Tag Archive: 072666


S02E13: In Which I Cry Copious Amounts Of Tears

This was a lovely episode, and I was in tears by its end. I felt truly devastated for the Doctor because once again, he was all alone. I had always been optimistic about him finding a way to revive his race, but I was certain he would never see Rose again. Plenty other moments in the episode tugged at my heartstrings.

The first time I teared up was when Peter and Jackie were finally reunited. Interestingly, they never had a reunion before in Series 1 or 2, even if Rose had the opportunity to meet Peter. Even if they technically were not the same people as their deceased spouses, they still had the same personalities that made them love each other. This was a great moment because they were both given an opportunity that many people would do anything for — the chance to reconnect with the deceased. In this case, they were doing more than just reconnecting — they were rekindling a lost romance. When they ran into each others’ arms, I was absolutely beaming.

Humans have always been portrayed as resilient by Doctor Who, and in this case, they had to deal with what must have felt like the end of the world. I think budget constraints prevented the producers from indulging in shooting more scenes that showed ‘chaos’ across countries  (like in Transformers), but I think the episode still managed to give off the feel that everything was ending.

The presence of both Daleks and Cybermen was masterfully integrated in the story. The tandem presence was not there as a convenient prop to heighten the suspense and action in the episode; it served as a vital part of the plot’s many twists and turns. The ensuing conflict really dampened society’s efforts to fight back, because they had to contend with both species. The sight of Daleks swarming the skies and battling Cybermen on the ground, with humans both targeted and caught in the crosshairs, was rather hair-raising.

One of my favorite moments in the episode is what must be one of the most epic dialogues to ever occur in scifi television: the insults exchanged by the Daleks and the Cybermen. The exchange seemed slightly out-of-character, considering that both species weren’t supposed to experience emotion and appeared to be engaging in testosterone-fueled machismo one-upping. However, it was wildly entertaining.  It was a moment similar to when legends chance upon each other, and then try to prove who is the better one.

It was really hard for me to say good-bye to Rose, and it was heartbreaking to have the potential of her relationship with the Doctor squashed to bits. In saving his life, she ended up sacrificing a glorious future with him. When they pressed their cheeks on opposite sides of the wall, it was over for me and my supply of Kleenex.

Their final good-bye was quite touching. I think it gave everyone some sense of closure, because it showed that the Tyler family had the resources to move on, and that Rose and the Doctor at least finally acknowledged their love for each other. The presence of a brand new Tyler baby also indicated that life would move on.

Preventing the Doctor from fully saying ‘I love you too’, while heavily implying it, is like a way of keeping his options open. Yes, he did love Rose, but he might move on as well. Also, I think committing to a steady relationship would change the Doctor in a way that would make him less entertaining to watch. He would be somewhat domesticated if he had a — the word ‘girlfriend’, sounds highly inappropriate and beneath him, so I’ll use the term ‘romantic companion’.

The sudden apparition of a bride was quite ironic, because brides are part of weddings, which in turn symbolize everlasting relationships. The Doctor would never have the opportunity for this with Rose. However, I was also highly intrigued by the bride’s presence, and I was left wondering how on earth she had managed to breach the TARDIS, which had withstood the ‘hordes of Genghis Khan’.

I loved Series 2 more than Series 1, and I am very happy with the way they concluded it. The series developed characters that I fell in love with, in a story that grew richer in detail with the passing of each episode. It even made me excited for the Christmas special.

 

I was alarmed to hear in the beginning of the episode that Rose was going to die. I didn’t believe that she would actually die, because I thought she was too important a character, so I was expecting a really awful twist in the story. It may have been anti-climactic for others to know the ending of the story, but I was highly intrigued to hear that something fatal would happen to her.

The scene where the Rose and the Doctor watch dragons fly by in a canyon was quite beautiful and it really painted the picture that they were more of a couple than a mentor-companion duo. The Doctor allowed himself to be vulnerable by asking how long Rose would stay with him, and this indicated that he was started to let down his guard and be more open to more than just a platonic relationship. I think this snippet of a scene also served to highlight the fact that the duo had spent quite a lot of time together, including events that weren’t told in the series.

