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01 June 2010 @ 11:05 am
Doctor Who "Cold Blood"  
Nearly had a disaster & couldn't watch Doctor Who coz the magic box failed to record it on Saturday (no idea why not, it just ... didn't) but iPlayer via the PS3 came to the rescue - not as good as watching it on BBC HD, obviously, but not bad quality and only a little stuttery a couple of times after it buffered enough to get going (and J thinks that might've been compression artifacts not streaming issues).

So this was the second part of the Silurians story - and we'd thought part 1 was rather weak. Part 2 was better tho, so that's good :) More Amy - I liked that she escapes herself, rather than being rescued, and the pickpocketing was something that had been set up before (in the Daleks in WW2 episode). The scientist Silurian was nicely ambiguous - willing to dissect the "specimens" he had, but not the children, and not willing to just start a genocidal war or execute people out of hand. And the guy he had dissected wasn't harmed permanently. And who wouldn't go a little nuts after 300 years on their own?

And I liked that we avoided the total tragedy ending for the Silurians, even though it was on the cards after Ambrose killed Aleya (sp?). Going back to sleep again for another 1000 years, with two humans with them (I'm assuming they'll cure the old guy so he won't mutate before they all back into suspended animation), so hopefully the world will be "ready" for them by then was in retrospect the "obvious" other solution but only possible because not all the Silurians were xenophobic. Kinda liked that the total nutters were both of the same family - so not necessarily all the Silurians, or even half, but more the sort of people who end up doing well in their military or a family "issue".

Aleya's death was fairly well done too, I thought - Ambrose had been set up as the sort of person to take things too far then regret it, I thought. And we'd already seen that weapons were her first thought, and that she was protective of her family. And with Aleya taunting her because she wanted to die and start a war, what chance did Ambrose have to stop & think first. Poor Rory trying to keep control of the situation though - without the "presence" of the Doctor (I mean his charisma & his seeming ability to make everyone listen in the end), it wasn't going to be easy and Rory didn't have that sort of personality anyway.

Poor Rory dying too :( Again trying to do the Right Thing - and saving the Doctor. Then being forgotten as well (although not by the Doctor), poor Amy even though she doesn't know why anymore. I guess the "look there's us" from the start of the first part was just to set up the "look there's me" at the end. I'm guessing Rory won't stay dead though - the ring is still there in the Tardis & the Doctor still knows, so I don't think we're done with that plotline. Putting right the cracks reverses things like that, maybe?

I noticed "trust" came up again - Rory trying to get people to do the right thing by telling them to stick to the Doctor's plan because he trusted the Doctor (trusted the Doctor "with his life", in fact ...). The Doctor trying to get Amy to remember Rory, telling her to trust him to help.

Oh, and just after posting this I re-read magid's comment on my last DW entry as I'm replying to it now & remembered the Great Big Plothole as far as I was concerned - why the rush to escape at the end?? The poisonous-to-Silurian gas doesn't seem to affect the humans (or the Doctor) because the one who comes to assassinate the Doctor is already dying and the others aren't affected. So why rush to get out? The Tardis is a time machine, it can take them from tomorrow/two hours time/whatever to the right moment on the surface. It just seemed there for dramatic tension :/
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contents under pressure / handle with care: cooking - pop up toaster!graphxgrrl on June 1st, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Tonight sadly played into one of my largest issues with this series so far--how they're handling the overall arc. I always rather liked how RTD planted clues (Bad Wolf, Vote for Saxon) that had a payoff at the end vs. "Oh look, there's the crack again, and it's just taken Rory." Perhaps the ending will be worth it, but it's all rather felt pasted on to me.

And why the hell wouldn't they just grab Rory and throw him into the Tardis immediately? My friend Martine (who watches with me) both were practically yelling at the tv at that point.
magidmagid on June 1st, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Yes to all of this.
Phlebasphlebas on June 1st, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
Agreed except for the bit about liking how RTD did it. Bad Wolf was good (until the disappointing and rather arbitrary payoff); the fact that it worked well meant that RTD then used a similar device in every season and it grated.

As to the current season: I agree that it's tended to feel a bit pasted on and has interfered with the workings of individual stories (Angels versus Plot Hole especially), but I'm sticking with my theory that Moffat is deliberately using similar tropes and techniques to the previous seasons with the intention of actually making it good and thus kicking Davies' arse.
contents under pressure / handle with care: cats - kitten sandwichgraphxgrrl on June 1st, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Definitely it became overdone, but I'd also certainly rather see something more natural that what's been done thus far.
jimreevejimreeve on June 1st, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
The trouble with this is that even if it's great as a season payoff - and I hope it will be, but by now I'm not that hopeful, frankly - it has, as you say, interfered with the series throughout. I'm not sure that a great double-payoff story is adequate compensation for disrupting the other eleven. To my mind, there's been a lot of mediocre writing in this series, and the 'tacked-on crack' is one example of it. Say what one likes about RTD, at least he wove the thread into the stories with some subtlety. I agree he over-used it until it grated, but if so, why continue it into this series at all and make it really grate with its clumsiness? What's so weird about all of this is that Moffatt is by common agreement an excellent writer, so why are such clunky elements turning up in almost all the series 5 scripts? By the way, I had a look at the viewing-figures earlier today. Judging by their decline, it might just be that people are beginning to vote with their off buttons, which ought to tell us something.
Margaretpling on June 1st, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
Interesting you say that, because one of the things I'm enjoying this season is that they are mixing a larger arc with the individual stories - whilst I enjoyed spotting the Bad Wolf references the first time, it started to feel like you were playing spot-the-gimmick as it happened in season after season. So this time it's nice to feel like there's at least 2 layers of story happening - the big season long story and the stories of the week, and that these 2 layers are happening in the same universe not just the finale having prequel references in unrelated stories.

Mind you, I was also wondering why they didn't drag Rory away, but I think what we were supposed to take away from it was that Amy would have, it was just that the Doctor realised they'd only noticed too late and Rory was already being taken into the crack. It just didn't quite convincingly look like that to me.
contents under pressure / handle with care: cooking - spatulagraphxgrrl on June 1st, 2010 11:35 pm (UTC)
While I like the idea of using a larger arc as a framework to hang the other stories on, I guess I don't feel like they've been successful at that thus far.