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01 June 2008 @ 10:51 pm
My extremely, 'OMG! You have no life!!!' long "Doctor Who" post  
I promised a long Doctor Who post and BOY! did I deliver. This baby was originally one post, then I split it into four posts, then I decided to go back and put it in one post. I'm done now, no more re-arranging. So it's just all together in one looooooooong, fell swoop. Phew!

Now, then, I want to start out by saying that I've never watched any other Who than the 2005 version originally starring Christopher Eccleston (sniff, sniff) as the Doctor, followed by David Tennant taking over the role in the following three seasons. I can not, and won't even try to, compare these versions of the Doctor, the companions, the stories, production values, etc. to any other because I haven't seen them and probably won't ever. So these comments are based solely on the current Doctor Who. Period.

Oh, and to be safe ... spoilers for all four seasons up to 4x07 (but the reference to 4x07 is only in the random comments section). If you've watched seasons 1-3 and at least a few episodes of season four, you're fine (again, with the exception of the random comments at the end).

Alrighty then, I'm going to start with the Doctors. I admit I haven't re-watched season one in two years (but I'm working on getting it), and if you've been reading my journal for any length of time and have read my Who posts, you know it isn't because I didn't like S1. In fact, I loved it. I was completely hooked by the third episode and fell head over heels for Christopher Eccleston's Doctor. He created such a mixture of joy and sorrow, goofiness and seriousness in such a beautifully nuanced package. This is the awesomeness of Eccleston.

And, of course, because I'm a silly, silly shipper at heart, I rather fell head over heels for the relationship between the Doctor and Rose as well. I loved Eccleston's Doctor and the Rose/Nine relationship so much that when the reveal of David Tennant as Doctor #10 appeared at the end of the season, I was upset, angry, annoyed, frustrated, saddened, you name it. And it was a little over two full years before I actually watched another episode because the Doctor was ... Christopher Eccleston. Period.

I've now seen all of season two and three, and what's aired thus far of season four. I don't LOOOOOOOOOVE Tennant's Doctor like I did Eccleston's, but I do like him very much and I love his relationship with Rose as well. It's different, but the same. Which makes sense considering the Doctor is different, but the same. I do think Tennant tends to get a tad, erm, okay, a LOT, yelly at points, but I think he does the fun of it quite well and I like the introspective, bad-ass moments also.

He's not my Doctor -- that will always be Eccleston -- but he's a fine, fine Doctor none-the-less and I enjoy watching him very much indeed. And because the second season was the Doctor and Rose already knowing each other and having been through such an emotional experience (the end of season one), there was a richer, yet lighter feel to their relationship in season two. Needless to say, if you're familiar with my leanings, it won't surprise anyone to know that by the end of season two, I was pretty much a die-hard Rose/Doctor (Nine or Ten) shipper ... yes, this was even knowing that Billie Piper was gone after season two before I even sat down to watch it. But more on the whole Doctor/Rose relationship later.

First, let's take a look at the Companions. This show is so oddly set-up in terms of creating actor/character/shipping fandoms because the Doctor CAN easily be replaced at any time should something change with the current actor due to the whole regenerating thing when he "dies." As well, the companions can just be set along their merry way for any number of reasons and it's all so logical and makes sense that the almost transient nature of the actors on the show makes it an interesting one for me to glom onto because I'm SO entrenched in loving my favorites and any replacement BE DAMNED!!! Yet, this show makes it work ... likely, in my opinion, due to the already-set-in-place structure of the show, as well as the almost routinely excellent casting and writing.

My first companion was, of course, Rose. I didn't love love her by even the end of the first season, but some time throughout the second season, I did grow to love love her and her departure at the end of that season left me a literal bawling mess. I loved her fiestiness, her ignorance, yet willingness to explore anything and everything. I loved her dedication and loyalty to the Doctor. Hah, I actually just figured it out when I realized I love loved Rose because of typing that last statement: It was in the two-parter ending with "Satan's Pit." She was so awesome on her own, fighting and doing everything that had to be done while still remaining steadfastly loyal and devoted to the Doctor. Loved it, and loved her.

Anyhoo, back to my Rose love. I even loved her selfishness because it just made her more real. When viewers (and I'm talking mostly TWoP commentary here as I've yet to find another Doctor Who community where I can just dig in and read good, meaty thoughts on the show -- but I'm looking) complain about "Saint Rose" or "Mary Sue Rose" rearing her head in season three and thus far in season four, I seriously wonder if they've watched season one and two recently. Seriously. Because not only was Rose NOT a saint OR a Mary Sue; she was never written as one (nor was she portrayed as such in season three, or season four thus far). She was ignorant, and selfish, and jealous, and stupid, stupid, stupid sometimes. However, she was also capable of greatness. Great acts of sacrifice, great thoughts, great love, great compassion. Many of the kick-ass awesome qualities we see in Martha and Donna were in Rose: a bit of the humor, the action, the smarts, the compassion, the heart and soul. Rose was fucking awesome. I love her.

I don't, however, love Martha. I like her. I think Freema Agyeman is lovely, but I just never connected to Martha the way I did Rose. That very well may have been because the Doctor kept her at arm's length, something he never did with Rose, and so she felt like she was at arm's length from me as well. There were moments with Martha where I loved her (and I do have Torchwood on my Netflix so I can get caught up on that, I might like her better when she shows up there -- I quite liked her and Jack), but overall, I just kinda, you know, liked her.

I'll be honest, it didn't help that I kept waiting for the show to screw up (in my opinion) and make Martha into another Rose in terms of how the Doctor felt about her. To me, what was between the Doctor and Rose was special (more on that later, I promise) and it would have just infuriated me to see Martha just take over Rose's spot. All of the moments of jealousy that Martha had, the continued bringing up of Rose, the continued crush that lasted the whole season really had me believing that the final episode of season three would basically feature the Doctor showing that Martha was just another Rose to him, ie, just another companion, one he valued and felt great fondness, but just another companion ... thus Rose wasn't special at all. That didn't happen and I may actually be able to go back and rewatch season three with a different eye that is more appreciative for that fact.