When Rose and the Doctor arrived back in present-time London, they were, for once, out of the loop on ‘scifi’ happenings. I think Jackie deserved to be smug about knowing more about the ‘ghosts’ than they did, because Rose and the Doctor usually knew more than she.  The fact that society immediately accepted the ghosts reminds me of the way people today tend to skim over the negative side of celebrities in the media and simply accept their good sides, such as with what’s happening with Charlie Sheen.

I found Yvonne Hartmann incredibly irksome because of her higher-than-thou attitude and the fact that she exuded an aura of knowing more about things than the Doctor. It was funny though, that the Doctor didn’t fear her at all and seemed to view her as more like a pesky thing to be dealt with. I like the concept of Torchwood because it seems like a highly organized and government-sanctioned task force that is bent on tracking the Doctor’s whereabouts, while he himself seems to have hardly any inkling or care for it. The government probably funneled plenty of tax funds into the project, but it didn’t seem so successful at learning anything.

I really loved the climactic ending of the episode – Cybermen and Daleks! It was an ending of literally epic proportions. If the Master had been involved, it would have been a triple-threat, no-holds-barred kind of episode. Still, the presence of both immensely-difficult-to-defeat monsters really notched up the ante for me and made me hit the next button so I could view the next episode.

S02E11: My Favorite Superpower

The Doctor and Rose really seemed like they were going on a date this episode. They were very chummy and touchy-feely, with plenty of embraces and hand-holding. I think that at this point, it was absolutely clear to the viewers that there was romantic tension between them. Her line at the end of the episode, “We’ll always be okay, you and me”, reeked of cheeseballs, but for once, I felt like I could support a Rose-Doctor relationship. Rose and Tennant’s Doctor really compliment each other because they have the right balance of kookiness and love from adventure. However, the Doctor’s response was very ominous, and even seemed to foreshadow a future battle with Daleks because of his words, “There’s a storm coming.”

The best part of this episode was that Rose had to figure out the solution on her own. Rose did prove that she had guts and gumption in the season finale of Series 1, but a large part of it was due to the Time Vortex, which is a force external to her. In this episode, the Doctor and the TARDIS were completely off-limits, so she had to use limited resources to save him.

I am an illustrator, so I really found the Isolus’ methods quite ingenious. Art is normally seen as a good thing, and of all the art forms, visual artists tend to be overlooked in terms of the more negative passions, like sexuality or evil. Dance can easily express evil, and the same goes for stories, but I think it’s more challenging for the public to see drawing as dark. I also thought that the evil scribble was a great touch to the Fear Her.

I thought the Isolus would be evil, but I actually felt quite sorry for it when it turned out that it was just a sad and abandoned child who was accustomed to a family of billions. In a sense, it was logical for the Isolus to resort to crayon drawings as a childish way to escape.

Another redeeming point of the episode was its lecture on family abuse. I said in a previous post that I was disappointed at the show’s forgiving stance on abusive fathers. In this case, the viewers see how abuse can really damage an innocent child. Not only did the show highlight the effects of child abuse, it also touched on the problem of solving child abuse. Chloe’s mother didn’t feel the need to talk to her or engage in therapy, so it contributed to her problem. I also have friends who were victims of child abuse, it really helped them to have someone to talk to.

It made sense to me that Chloe’s mother feared her. I think it came more from her mother-daughter instincts rather than fear of her daughter as a supernatural creature. I’m not sure that her mother even noticed she had any evil powers. What’s certain to me is that she noticed that a once-loving girl was now very moody and an altogether different person. This is something that would affect a parent. I don’t have any kids, but I’ve seen how parents can react when their children lash out at them.

The return of the Beast was quite scary, although I’m not sure what it had to do with the Isolus or the rest of the episode. My theory is that the devil really is an idea, and the abuse that Chloe endured was still ‘in her head’, thus manifesting the appearance of the Beast. This was further enforced by the fact that being more optimistic and cheerful through singing with her mother.

