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16 November 2009 @ 12:09 am
The Waters of Mars  
OMG my flist is entirely covered in Doctor Who and Yuletide! :) For the record my Yuletide assignment is very exciting. Yay! I think it would be impossible to write the actual request I was matched with, which involves characters that I find dull, and I'm specifically forbidden to write the slash pairing I would want to write. But it doesn't matter! Because one of the other requests was a pairing that I should have thought about before - they're such a perfectly obvious, perfectly suited couple! So, apparently I'm writing historical RPS again this year... :)

And Doctor Who? Wow. So very good. Roll on Christmas...

I expect what I liked was very much what other people liked - particularly the Doctor going completely fuck-nuts at the end. I love David Tennant when he goes completely insane, he does it so well. I loved the reference to Pompeii, because, of course, this was the opposite kind of insanity to what the Doctor was like there - and of course he doesn't have a Companion at the moment, which we all know never helps.

I also thought Lindsay Duncan was stupendously good, she really sold it for me, because, TBH, I didn't care about the other characters, you don't get the cahnce to meet them for long enough. But she was a captain I would have followed into hell, and I cared about her. Brilliant.

I watched WofM with a mate who thought she was going to shoot the Doctor at the end, and I knew it was going to be suicide as soon as she pulled the gun, because that's the kind of captain she is.

Obviously the squee at the Master was great, as was Mrs Master, Donna and Wilf, although I knew about them all, so it wasn't as great as it could have been. Possibly there was more squee at blond Master than anything... So can't wait for how the Doctor is going to resolve himself, although I can see he'd be out to punish himself now, and as we know, hubris never ends well in the Whoniverse.
 Communicatorcommunicator on November 16th, 2009 10:43 am (UTC)
the Doctor going completely fuck-nuts at the end

This and blond Master. Cor blimey.
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - and his name is the Doctovalderys on November 16th, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)
I think what I particularly liked was that despite the wonderfully tense, bleak inevitability of the tragic happenings on the base, what really frightened me wasn't any of that - it was the Doctor losing it. That's the truly terrifying thing. Very well done, I thought.
prochytes: Lukeprochytes on November 18th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
That's the truly terrifying thing.

Quite. I think that I may indeed, as per Radio Times have found that the "scariest Doctor Who yet": not because of the aliens (it was a nice touch that we never even found out what they called themselves), but because the actual scariest thing in the Whoniverse went completely and chillingly mental. There is a reason the Daleks call him Ka Faraq Gatri, after all.
Our Drama Queen: doctor who handsome devilourdramaqueen on November 16th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
OMG my flist is entirely covered in Doctor Who

Seriously?! Yours was the first entry about Who on mine, and so far there were only two more! o_O

The hardest moment was when he was walking away and you could hear the crew over his radio... *gulp* And yes, Adelaide was great, and I knew what she would do too, when she pulled the gun.

I really want to know what will happen in the next one... is it Christmas yet?!
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - and his name is the Doctovalderys on November 18th, 2009 09:01 am (UTC)
I was most horrified by the Doctor losing it, really, although I agree with others that it would have been fun to explore the Doctor going insane for a bit longer than a few seconds. And as for my flist - I have a lot of British fangirls on here now, so that might have been why!
prochytes: Lukeprochytes on November 17th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
Yes, indeed. Lindsay Duncan in particular was so awesome.
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - and his name is the Doctovalderys on November 18th, 2009 09:02 am (UTC)
I really thought so. And it was nice to see Phil Ford off his leash - it might be why it wasn't covered in RTDs excesses! :)
alba: Ten - profile hairalba17 on November 17th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
Yeah, I liked the very same things as you. It was quite terrifying for the Doctor to go all megalomaniac suddenly, although they pulled it back fairly quickly. Loved Lindsey Duncan. I also wondered if she was going to shoot the Dr. Mrs. Master? I missed that. I'm weirdly excited about blond Master too, hee.
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - and his name is the Doctovalderys on November 18th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
It's a pity they pulled it back as quickly as they did, but I suppose I understand, it being a kiddie's programme and all that. Can't have the main hero going all Dark Side, after all!