It's not something I'll be doing all that soon though, because, overall, season three was subpar to seasons one and two in my book, and that's not because Rose wasn't there. I did like Martha, I really did, she just didn't connect to me and thus make me connect to the show the same way I had in seasons one and two. In fact, my favorite episode was the incredibly awesome "Blink" which barely featured Martha and the Doctor at all. However, I DID really like her spark with Tom Milligan in the season finale and was really, really happy to see his return (or at least mention of him) as her fiance in Martha's first appearance back on the show in season four. A Martha not mooning over the Doctor may make me like her all that much more. Still, I'm not sure. I kinda think if she was gonna grab me like Rose did, it woulda happened. I mean, I may not have love loved Rose by the end of season one, but I loved her and it was before the last episodes that I was there already. So, who knows?

Well, I do know that my opinion about Donna came pretty quickly, faster than even with Rose. See, I hadn't watched the show in two years, but I would see posts on ONTD about it and I would note them simply because it WAS a show I had loved. And lately I'd been seeing this (I'm being honest here) mean, bitchy, scarecrow-looking, kinda unattractive red head in all the promo shots with David Tennant and I thought, 'What the hell?!?! They went from Billie Piper to Freema Agyeman to, uhm, that?!?!?! Oy. I don't know.' Flashforward to season two, I watched "School Reunion" (with Anthony Stewart Head!!!) and there was an older redhead woman, Sarah Jane, and I thought ... "Oh, I bet THAT'S the redhead chick. Oh, she looks much better onscreen. Just not photogenic." Did a teeny bit of research and found out, nope, totally different actress. So I was back to thinking 'Oy vey! Crap. This is gonna suck. I don't like the way she looks. I'm not gonna like her.'

Then came the season finale of season two. As mentioned above, I'm a bawling mess and the Doctor is crying himself and then all-of-a-sudden familiar scary, mean-looking redhead woman pops into the Tardis wearing a wedding dress and I was like, "That's her!!!" I was leery, but "The Runaway Bride" was the next episode to watch. So I watched it. And in about, oh, fifteen minutes ... maybe even ten, I fell completely, totally, absolutely, mind-boggled IN LOVE WITH DONNA NOBLE!!!! OH. MY. GOD! Is she like the COOLEST character ever!?!?? Why, yes, I do believe she is. She isn't just the awesome. She isn't just made of the awesome. She isn't just the very definition of the awesome. No, Donna Noble is everything in the universe put together that is good and right and cool, creating a brand-new definition of awesome that has never before been witnessed.

I love Donna. I love Donna so much. Donna? is, well, there is no other word to accurately describe her. Donna ... is Donna. So, so Donna. I love her. So much. My God, the charades scene in "Partners in Crime?" Funniest damn thing I can recall seeing ever!!!! Catherine Tate is so beyond awesome. Her comic timing, her delivery, her pure awesomeness -- seriously, she must sweat liquid beads of awesome -- she's just WOW!!!!!!!!!! Love her.

Funny thing, though, Donna's my favorite character on Doctor Who ever -- meaning, yes, I like her more than I like Christopher Eccleston's Doctor ... I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!! -- but, Rose is still my favorite companion. Which brings us to ...

I wrote above that I'm basing this bit on fandom as read at TWoP about the Rose/Doctor relationship -- if anyone knows of the thoughts in the overall fandom outside of that evil place and know that they are, in fact, in the minority, do let me know. I mentioned how Rose is referred to as "Saint Rose" and "Mary Sue Rose" (ridiculous, but I already groused about that in above) and this is mostly done because of posters annoyed that Rose is brought up as much as she was in season three and four (so far). For me? I would have been not annoyed, but damn right PISSED! had Rose not been brought up in season three, so I was actually giddy and thrilled with every mention because, in my opinion, she damn well should have been for one reason and one reason alone.

The Doctor loved Rose. Period. I don't care what happened in previous incarnations. I don't care if romance has never been part of the show to any degree. I know what I watched happen over the course of two seasons and I damn well know what happened in the last ten minutes of season two. See for yourselves (minus the Rose voiceover regarding directions in between the two videos):



He was screaming her name -- and not the normal David Tennant-screaming -- but in an anguished cry of devastation; she was sobbing uncontrollably. THEY SENSED EACH OTHER THROUGH AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE; they did the whole touching hands through a wall ... THROUGH AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. Final scene: The Doctor was "burning up a sun just to say goodbye," Rose told him she loved him; it sure as hell seemed like the Doctor was going to tell her likewise. Once he lost contact with her, he was crying. In other words, they loved each other. It was love. As how love is seen and shown and produced and stylized on television and in film. The Doctor loved Rose. Rose loved the Doctor. Whether one wants to accept that such is not how Doctor Who worked in the past is all fine and dandy, but what's happened on new Who, what we saw onscreen? The Doctor loved Rose. Rose loved the Doctor. They loved each other. And it wasn't of the sibling sort or like father/daughter.

The reason that Rose was brought up as much as she was in season three was because -- sticking to the storyline that had been crafted through the first two seasons -- the Doctor was mourning a woman he loved. The reason the Doctor was such a dick to Martha is because he knew she fancied him, but he was dealing with a broken heart -- which, based on comments I've read, hadn't happened before with any other companion -- but would never admit it, and just wanted to not deal with it. That? was part of the season's arc ... it was brought up how horribly affected he was by Rose's loss in "The Runaway Bride" (Go Donna!! "Pockets!!") and having a bright, young girl who didn't really know love at that point thinking she loved him allowed him to witness a fresh innocence at work again despite his continued tragedies.

As for chemistry, yes, I thought that Billie Piper had better chemistry with Christopher Eccleston and if it hadn't been for how well they played off one another, the love angle may not have worked in season two with Tennant. However, Piper and Eccleston did have chemistry, they did play off of one another well and the finale in which Rose took on the life force of the Tardis connected Rose and the Doctor in a way that simply could not be dismissed as a schoolgirl crush. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if part of the why of Martha's crush was to show that what Rose felt for the Doctor was NOT in fact a crush, but that she truly loved him. And while, again, Piper had better chemistry with Eccleston, that didn't take away from the fact that she and David Tennant had fine chemistry as well, just different, but yet with the same touch because they were the same characters.