The only thing that really bothered me was how Rose threw the spaceship into the torch. Sure, the flight pattern was dramatic, but I don’t think any object would have responded that way in this universe. What happened to the laws of physics? Other than that, I really enjoyed the episode, and it was a great way to lead up to the finale.

 

S02E10

Love & Monsters was great because it was a refreshingly lighthearted episode, and it really contrasted against the previous episodes: present-time vs. future, love problems vs. space age. I also loved the point-of-view. Normally, companions serve as the eyes, ears, and voice, of ‘us’, the audience, but in this case, John really encapsulated the role of Audience. He knew even less about the Doctor than we do, but he was an ultimate fan. I like the idea of an informal fan-club-slash-stealth-organization stalking the Doctor, especially since they had no advanced technology and were armed only be zeal and a common love of music.

I think this episode may have been Doctor Who’s tribute to its own fans. Fans often maintain near-obsessive levels of fandom, which helps the shows they watch, both financially and in terms of generating support. LINDA dedicated a whole lot of their time to find the Doctor and finally meeting him. I myself would go berserk and rush madly in the direction of the sound of a TARDIS, should I hear it. The weblog videos also heightened the fanmade feel, especially since a lot of fans use webcams to record and post edited videos or commentary on their favorite shows. John seemed to be editing his own tribute video to the Doctor.

The fact that LINDA degenerated into a kooky support group was heartwarming, for me. One of the great things about fandom is the ability to meet like-minded people. Often the people who watch Doctor Who also read the same books and listen to the same music as me. It’s a fun way to beat loneliness, especially for LINDA, which seemed to be made out of society’s cast-offs. LINDA seemed very happy before the arrival of the Absorbaloff.

I think the Absorbaloff’s ‘powers’ complimented his role and personality. He may not have seemed like a terrifying monster, but his ‘power’ was quite disgusting — I would rather die than to be converted into someone’s body liquids.  As a figure of authority, he was ‘untouched’ and unquestioned by LINDA, despite the fact that he was increasingly obviously dangerous and evil.

The only thing I found troublesome about this episode was wondering how John and Ursula would cope. What if something happened to him? His grieving family would be going through his remains, and then discover a bodiless girlfriend. Would Ursula ever die? If she was just a head, then how was she surviving? How did she eat? Did she even need to eat? What sort of love life could they possibly have? I didn’t see the point in leaving Ursula like that, unless it was to stress some point on unconditional love (which wouldn’t have contributed to the story anyway). I wish the writers had just allowed the Doctor to retrieve her entire body.

S02E09: Favorite Episode

This is one of my favorite episodes in the entire Series 2. It flowed wonderfully from beginning to end, with great punctuations of horror, sadness, intrigue, and yes, humor. The pacing was quick enough to pepper the viewers with a flood of emotions, but the pacing also left the viewers with just enough time to recover. The twists of the episode were fantastic, and I think the writers were able to portray the background of the Beast quite well, achieving the feeling that the viewers were being let in on an ancient secret while avoiding any hint of corniness.

The Ood were incredibly frightening, which I don’t quite understand. I found them rather charming in the first part of the episode, and suddenly, having them crawl quickly and sinisterly after Rose and company makes them scary. I think my fear of tight spaces and the obvious difficulty of being chased in air vents heightened the fear. They seemed so hellbent on killing the humans. I was really holding my breath when Jefferson faced them down for the last time and decided to die.

I liked the contrast between the two conflicts aboveground and underground. Above, a more ‘conventional’ battle of defeating evil monsters took place. Below, however, it was just the Doctor and Ida facing a black abyss. Both situations were equally frightening and mysterious. The Beast was very perplexing because he/it knew everyone’s darkest secrets and seemed to control the environment — despite knowing these, it was still hard for me to fathom what the Beast could possibly be.

I was maddeningly curious about who the Disciples of Light were and what powers they possessed to predict the arrival of the Doctor and to set a trap for him. The solution or method to saving the day was ingenious — setting the monster free and into the black hole, which was a trap set into motion even in the first part of the episode.

