? Must be time for a flashback. Or does the word "flashback" hold any meaning whatsoever in Doctor Who-ville? Time travel nosebleeds occur in my chair, as The Doctor uses a wrist thingy to time travel to Rory and tell him to put Amy in the Pandorica, which will force her to stay alive. Honestly, the time travel "timey wimey bits" gave me a huge headache, although they did lead to some good times. River Song being ruthless with an ancient Dalek, Rory as Amy's protector throughout history (good work, by the way), The Doctor popping back and forth as he pleased, and then the reveal that this was all taken from Amy's imagination. Apparently living next to a crack in reality will do things to a gal.

My favorite part of the episode was The Doctor going backwards in time, and his very quiet, very gentle scene with Young Amy as he tells her his story, and all the while, planting clues. Amy's wedding looked lovely, and she manages to remember The Doctor back into existence just in time for the dancing. Amy and Rory are wed, everything's back to normal, and we'll see you back here in time for the Christmas Special. Which is too far away. Dammit.

So that's the season. I still like Matt Smith's Doctor, although the character still fluctuates a little too wildly between floppity slapstick and deadly seriousness, plus they never really explained a lot of the aggression from the early episodes. Maybe that was just "new actor/new part" syndrome, or maybe it was meant to give Amy the opportunities to be the rational Girl Friday. I'm even looking forward to some more River Song, as well as next year's storyline. Overall, I really enjoyed this season, and some very good storytelling occured.

And that's it for post #100! Post #101 is coming soon, with a few new shows to catch up on. I never did finish FlashForward, or even start Bored To Death, but I'm not too concerned about those (and neither were viewers...ZING!!). My future output depends on my future work schedule, which I should know soon, so my posts will either get a lot more frequent, or a lot less frequent. Which will it be? Oooh, our first cliffhanger!!!

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