What will happen in the future? Who knows? But that's one of the great things about Doctor Who, anything truly is literally possible. Will the Doctor get Rose back? Will he move on to someone new? Based on his interactions with Martha -- stand-offish, at arm's length -- and Donna -- "I just want a mate" -- I'd like to think that any romantic entanglements will be kept to the one/two-shot deals we've had thus far and thus easily expendable and forgotten. I'm a silly shipper at heart, I know, but I LOVE the fact that Rose is so clearly special to the Doctor. I love that we are still hearing about and seeing (!!!) Rose despite Billie Piper's work on The Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. As far as I'm concerned, it should stay that way because the show made me believe that the Doctor and Rose loved each other (I mean, HELLO!!, watch those clips!!) -- a true love, a real, once in a (human's) lifetime kind of love -- and I'm sticking to that. I hope the show does too.

Finally, a quick (yes, I am capable of "quick," I swear) look at the finales thus far. One thing that Doctor Who does so well are its finales. Well, normally. I adored the first season finale so much. So much so that I was a crying mess at the end of it. How the show built from this goofy, quirky, silly, time-traveling sci-fi geekfest into this emotionally heartrending, thrilling, dramatic tour de force is amazing. But it did it. I cared so very much about the Doctor and Rose ... and when they both risked so much for, well, so much, it was awesome. And when I say "awesome," I don't mean in the 'ooh, cool!' way, but rather in the literal definition of the word: Inspiring awe. All of the plot points, all of the lines about, all of the build-up of "Bad Wolf" to the season came to a head in this beautiful tapestry of threads sewn together with such love and talent. Ah, it was wonderful.

And then ... and then!!! The second season managed the exact same feat. Starting out light and goofy, with some serious undertones, and then building, building, building to that killer of a finale where Rose became a heroine in her own right, and not just the Doctor's sidekick; and where the Doctor experienced yet another devastating loss -- not comparing losing Rose to an alternate universe to the Time Lord war here, but it was still devastating to lose Rose. It was just ... no words. It blew me away. If I was a crying mess after season one, season two had me bawling in the fetal position.

The third season? Eh, not so much. It was good, BUT, I didn't know Martha's family enough to care beyond normal human compassion (for fictional characters) that they were being held by the Master. The mom I flat-out didn't like; the dad was a cipher to me, and Tish was kinda lame. As for the Master? Hello! John Simm is awesome, but, but ... we shouldn't have been hit with his appearance with only two episodes to go. We should have seen more of the soon-to-be PM, a lot more. We should have been introduced to the Master prior to that. We should have cared more. I was hopeful, very hopeful in the episode where old man Master was introduced and I realized it. I was wowed, and loving it, anticipating an awesome conclusion as I'd gotten the first two seasons.

That episode, "Utopia," really was just fabulous, but the fall-out in "The Sound of the Drums" and "Last of the Time Lords" ... it was too much, too rushed, I didn't care enough about any of the players. And sadly, Martha hadn't endeared herself to me enough so I didn't care about her plight either. (Although, as I mention above, I did like her and Tom Milligan. Nice spark there.) And when the Master died in the Doctor's arms, I didn't feel for the Doctor in being bummed that the Master was letting himself die. I just didn't care enough about the relationship because it hadn't been fully realized for me as a viewer. Unlike Rose and Nine; unlike Rose and Ten. That's where the (good!) devastation came from when watching the finales of seasons one and two. I knew and loved these characters and their relationships. I didn't know nor love the Master; and I certainly didn't love the relationship between the Doctor and the Master precisely because I didn't know the relationship.

I dunno, perhaps if I HAD watched previous incarnations and had more of a feel for the Time Lord war, I would have been more affected, but I just wasn't. I'm hoping that the season four finale will kick ass like seasons one and two. I have faith that it will.

Sigh, okay, so I'm not capable of "quick." Is anyone surprised?

Now, just a few comments about random stuff related to the show.

- The Face of Boe reveal being Jack was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it so, so, sooooooooo much. It made such perfect sense, was built up perfectly throughout the seasons with the conversations with the Face of Boe. Just awesome. My only wish is that I really would have rather that reveal been done with Rose who had a connection with Jack as well, or with just the Doctor himself. While I did like Martha and Jack's interactions, she wasn't enough a part of the whole background of Jack/The Face of Boe to really hit the full emotional moment there. Ah well. Tis a small complaint for such an awesomely, unexpected (on my part) reveal.

- I pretty much loved EVERYTHING about "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday." Fabulous, fabulous job on those.

- Shipper that I am, I was a bit bugged by the whole "Human Nature/Family of Blood" Doctor falling in love with the Nurse thing. (Partly because I didn't really cotton to the actress, and wasn't impressed with her and Tennant's chemistry, or lack thereof.) Still with that said, I think these were my favorite Martha episodes. She was awesome in them.

- What is it with the Doctor having to kiss every Companion under non-romantic circumstances? There was the Doctor/Rose kiss in "The Parting of the Ways" when the Doctor transferred the Tardis vortex thingie from Rose to him. (Though to be fair, in my opinion, although not technically romantic, I still see it as such, personally. Anyhoo ...) Rose as Cassandra in "New Earth" kissing the (new!) Doctor. Then we have Ten kissing Martha to leave a DNA scent in "Smith and Jones." And finally, the shock of Donna kissing the Doctor in "The Unicorn and the Wasp." I just wonder.

- Despite no Rose (and likely because of the awesome that is Donna), I liked "The Runaway Bride" waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than "The Christmas Invasion."

Lastly, a quick run-down of my favorite episodes from all four seasons so far (I've got 4x08 sitting on my computer waiting to be watched, so awesome or not, I don't know yet). In chronological order, including a quick episode recap to help jog memories:

Season One

"The Unquiet Dead" ... The Doctor plans to take Rose back through time to Naples, 1860, but instead they arrive in Cardiff, 1869. In Victorian Cardiff, the dead are walking and creatures made of gas are on the loose. The time-travellers team up with Charles Dickens to investigate Mr Sneed, the local undertaker, who's hiding a very big secret. However, this time, The Doctor won't be able to save everyone.