The idea that an ‘idea’ could be a monster was really fascinating. The story never concluded what the Beast really is, but I think the Doctor was right in saying that it was ‘the stuff of legend’. The concept of a monster-idea also had a hopeful message, because the fact that something monstrous is just an idea means that all you have to do is exercise free will and a stubborn mind to get rid of the evil. In a sense, this really fits Doctor Who, which is a show that promotes inner strength. It also goes to show that the monsters hiding in the closet and underneath your bed are not really so frightening, if only you put your mind to it.

The ending was brilliant. When the captain was rattling off the names of all the Ood, it showed a real change of heart. It also impressed upon me the lesson of not taking people for granted and yes, a lesson of love. I really adored this hopeful episode — I have nothing negative to say about it.

 

I loved this episode — the backstory of the new characters was fantastic. I am a fan of spacecapes and space travel — this is why I loved the film, Avatar. As an artist, I spend a lot of my daydreams imagining what other planets would look like. Space is the final frontier, and the humans encountered by the Doctor and Rose were really stretching themselves to the limit. The thought of an ‘impossible planet’ opened many doors in my imagination and I yearned to be there with the Doctor and Rose. Black holes are frightening because we don’t know what’s on the other side, but because of the impossible state of the planet, the protagonists were able to see one up close.

The episode began with a ‘confrontation’ that really turned out to be a misunderstood offer of hospitality. I found this really funny, because I too thought that the Ood would feed on the humans. I think the story was able to convey the problem of the Ood, because the humans took them for granted. Slavery has worked this way in history — the oppressors take their victims for granted, and even the victims tend not to question their status quo or hope for better lives. The crew of the ship kept working the Ood, who appeared happy and complacent, so they did not worry about their feelings. This contradiction revealed the issue about slavery.

The Beast sent chills down my spine because it was an unseen and unknown entity. Even the possessed Toby was simply channeling the Beast. The writers did well to pick the name, ‘The Beast’ rather than something more blatant, like ‘Satan’ or ‘Lucifer’. The choice leaves the viewers wondering what on earth is so ‘beastly’ about this Beast, and what he possibly looks like. The term has many meanings and symbolisms, and but the overall feel I gained was something ancient and feral. I mean ancient in the sense the fear of this Beast was coded into our ancestors’ DNA.

The whole setting added to the mystery surrounding the Beast, because the humans were isolated from the rest of society on the planet, and they were relying on the help of a herd of beings that could possibly turn on them any minute. I like how the viewers were left to guess whether or not the Ood would commit mutiny. I also think that the vagueness of the Beast heightened the intrigue because unlike other monsters (Dalek, Cyberman), the powers of the Beast remained vague and appeared limitless.

The episode ended on a great cliffhanger because it didn’t offer a glimpse of any monster clawing out of the hole in the ground. This is what made me grab my copy of the second part, just so I could finally figure out what this Beast was. Also, the Ood mutiny was quite intriguing, and I was wondering whether or not the Ood woul reveal any secret powers. There was also the problem of Rose being separated from the Doctor, so I knew that each character was really on his or her own. All in all, it was  a delicious episode.

 

S02E07: Delete This

It is interesting that a television show would harp on the pitfalls of watching television. It’s like the show is making fun of itself. I spent some time considering what the symbolism of losing one’s face to television meant — was it simply for the horrific effect of having a smoothened face, or were the writers trying to imply something else? The scene were all the faceless people were locked up was quite scary. I think one interpretation is that you can lose your identity or individuality to television, especially if you’re inclined to being a couch potato that is glued to the ‘boob tube’. Instead of living your own life, you become busy watching the lives of others.

I didn’t really enjoy the episode because I feel it didn’t contribute to character development or to the overall plot. The Wire was an interesting enemy, but she was not that terrifying. In fact, I wondered why the Doctor couldn’t simply turn off the television set to be done with her. Also, I didn’t understand how sucking the Wire into a Betamax casette killed her — I am a techie and a great scifi fan, but I didn’t see the logic in it. I also found the character of Magpie bothersome because I couldn’t bring myself to pity him and I didn’t see the value of killing him off.