I wonder whether the blond master is going to be a robot, or a clone, or a spirit possessing someone else...?
alba: Ten Waters of Mars firealba17 on November 18th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
I totally agree that it's too bad they had to pull back evil!Doctor so quickly. Someone said it would have been interesting to see a few episode arc bringing him back to the good side. That would have been great. Can't wait to see how the Master comes back!

I had the same feeling about the first episode of S2 Merlin. It would have been really interesting to see Merlin possessed by the evil sorcerer for an episode or two. But guess you can't do that during the kiddie hour!
Malk: Rassillonmr_malk on November 17th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, I really liked it. Just seen it on video. Was at the S&S Casting Meeting on Sunday. The Doctor's little... [scuse me, the stupid cat has forgotten how to use the cat-flap, and Wales has just let rip with its trademark weather condition]... um... peculiar moment was quite superb. You are right, David Tennant does that extremely well.

Do you think that at any point he will take it upon himself to try to change the outcome of the Time War (i.e. save the Timelords?) After all, the Daleks seem to come back every two or three episodes, so it's not like this wonderful "Time Lock" is exactly water-tight.

Blond Master. Hmm. That's gonna take some selling if you ask me. I had enough trouble taking him seriously without a beard!

Back on WofM though, I did rather enjoy the Doctor's doomed efforts to walk away, knowing/believing that it was the Right Thing To Do, and the way that the angst built up into his outburst at the conclusion. If I really look at it closely, I suspect that I'll find the provocation unconvincing, but as of now, I enjoyed it.

Good "monster" too. And I liked the Ice Warriors reference. And the "Speaking Ancient North Martian" bit. Could have sounded really cheesey, but he pulled it off well.
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - and his name is the Doctovalderys on November 18th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
I'm fully expecting that the Time War and getting the Timelords back is going to be addressed in the last two episodes at Christmas. Then Rusty will sort of be handing over a clean plate to Stephen Moffat.

Possibly the fact that the Doctor has messed with a 'fixed point in time' could mean that other 'fixed points' can become unstuck :) Probably in a very dangerous way.

I liked all the old who mentions too - Ice Warriers! And also the mention of Pompeii, because of course this is the oppposite of what happened there, and he with no Companion!
Malkmr_malk on November 18th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Now I know what was bugging me.

In RTD-World, isn't the Doctor (and those he saved) now meant to be being pestered by big bat-like things, that eat everything anomalous, in order of age? Last time that happened, the Doctor's inherent Timelordiness didn't really help him much, IIRC.

I am also given to wonder about how the impending regeneration meshes with the Doctor's pending relationship with Dr Erin Sung (is that the right name? The one with the TARDIS diary?) She recognised the Doctor when she met him, meaning that she must have met Dr 10 on at least one other occasion.

Well... time will tell.
prochytesprochytes on November 18th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
In RTD-World, isn't the Doctor (and those he saved) now meant to be being pestered by big bat-like things, that eat everything anomalous, in order of age?

Not really sure that's a problem, myself. The situation in Father's Day was not really the same as here: there was the additional burden on the spatiotemporal fabric of two other versions of Nine and Rose being there already, which in itself contravened the First Law of Time. And that bit of canon is as old as the hills (The Three Doctors, I think), even if The Doctor has repeatedly got away with trampling on it in desperate circumstances (as indeed in The Three Doctors) .

Also, Ten may have "initially" encountered River Song (Erin Sung was the guy who built Data in Star Trek: TNG, I think) some time between Journey's End and Planet of the Dead, or between Planet of the Dead and The Waters of Mars. It is clear from the old canon that we do not see everything he does, as some bits really do not work otherwise (as in the reprogramming of Xoanon in The Face of Evil).