"Father's Day" ... Rose requests a trip back to the day her father, Pete Tyler, died. Reluctantly, the Doctor agrees, but he realises he has made a mistake, when Rose saves Pete from being run over by a car. This has now changed the timeline, and Reapers are transposing themselves all over the Universe. However, this time, the Doctor doesn't have a plan...

"The Empty Child" (Part I) ... After chasing an unexplained capsule through time, the TARDIS lands in London, during an air raid. Rose investigates when a small child wearing a gasmask, standing on a rooftop, continuously calls out for his mummy. After floating above the city on a barrage balloon, Rose is swept off her feet by another time traveller – Captain Jack Harkness. Meanwhile, The Doctor follows a teenaged girl to a meeting of the homeless children of the Blitz. Here, the child in the gasmask is terrorising them with a parade of strange events, constantly asking for his mother.

"The Doctor Dances" (Part II) ... After narrowly escaping the gas mask monsters, The Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack try to stop the mutated people from infecting other victims. But it soon becomes apparent that one of the group may be indirectly responsible for the virus. The answer lies at the bombsite, but time is running out...

"Bad Wolf" (Part I) ... In a seemingly futuristic world, the Doctor wakes up in the Big Brother house during an eviction, Rose wakes up on the Weakest Link with the Anne-Droid, and Captain Jack gets a make over with Trin-E and Zu-Zana. But something unusual is happening, and the losing contestants are being disintegrated. Obviously, it's time for the Doctor to investigate.

"The Parting of the Ways" (Part II) ... The fate of the Universe is hanging in the balance as the Dalek fleet begin their invasion of Earth. The Doctor must decide whether to sacrifice every human being on Earth in order to save every other living creature in the universe from the Daleks. Either way, he knows he must send Rose home.

Season Two

"Rise of the Cyberman" (Part I) ... The Doctor, Rose and Mickey return to 2007 after the TARDIS malfunctions, but discover that they arrived in an alternative timeline, where Earth is a fascist society and Rose's parents are still together. This Earth, however, is under threat of invasion from the Cybermen!

"The Age of Steel" (Part II) ... The Cybermen are taking over the world. Can the Doctor save this Earth from the Cybermen?

"The Impossible Planet" (Part I) ... Rose finds herself further away from home than ever before, on a desolate world in the orbit of a Black Hole. Trapped with an Earth expedition and the mysterious Ood, the time-travellers face an even greater danger as something ancient beneath the planet's surface begins to awake.

"The Satan Pit" (Part II) ... Rose battles the murderous Ood and the Doctor finds his every belief being challenged to the core, as the Pit beckons in the concluding part of this two-part story. With the planet threatening to fall into the Black Hole, the Doctor must make the ultimate sacrifice – but can he save the entire universe from the Beast?

"Army of Ghosts" (Part I) ... Rose: Planet Earth. This is where I was born, and this is where I died. The first nineteen years of my life, nothing happened. Nothing at all. Not ever. And then I met a man called "The Doctor." A man that could change his face. He took me away from home in his magical machine. He showed me the whole of time and space. I thought it would never end. That's what I thought, but then came the Army of Ghosts. And came Torchwood and the war. That's when it all ended. This is a story of how I died.

"Doomsday" (Part II) ... The Cybermen have taken over the world, but four Daleks that hid themselves in the void want to awaken something they brought in a capsule called the Genesis Ark. Can the Doctor stop the Cybermen and Daleks from turning this world into hell?

2007 Christmas Special

"The Runaway Bride" ... As Donna is about to marry her boyfriend Lance on Christmas Eve, she suddenly finds herself on board the TARDIS. As the Doctor tries to get Donna to the church on time, the alien Empress of the Racnoss watches closely from the throne in her spaceship above. How is Donna the key to an ancient plot to destroy the Earth? With time running out, can the Doctor solve the puzzle, defeat the Empress and stop her army of robot Santas?

Season Three

"The Shakespeare Code" ... For her first ever trip in the TARDIS, the Doctor takes Martha to 1599 Elizabethan London. They quickly discover that the world is under threat from the evil Carrionites and history's most celebrated playwright William Shakespeare is under the control of the sinister witch-like creatures.

"Blink" ... The Doctor is lost in time and within the walls of an old, abandoned house, murder is afoot and the Weeping Angels await... A young woman called Sally visits a dilapidated house, and is led down a terrifying time-torn path.

"Utopia" ... After being brought back to life in The Parting of the Ways, Captain Jack Harkness was just left on the Gamestation by the Doctor and Rose. In this episode, Captain Jack Harkness storms back into the Doctor's life, and the TARDIS is thrown to the end of the universe itself where they meet up with the last surviving humans looking for Utopia.

Season Four

"Partners in Crime" ... A woman named Donna Noble searches for an old friend - the Doctor. Can Donna and the Doctor halt the mysterious Ms. Foster and her mysterious plan to rid the world of fat?

"Planet of the Ood" ... The Doctor and Donna find themselves on an icy planet known as the Ood-Sphere. There they discover what drove the Ood to be a servant race. Can they free them before it's too late?

Sigh, I so very much want the full DVD sets of at least season one and two, but my GOODNESS! they are so frickin' expensive and no matter how much I try and justify that I can buy them, I just can't. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. Waaahh!!! Why must money woes get in the way of feeding my growing addiction!?!?!

Phew! And thus ends my insanely long Doctor Who post. Aaaaaahhhhh!!

Finally.
 
 
 
Honorable Monotreme: doctor is so unmateworthynobleplatypus on June 1st, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
I think (and I don't read the TWOP recaps for DW because the recapper treats every ep like a religious experience/excuse to show off their English degree, so I dunno the atmosphere in the boards there) if there's a high concentration of Rose-haters there, it's because they've holed up, knowing they're vastly outnumbered. :P Most of the fandom adores Rose. In fact, I think a lot of the Rose hate is brought on not by the way she was written or portrayed, but by the way the fandom reacted. Old-school fans (and a few new-school ones) don't like the, er, emphasis placed on Rose--by the writers, to some extent, but mostly by the fans who think she's the only companion worth anything.