I also felt that the story should have been less forgiving to Tommy’s father. He was obviously a ruthless and abusive parent and spouse. He acted like the king of the household, even locking away the legal owner of the house. At the end of the episode, Rose still encouraged Tommy to go to him because ‘he’s your father’. Being an abusive father is inexcusable, because, apart from the obvious physical dangers, this affects the victim’s personal development, social skills, and self-esteem. I think Rose was too eager to forgive because her own father was dead, and she was hoping that Tommy could still have a relationship with his. I really resented her at this point.

This forgiveness sends the wrong message to the viewers. Part of trouble contributing to the issue of abusive parents and spouses is that the victims continue forgiving them and hoping that they’ll become kinder, even if all the evidence points to the contrary. Just because someone is your father doesn’t mean you can project all your idealism onto him — parents are not perfect.

Another thing pointing to the lack of merit of the episode is the fact that if you eliminate it, the series won’t decline in value. I think it’s better to have each episode contribute to the overall story of the series, even if it’s subtle, such as in the Bad Wolf implants in Series 1.

S02E06: Exterminate Me

I would rather be exterminated than deleted. This is why I love the Daleks. In a sense, they are the more humane monsters because they are more merciful to their victims. Cybermen prolong the suffering of their victims, and appropriate their brains and consciousnesses for their own purposes. As a stubborn and artistic person, I would rather die than give up my free will in such a horrific manner. It would be terrible to be simply a brain — although bodies are simply the vessels of our souls, we still take care of them because to a certain extent, they represent us: our race, nationality, personal style, and the like.

No wonder the cybermen go mad and self-implode when they, as the Doctor said, ‘realize themselves’ inside their metallic hulls. If the Daleks have a more traditional conquering-monster/Godzilla-esque effect, then the Cybermen are more reminiscent of movies like SAW and the Human Centipede, where sinister experiments occur.

I think the episode was great in its treatment of the cybermen and showing everyone else’s reaction to it. However, I think they could have notched up the horror, by showing more of individual reactions to self-realization rather than just showing a mass of cybermen exploding. A first-person shot from within the cyber shell would have been fantastic. The only time the characters got to directly interact with a un-suppressed cyberman involved a very calm one. I suppose really dragging the viewers into someone’s suffering and sadness would have been too much for child viewers, however. Also, the viewers could probably relate anyway to what the un-suppressed cybermen were feeling.

The ending was a bit anti-climactic, especially after the fire-branded escape from the factory. One thing that bothered me is that Rose did not seem so sad at the death of parallel Jackie. It is probably because she still had her own mother at home, so she did not see parallel Jackie as her real mother. In fact, she kind of used the death of parallel Jackie to try to convince Peter to go back with her to her own universe. Although Rose did not view parallel Jackie as her real mother, she viewed Peter as potentially her real father. This speaks about the yearning she had to have a father figure in her life. I think Freud would have had a lot to say at that scene!

I think it was not too difficult for Rose to accept parallel Peter, because in this universe, he was richer and more faithful to Jackie. However, Peter rejected her, which should have been a sign for Rose to give up on living in the shadow of her father’s death and to move on.

Rose was also ‘rejected’ by Mickey, who decided to stay. I think Mickey was able to successfully appropriate the role and responsibilities of Rickey for himself. Sure, it helped that they looked quite alike, but at the same time, he also ‘manned up’. It was a brave decision to stay behind and leave all he knew in his own universe.

The two-part episode tied up a lot of loose ends and also had a cool way of introducing the cybermen. I’d give it 8 stars out of 10.

 

S02E05: Rise Of Mickey

I love the idea of parallel universes blooming at the divergence of choices. For one thing, it seems like a halfway second chance, because somewhere out there, another me made the better decision. At the same time, it is literally a world, or reality of opportunities. In a parallel universe, I could be a tattoo artist, or graduate cum laude. The blimps were a way of subtly suggesting that it was very nearly the same London, but after a slightly different turn of history.

In this case, Rose saw the parallel universe as a way to make things right. I was very frustrated when Rose went after her father, but it made sense for her character to do so because the previous series already established her attachment to her father. The benefit this time is that there’s no time paradox.