Malkmr_malk on November 18th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
Well, it's not a problem in the sense that RTD is in the habit of declaring absolutes (or having the Doctor do so) and then breaking/ignoring/disproving them, so why should now be any different (in fairness, he is hardly alone in the Sci-fi world in doing this, although he is especially blatant). I think you are making up rationales to fit circumstances though. Yes, there was the additional issue of there being two Doctors and two Roses there at the same time, but the fundamental issue was that Rose changed time. An established death was prevented, the future was changed. I see no fundamental difference here. Consider also that a change in a time-line creates, de facto, a parallel* universe, access to which is also "impossible" in the New Whoniverse - we know this, the Doctor told us so when he and Rose were visiting one [see "breaking/ignoring/disproving" above]!

Erin Sung/River Song. OK, that will teach me to look things up when I'm not sure. I'm quite surprised I was as close as I was actually! And yes, that is a fair point, and one that I may just have to put up with, but having drawn our attention to the significance of the relationship, it seems like very poor etiquette not to show us the beginning of it in Ms Song's timeline! P'raps Moff would have done so had DT not called time, she was introduced in one of his stories after all, but that is out of his control. Unless she turns up at Christmas.

* Not really parallel, more "divergent" really, but who am I to split hairs about habitual sci-fi semantics? I might as well argue that "the relationship between "telekinetic" and "pyrokinetic" makes no sense, and that the word should be "telepyrotic" for all the good it would do!
prochytesprochytes on November 18th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
I think you are making up rationales to fit circumstances though.

Well, I do not agree, obviously, but I am happy to concede that that is a matter of taste. Old!Who was insistent that crossing time-lines was a Bad Idea. (Usually when it was actually happening, of course. As you note, RTD is not alone in this. I tend to be fairly indulgent to the descriptions of things as "impossible" which subsequently happen, though; Ten (and Nine, to a lesser extent) is grandiloquent, and he is not the only person who uses "impossible" as short-hand for "untried"/"catastrophically ill-advised"/"I can't think of a way to do it if I concentrate for less than five minutes on it".) There must be some sort of proximity limit to the problem, though, or the four Jack Harknesses in England at one point in WWII would have exploded the Universe all by themselves. I still do not think that it is unreasonable for it to be the case that meddling with that with which one should not meddle can produce different (bad) effects for different instances of meddling, or that the Thingummybobs targeted the saving of Rose's dad with particular vigour because the situation was already teetering on the brink of paradox.

Malkmr_malk on November 18th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
I think that when it comes down to it, it depends on how willing one is in a particular circumstance, to suspend disbelief. Indulgence, as you say. I suppose that RTD has switched on his Ineffable Bullshit Field to write himself out of tricky situations too many times for me to give him the benefit of that doubt as often as I might give others. The fact is, I didn't like the big, bat-like thingies; didn't like them at all. They were nice and menacing, and the episode was well executed, but I thought the concept was bollocks. But as they had introduced them as a conceit, I can't help feeling that they should not just ignore them.

I'll go along with your explanation as a valid rationale, but I think you are being very generous!
prochytesprochytes on November 18th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
I think that when it comes down to it, it depends on how willing one is in a particular circumstance, to suspend disbelief.

Very true. And I am probably being over-generous; I often am. If I am honest with myself, I suspect that I just enjoy the challenge which plot-holes present.
prochytesprochytes on November 18th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
it seems like very poor etiquette not to show us the beginning of it in Ms Song's timeline!

I think that this might have been part of the point: that there are some moments of splendour in the lives of the Doctor and those around him which we never get to see. Hence the teasing play with the closed diary at the end.