Me? I loved Rose. I bawled like a baby at the end of "Doomsday," and I didn't know how I was going to react to a new companion.

Then Martha came along, and while I liked her just fine, her crush on the Doctor annoyed me immensely. Even though I knew, logically, that she was a better companion than Rose--smarter, more compassionate and mature, capable of handling so much more (could Rose have walked the Earth alone for a year? Could Rose have acted the subservient maid and watched the Doctor fall in love with someone else?)--she just wasn't as loved by the Doctor, which made it difficult for her to be as loved by the viewers. And that's the huge, HUGE danger of setting a companion vastly apart in a show like this, which is characterized in part by its constant switching of actors and characters: if Rose is on top, everyone else is below her. If she's better, everyone else is worse. And she's gone, so what was left? I watched season three and seriously thought, "I can't keep watching this show if the companions are going to turn into a sad parade of women (or men) who are only going to be Not Rose in the Doctor's eyes."

That's where the Rose-hate comes from. It's not Rose, so much, but what she became, what she did to the show.

And then Donna came along, and THANK GOD FOR DONNA. I am SO glad they got a companion in there who'd very vocally prefer NOT being fancied by the Doctor. He needed someone to stop mooning over him and start thwapping him upside the head, and she is so up to the task. I <3 her to bits.

And yeah, the DVD sets are expensive. :( I remember when season one came out, I thought, "Well, I'll just wait a year and the prices on amazon will start going down." But THEY DIDN'T. It will be $65 for all of eternity!


Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on June 1st, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you mentioned Donna and used a Donna icon so I could use mine which I love ... almost as much as Donna. Nope, not possible. Donna is too awesome.

Soooooooooooo nice to know that the Rose-hate is pretty much not the norm because I love her (and the Rose/Doctor) so much too. I just don't think there's anything wrong with how they set up Rose because that gives us a rooting factor AND also helps to keep the companions from becoming a series of love interests for the Doctor. At the time, obviously we both were (and other may have felt the same) annoyed with the Martha-crush, but I do think it was deliberate for two reasons.

1.) Like I said above, to show that it was NOT just a schoolgirl crush on Rose's part.

2.) The fact that it wasn't reciprocated and the Doctor, in fact, went out of his way consciously and subconsciously to show that he did not return her feelings was to show that the Doctor wasn't now some Casanova who was going to develop "feelings" for each companion.

Martha leaving with the realization that she had to "get out" was clearly set-up not just for the proof of the Doctor's love for Rose and vice versa (I seriously expected him to go after her when I first watched it because that is how it seemed to be set-up and I was so glad they kept true to what we'd seen the rest of the season), but also to show the better side of Martha. In her return, she was now a stronger, better companion for the Doctor because the crush had been taken care of.

And then there's Donna, going in a different direction, older, not interested in the "skinny" thing that is the Doctor -- although, she may have had a hunkering for Eccleston's Doctor ;) -- it again made it clear that despite the Doctor's feelings for Rose, he wasn't some dandy who'd just fall at the drop of a hat. I think that Rose was planned to be special (and it worked) to give room for other kinds of companions that wouldn't muck things up with a romantic edge. Because let's face it, in this day and age of television, shippers are a vocal, focused force in fandom and this was a clever, clever way of keeping shipper wars from building. If it's all about Rose -- romantic-love-wise -- for the Doctor, then the Doctor/Companion X wars won't have much to go on ... because it always comes back to Rose being his love.

As for your thoughts on Martha and Donna (!!), I agree with everything you wrote.

Edited at 2008-06-01 08:15 pm (UTC)
Honorable Monotreme: doctor martha disciplinenobleplatypus on June 1st, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Donna is awesome topped with awesomesauce with a light sprinkling of awesome on top.

As for your number one and two, to play devil's advocate... couldn't that be summed up, "they undermined Martha's character for the sake of hammering home their personal OTP"? Maybe that's why they wrote Martha's crush in there, maybe it isn't (probably is, frankly, because the crush was so out-of-nowhere and no-sense-makey), but making a character do something irritating/ridiculous/ooc just to prove a point about a character not even present seems like poor writing to me. Martha could have been a lot more awesome in her own right, and the Doctor could have recognized that more often (he could have said, "Hey, thanks for putting up with a bunch of racist asshats and getting my tea and cleaning my room without complaint for three months, that was really amazing of you, let's go chill on a pretty, peaceful planet for a few weeks and I'll buy you some cookies" without implying "I love you" or undermining what he had with Rose); as it was, Martha might as well have been wearing a "He Loves Rose More" sandwich board and ringing a bell. :P
Arabian: Dr Whoarabian on June 1st, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
I don't know. It didn't come out of nowhere for me. It was introduced in the first appearance when he kissed her. She was affected by that, and thought he'd been flirting with her. It all grew from there.

As for how he treated Martha, see, I never got the feeling that he didn't appreciate her at all. Yes, he was ass-y at times, but that grew, I believe, from him not wanting to deal with her crush. She just didn't see how he did appreciate her because she wanted him to loooooooooove her.

And, yes, all that crap happened in "Human Nature," BUT that was not the Doctor knowing any of it because he wasn't the Doctor. He couldn't have known precisely how bad Martha would have it before he became Dr. Smith. And, calling back to "School Reunion," when Rose was the lunch lady for a bit of time, the Doctor was a snarky, cheeky ass to her and he KNEW what was up because he was the Doctor in full form.

These seasons are clearly scripted as ARCS, not just plot-wise, but character-wise and THIS was the character-arc for the Doctor and Martha. And in the end, I think it helped clear and set up important things for both characters (as well as Rose, and then Donna).