In this episode, the story proceeded in a way that made Mickey see more like a main character, not just a sidekick. When Rose talked about Mickey’s past, it made me realize that I too had been taking him for granted, despite being indignant on his behalf. I actually never wondered about his personal background, family, or even what kind of job he had. It also turned out that he had a loved one who passed away in his own universe (I never quite got why Rose visiting her dad was a problem, while Mickey could visit his own grandmother).

Rickey made Mickey look more pathetic because he showed that Mickey could have been tougher and cooler, had he made different decisions and donned a leather jacket. Also, the joke is enhanced when viewers remember that the Doctor used to insist that Mickey’s real name was ‘Rickey’.  The presence of a secret gang operated by Rickey heightened my expectation about Mickey leveling up and asserting his independence from Rose and the Doctor.

The fact that the universe is parallel and separate is shoved again in the viewers’ faces when Rose fails to establish a connection with her mother, even ticking her off. The concept of Rose as a dog suggested that Rose really did not belong with the family. I felt like Rose was just dragging herself into a miserable situation, since she couldn’t realize her dream of having a complete family. I could empathize with the hurt she felt when her mother called her mere ‘staff’’.

I do not find Lumic’s worldwide monopoly entirely convincing or feasible, because countries have laws and policies protecting against such things. The earpods seemed unsubtle and unwieldy. However, it’s a parallel universe, and sometimes society does not question technology, so it could happen.

I liked the episode because of the way the excitement built up. I do not pay attention to episode titles because I prefer to be surprised. In this case, I thought that the episode would deal with another time paradox or something to do with father-daughter issues, but instead, it turned out to be about technology and the cybermen.

 

S02E03: Bittersweet Reunion

The beginning of the episode seemed to open a plothole, because even though the student had no family, she had still been sent tot he headmaster by a nurse, and surely would have had classmates who would miss her. It was a poor start to an otherwise sweet and nostalgic episode.

I found this episode very troublesome because of the implications it had for Rose as a companion. I think Rose reacted so snarkily to Sarah Jane Smith because she was projecting her worries onto the former companion. Sarah had aged, while the Doctor did not. In consideration of a romantic relationship, it would be hard for a woman to reconcile herself with the fact that her partner does not grow older in apperance, especially considering the vanity of women today. Also, Sarah was a beloved companion, but she had been left behind — and in the wrong location! — by the Doctor. It made the Doctor look like a player, and naturally, Rose was bothered.

As the fight between the two women escalated, it became more apparent that they viewed themselves as near-girlfriends of the Doctor’s, with lines such as ‘Oh, he’s never mentioned you’ suggesting more than just a platonic relationship. I felt sorry for them, because even though they were bickering over him, it still was apparent that neither really had any ‘right’, in the relationship sense, to him.

However, the Doctor had the perfect answer to this question because, although it sounds bad, it is also difficult on him to witness his friends growing older. If I were in his shoes, I would feel even lonelier because I would have to endure while others pass on. This seems to be a common theme with stories that deal with immortal creatures. Even the hormonal disaster, Twilight, deals with Bella being horrified at the idea of aging while Edward remains young.

I also wondered how I would feel as an abandoned companion. The Doctor’s companions witness so many marvelous things — farflung galaxies, alternate universes, time travel — and the normal world would probably seem very dull and depressing afterward. It would be very hard to cope with the change, like being shown a world of riches and then being denied access to it. It would also be impossible to maintain even a normal job or an ordinary lifestyle afterward.

The presence of K-9 was comforting because it meant that Sarah could still retain a slice of her old adventures. I loved K-9 because it is a machine with tons of personality, such as when K-9 agreed that it was a ‘bad dog’. It helps that its steampunk appearance makes K-9 even more endearing.

Sarah was given the chance to rejoin the Doctor, but she decided to move on and live her own life. This seemed to foreshadow Rose’s fate, especially since the Doctor never maintained a permanent companion. The problem with the Doctor is that we always have to move on — whether as a companion, or as a viewer dealing with a regeneration. Moving on is difficult, but the benefit is that characters like Sarah learn to have a life outside of the Doctor.

 

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