I could easily be wrong, of course. Especially if she does show up at Christmas.
prochytesprochytes on November 18th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Another Corrigendum
four Jack Harknesses in England at one point in WWII

[That should actually be "two in Cardiff; one in London; one (as far as I know) unaccounted for, but almost certainly on Earth". Somewhat embarrassing geographical inadvertence on my part, since I do usually know that Wales is not in England.]
Valderys: Captain Jack - historicalvalderys on November 18th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Corrigendum
One from the Doctor Dances, one from the Game Station living through time until the Doctor arrives, one buried under Cardiff - who's the fourth?
prochytes: Clever Toshprochytes on November 19th, 2009 07:26 am (UTC)
Re: Another Corrigendum
The one who visits Cardiff in WWII very briefly with Toshiko in "Captain Jack Harkness". The period when there are four is actually quite short: only the few hours or so for which the action of that episode lasts.
prochytesprochytes on November 18th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
(Actually, Data's dad had a different first name. My bad.)
Malk: late earlmr_malk on November 18th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
Hmm... I wonder where I got "Erin" from then... no matter.

P.S. Forgive me, but as a personal favour to me, could you please not say "my bad" as if it were an actual sentence! I know that as a former English teacher and current technical writer I am an insufferable linguistic pedant, but that one really does set my teeth on edge!
prochytesprochytes on November 18th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
That is a fantastic icon. I shall of course avoid "my bad" in future correspondence, if only in awe at the moustache.

[I am curious, though: why do you not consider "my bad" a valid sentence when you think "Unless she turns up at Christmas" to be one? Last time I checked, a concessive clause does not by itself a well-formed sentence make.]
Malk: Young Earlmr_malk on November 18th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
Why thank you, I do have a reputation for moustaches. See here my No. 2 Emergency back-up moustache.

Why do I dislike "my bad" so much? I'm not quite sure why that one offends me excessively, but it's one of a group. I think it's just that "my fault" works just as well, and "bad" does not, in any pre-existing context, work grammatically as a noun. Starting a sentence with "Unless" may irk school-teachers, but I see that as stylistics. It's bad if it is unclear what the other circumstance is, but as part of a dialogue, or even a narrative, the context is clear. OK, if I was feeling really picky, I suppose I could have requested "..." or maybe a semi-colon instead of the full-stop prior to it, but it just doesn't exercise me in the same way. "My bad", along with the current popularity of the word "fail", when "failure" would work better, or using "leverage" as a verb, when "lever" is already a perfectly good one, is like fingernails screeching down the blackboard of my soul!
prochytesprochytes on November 18th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
Equally fantastic moustache.

I suspect that we all have our "blackboards". Mine is "disinterested" and "uninterested" used interchangeably. Grrr.
Malkmr_malk on November 18th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
Oh yes, that too!
Slovenliness that robs the language of a perfectly nice distinction, damnit!
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - is smugvalderys on November 18th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
I hate to say it, but you're both wrong - living languages are living. They're not going to stand still just because you want them to!
Malkmr_malk on November 19th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
Rhubarb my dear. Language does change, but:
a) at any given time, there are still correct and incorrect ways of using particular words, and
b) Not liking particular changes is not "wrong". It might be prissy, over-precious, fastidious or reactionary, but it's not wrong, unless of course this is some delightful new meaning of the word "wrong" that is evolving out of the living language even as we speak!

Malkmr_malk on November 18th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
Got it!
I was thinking of Aeryn Sun from Farscape. It's more or less the same phonetically.

For some reason I am relieved that my mistake was derived from something other than Star Trek. How curious.
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - and his name is the Doctovalderys on November 18th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
Damn - I didn't get there in time! I was able to correct names but you were ahead of me - and Data's dad was Noonian Soong. Theyre'all similar names, aren't they?
Malk: Geekerymr_malk on November 18th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
Yeah, I bet you didn't have to look it up though! I am happy to admit that you are in a different league to me when it comes to sci-fi general knowledge!
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - is smugvalderys on November 18th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
To be fair, I had to check the spelling of Aeryn Sun's name, but I did know immediately who you were mixing River Song up with :)
prochytesprochytes on November 18th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Corrigendum
Excellent! "Erin" sounded right in some way I could not define - it is good to see that it was.