Edited at 2008-06-01 08:59 pm (UTC)
Honorable Monotreme: doctor snog-fixnobleplatypus on June 1st, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
It just seemed a little too instantaneous... but I'm a crusty old cynic about love, anyway. ;)

Well, he knew it was 1930s rural England and that Martha was going to have to pretend to be a servant and that she'd probably get a lot of obnoxious, cruel comments about her race and her social station--and even if they'd been in a more forgiving time period for her, she'd still have to essentially babysit him for three months (and even John Smith would have been a handful). And she got a hug and a cursory "thanks" (after the Doctor offered Joan a trip through time and space, "just the two of us," implying that Martha would have gotten the boot if Joan had taken him up on his offer). Regardless of what Martha wanted from the Doctor, I don't think he gave her enough.

You say Martha wanted the Doctor to "loooooooove her" as if it's a laughable desire, and I'd agree with you if he hadn't fallen for Rose. He's never blatantly fallen for a companion before, so falling for Rose set a precedent--and changed the role of companion from "someone who, ideally, runs about with the Doctor and helps out or gets captured or possessed or what have you" to "someone who, ideally, falls in love with the Doctor and has him love her back." And if that's the standard of excellence, and if no other companion is allowed to meet that standard for the sake of keeping the Doctor/Rose dynamic sacred... then they've kind of written themselves into a corner. And I think they realized they'd done so, and that's why they've been going to such lengths to keep Donna and the Doctor platonic pals. Don't get me wrong, I like platonic better... I just can't shake the feeling that Martha got a bit screwed over while the writers tried to figure out wtf they (and the Doctor) were going to do with Rose out of the picture.

This is when I have to keep reminding myself that I did like Rose. :P I'm not so sure I'm glad to have her back in the picture, though.
Arabian: Dr Who (10)arabian on June 1st, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it's that I disagree with your logic, or I'm just too stubborn to let go of my Doctor/Rose love, LOL!, but I'm just not seeing things the way you do. I don't know maybe it comes from watching S1 all in one swoop, and watching S2 in one swoop, and then S3 a few weeks later all in one fell swoop. It just all played out to me as this planned arc. And, honestly, it could have simply been that as lovely and talented as Freema Aygeman is, she isn't the right fit because people love Rose unreservedly, and people love Donna unreservedly. I don't know.
Honorable Monotreme: doctor book 7nobleplatypus on June 1st, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I dunno. I've watched a good chunk of classic!Who as well, and there's a huuuuge difference between what the show used to be and what it is, now. I'd recommend the old stuff, though, especially the Four and Sarah Jane. It's fun stuff. ^_^ I think Netflix has most of it, and that's probably the most convenient way to get ahold of it, if you're interested. Bookstores sell some of the old arcs, but it's patchy.

And ever since Lost, I've been far less inclined to give writers the benefit of the doubt. >_> Ah, well, we can agree to disagree.
Arabian: Dr Whoarabian on June 1st, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
I rather expect they're different which is why I likely won't watch Classic Who, I may someday, but I really don't see myself doing so.

Well, you know from my thoughts on HIMYM fandom that if I have a history of seeing the writers follow-through then I'm more inclined to have faith. I already knew from Felicity and Alias where following J.J. Abrams could lead. I hadn't been let down by Carter & Bays, and RTD hasn't let me down either. They need to screw up themselves before I don't trust them. When a writer lets me down, I don't forget ... I give them another chance, but when I see the pattern repeating I walk away, but I have faith until they specifically prove my faith wrong.

I am a wee concerned about what will happen in 2010 when Stephen Moffat takes over for RTD, but I like his work so far and he's been with the show from the first season of new Who, so I'm more willing to believe it will still continue to rock.
Honorable Monotreme: Doctor Rose Tardisnobleplatypus on June 1st, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
I like Moffat quite a bit so far... the episodes he writes usually wind up being my favorites. It'll be interesting to see what he does when he has a whole season to work with.
Arabian: Dr Who (10)arabian on June 1st, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
I just went though and compared my faves with the writers and a lot of his I did really enjoy and listed, so I am hopeful. But, we'll see.
Diana: Hope -- Martha Jonesbutterfly on July 13th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC)
Well, he knew it was 1930s rural England and that Martha was going to have to pretend to be a servant and that she'd probably get a lot of obnoxious, cruel comments about her race and her social station

He didn't, though. He specifically says in the episode that the TARDIS is the one picking the time and place and his cover story. The Doctor had nothing to do with it. To quote from the episode: "Now, the TARDIS will take care of everything. Invent a life story for me, find me a setting and integrate me. Can't do the same for you... you'll just have to improvise. I should have just enough residual awareness to let you in."

He also never tells Joan that it would be 'just the two of us'. He says, "We could start again. I'd like that, you and me. We could try, at least. Because everything that John Smith is and was, I'm capable of that, too," and asks her to come with him, but he never says that it'll be just the two of them. He just asks her to come along and offers the possibility of romance.
Honorable Monotreme: doctor martha disciplinenobleplatypus on July 13th, 2008 07:32 am (UTC)
He also never tells Joan that it would be 'just the two of us'. He says, "We could start again. I'd like that, you and me. We could try, at least. Because everything that John Smith is and was, I'm capable of that, too," and asks her to come with him, but he never says that it'll be just the two of them. He just asks her to come along and offers the possibility of romance.

He doesn't say outright that it would be just them, but I think it's pretty heavily implied in that quote, there. And we've already seen how Joan reacted to Martha, seeing her as nothing more than the 'help.' And granted, in that situation, it's an understandable viewpoint--but there's no reason it would change if Joan joined the TARDIS crew, no reason for her to automatically view Martha as an equal, and the Doctor's intelligent enough to realize that, and to realize that there really is no way that Martha and Joan would fit in the same picture. If Joan had accepted his offer, Martha would not have stayed with them, and he had to have known that.
Diana: Baggage -- the Doctorbutterfly on July 13th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC)
he had to have known that.

The Doctor is also the person who thought that inviting Reinette along in "The Girl in the Fireplace" would be fine. I don't think that I credit him with as much emotional intelligence as you do. The Doctor is, on occasion, a great big dumbo, as Donna has said.
Honorable Monotreme: david tennant metronomenobleplatypus on July 13th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC)
I credit the Doctor with plenty of things that I would never, ever credit the writers.
Erinclaramata on June 17th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
And then Donna came along, and THANK GOD FOR DONNA. I am SO glad they got a companion in there who'd very vocally prefer NOT being fancied by the Doctor. He needed someone to stop mooning over him and start thwapping him upside the head, and she is so up to the task. I <3 her to bits.

I think Donna is the reason we're seeing a much less emo Doctor this season, because she's awesome enough to really try and get him to snap out of his funk. And the fact that she doesn't like worship the ground he walks on is great, because after Martha and her crush, he needed that.
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on June 17th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
I agree; Donna and how she is written (and awesomely played by CT) was the PERFECT companion for the Doctor after Rose and Martha. No, I don't like how Martha and the crush on the Doctor was done, but I really do think it was a specific plan leading up to whatever is gonna happen in the finale here soon. I think that RTD basically intended for Martha to be a sacrificial character in terms of fandom deliberately so (and a shame to FA), because he knew so many wouldn't accept anyone after Rose without issue ... so he gave them an issue to hang on to and then slowly walked away from that. I know that I wound up liking Martha more backwards so by the time she showed up in S4, I was happy to see her.

It's like he knew Martha (and anyone else he put there after Rose) would be screwed, so he played with that and then let fans get over that, as he had Martha getting over the Doctor. It then led to the perfect segue of Donna, the awesome.

Edited at 2008-06-17 04:24 pm (UTC)
Erinclaramata on June 17th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
I wonder if FA's appearences in both this season and Torchwood were meant to show off the good qualities that she had, because I've noticed that now a lot of people I talked to, who hated Martha in season 3, have taken quite a shine to her in season 4.
Arabian: Billie Piper_01arabian on June 18th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
I wonder if that was part of the plan too. I really do.
eolivet on June 2nd, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
(Yay, thank you for clarifying your thoughts through 4x07 were only in the random comments...I didn't want to ignore your post, but I've only seen up through 4x05, so I was worried about spoilers!!)

I'm one of those "Not Rose AGAIN!!!" people during S3, because I figured the Doctor was done dealing with her departure after the "Runaway Bride" (which was a PERFECT post-"Doomsday" ep -- I can't even explain how right it was to bring Donna right after Rose :) The thing is...I recognize your argument about how the Doctor loved Rose (because I do think it's true), but you could maybe see how, if he keeps bringing her up, other fans might get the feeling she's the bestest, most special Companion ever. I was more like "How can I miss you if you won't go away?!" And don't even get me started on the Rose sightings in S4. :x

But I really think the reason for this is that I loved Nine with Rose, and never really accepted Ten/Rose. Actually, the two of them together bugged the heck out of me -- how silly and carefree they were throughout the first half of S2 just seemed wrong. Oddly enough, Rose seemed more immature with Ten than she ever was with Nine, and I never got their chemistry the way I got Nine/Rose (PotW, OMG!!! :)

So, to see Rose AGAIN, is particularly annoying, mainly because I think it's the wrong Doctor who's mourning her. And I grew to love Ten, but mainly in S3. If my favorite Nine moments were with Rose, my favorite Ten moments have been independent of her. I just...liked him better when he wasn't with her. And vice-versa. But I know that's a HUGELY unpopular opinion. And I know they're the same person, but my 'shipper heart still says "Nine/Rose 4evah!!" :p

But Donna also is majorly awesome (and Catherine Tate has been nothing short of amazing, particularly in 4x02 and 4x03 :D ) And I'll agree with you wholeheartedly about John Simm -- in a role that I now resent greatly because it brought so many hangers-on to the LoM fandom. The same ones who couldn't be bothered with the show before "Teh Master, SQUEE!!11" :p
Arabian: Dr Whoarabian on June 2nd, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
I was actually thinking of you specifically. It's really just one spoiler, so I'll just put the other comments here for you:

- The Face of Boe reveal being Jack was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it so, so, sooooooooo much. It made such perfect sense, was built up perfectly throughout the seasons with the conversations with the Face of Boe. Just awesome. My only wish is that I really would have rather that reveal been done with Rose who had a connection with Jack as well, or with just the Doctor himself. While I did like Martha and Jack's interactions, she wasn't enough a part of the whole background of Jack/The Face of Boe to really hit the full emotional moment there. Ah well. Tis a small complaint for such an awesomely, unexpected (on my part) reveal.

- I LOVED "The Girl in the Fireplace" and NOW I get why DW fans were so excited about Sophia Myles being on Moonlight. Too bad she wasn't able to bring as much of the awesomeness that she showed on DW more on ML. Ah well. Honestly, being the shipper that I am -- although, I wasn't in full, hard-on shipper mode until the end of the season -- I expected to be more dismissive of the episode because of how the Doctor liked Reinette. However, Sophia Myles was so good, the writing was so good, the connection between Myles and Tennant so good (no wonder about the off-screen relationship), and Reinette certainly had enough similarities to Rose to make it work for me (silly shipper here, I admit it freely). I really didn't like the episode title though. Of the other titles they were thinking of -- "Madame de Pompadour," "Every Tick of My Heart" and "Reinette and the Lonely Angel" -- I prefer "Every Tick of My Heart," but even that isn't perfect. Still, it's certainly better than "The Girl in the Fireplace."

- I pretty much loved EVERYTHING about "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday." Fabulous, fabulous job on those.

- Shipper that I am, I was a bit bugged by the whole "Human Nature/Family of Blood" Doctor falling in love with the Nurse thing. (Partly because I didn't really cotton to the actress, and wasn't impressed with her and Tennant's chemistry, or lack thereof.) Still with that said, I think these were my favorite Martha episodes. She was awesome in them.

- Despite no Rose (and likely because of the awesome that is Donna), I liked "The Runaway Bride" waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than "The Christmas Invasion."

So, I took out the one comment that had a spoiler for episode 4x07.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on the Rose stuff, LOL!

I've thought of you when seeing the lighter Ten/Rose moments and I think the reason it doesn't bother me is because it did make sense for me. She had gone through SUCH a life-altering experience, and he had been blown away by what she did do that he was altered a bit as well ... and not just physically (LOL!). So when things went back to "normal" with them, they could just be normal, like they were trying to put all of that heavy, harsh darkness behind them and enjoy life. That is how it played to me. I'm not saying that they intentionally thought: Life is short, I almost lost my life and him/I almost lost her, had to regenerate again, so let's go out and be goofy, and carefree!!! But I DO think that it was there in the back of their minds, if ever not realized consciously. So I understood the goofiness.

As for the chemistry, I haven't watched season one in over two years (but that will change tonight!!! I found out that DW S1 is available for "Watch instantly" on Netflix!!!!), and have seen all of the Rose/Ten stuff in the last few months ... yet, I STILL know that I liked the Rose/Nine chemistry better. But I still think that Rose/Ten have chemistry as well, it's just -- like I said different, but enough of the same because the Doctor is still the Doctor. (Seriously, man, Eccleston JUST rocked so much as the Doctor!) I look at it this way ... Rose/Nine were the foundation that created the awesome relationship, closeness, intimacy of spirit, mind and heart and Rose/Ten because of the experience in PotW allowed themselves -- even just a little bit -- to explore that to a certain degree because life is so short.

Donna, oh my, DONNA!!!!!!!!! So much awesome. And nice to know that I'm not alone in my John Simm thoughts.

Edited at 2008-06-02 05:41 pm (UTC)
eolivet on June 2nd, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
While I did like Martha and Jack's interactions, she wasn't enough a part of the whole background of Jack/The Face of Boe to really hit the full emotional moment there.

Ooh, good point there. I would've been fine with Jack just revealing it to the Doctor (heh...that came out wrong ;p )

I didn't "hate" GitF -- I actually kind of came up with my own fanwanked theory to support him leaving Rose there (it had to do with the previous ep...or the fact that she had Mickey now or something, I don't know). I would've enjoyed it more, even the romantic angle, if he hadn't willfully left Rose stranded, I think. Because you know I was thinking the entire time, "Nine NEVER would've done that to her!!!" :p

I was a bit bugged by the whole "Human Nature/Family of Blood" Doctor falling in love with the Nurse thing.

I really felt for Martha there -- but I will say DT did a fabulous job acting. It really made me realize the scope of his talent. :D In my own personal BAFTAs, he's got a nomination for those eps. ;p

I liked "The Runaway Bride" waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than "The Christmas Invasion."

Hee. To me, this is the equivalent of "I like Brooke White better than that Star Wars chick from the auditions." :p I did NOT like TCI AT ALL, and never understood why everyone thought it was good. ;p

So when things went back to "normal" with them, they could just be normal, like they were trying to put all of that heavy, harsh darkness behind them and enjoy life.

I see what you mean, but I feel like they went beyond "carefree" right into "careless." One scene in "Tooth & Claw" bugs the heck out of me -- when they're like "werewolf, yay!" when someone had just died. It struck me as...incredibly callous, and something neither S1 Rose nor Nine would've EVER done. I'm not sure I ever forgave them for that. ;p

like I said different, but enough of the same because the Doctor is still the Doctor

That's where I have trouble. I know they're the same people, but to me, they're not, because they're different actors. I haven't watched enough soap recasts of characters I freaking ADORED, to see the changes as normal. :/ Like when he put the gas mask on and did "Are you my mummy" in 4x05, all I could think is "Wha? You weren't there!!" :p

(Randomly OT from yesterday..."Innocent" is excellent. :D Thank you for the link!!! I agree with the Internet. ;p )
Arabian: Dr Who (10)arabian on June 3rd, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
I didn't "hate" GitF -- I actually kind of came up with my own fanwanked theory to support him leaving Rose there (it had to do with the previous ep...or the fact that she had Mickey now or something, I don't know). I would've enjoyed it more, even the romantic angle, if he hadn't willfully left Rose stranded, I think. Because you know I was thinking the entire time, "Nine NEVER would've done that to her!!!" :p

You know, I might have a different point of view rewatching it now because it had been two years since I'd watched S1 and had only seen the first three eps of S2 recently.

I really felt for Martha [in "Human Nature/Family of Blood"] -- but I will say DT did a fabulous job acting. It really made me realize the scope of his talent. :D In my own personal BAFTAs, he's got a nomination for those eps. ;p

Hah! Agreed all around. I may not have been a fan of the Martha-crush, even if I think there was a point to it which I believe worked, but I still remember her line about "you had to go and fall in love with a human and it wasn't me." Heartbreaking.

So when things went back to "normal" with them, they could just be normal, like they were trying to put all of that heavy, harsh darkness behind them and enjoy life.

I see what you mean, but I feel like they went beyond "carefree" right into "careless." One scene in "Tooth & Claw" bugs the heck out of me -- when they're like "werewolf, yay!" when someone had just died. It struck me as...incredibly callous, and something neither S1 Rose nor Nine would've EVER done. I'm not sure I ever forgave them for that. ;p


See, I don't even remember that so I'd have to watch it again (what a hardship, LOL!) to mount a defense.

like I said different, but enough of the same because the Doctor is still the Doctor

That's where I have trouble. I know they're the same people, but to me, they're not, because they're different actors. I haven't watched enough soap recasts of characters I freaking ADORED, to see the changes as normal.

It's so funny you say that because I love soap operas, but HATE, positively HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE recasts and think they're necessary only about 5% of the time that they are used. But it works for me in Who because it makes sense. There's a "logical" reason behind it, so I buy "same person, different face" with them.

:/ Like when he put the gas mask on and did "Are you my mummy" in 4x05, all I could think is "Wha? You weren't there!!" :p

LOL! See and for me, I do think of them as the same to the point where I wish we would have flashbacks with Eccleston now and then (I think there was one but that was it). By not showing him more in the adventures, I think they're helping keeping the disconnect in a weird way. I'd suggest the older Doctors too, but the TV technology is so different it would be jarring.

(Randomly OT from yesterday..."Innocent" is excellent. :D Thank you for the link!!! I agree with the Internet. ;p )

Isn't it? The live one is so very meh, but the recorded is awesome.

Edited at 2008-06-03 01:37 am (UTC)
la_tante: interpretive dancela_tante on June 4th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
wow. this is a fantastic post to read and the comment thread is awesome too. i love reading the debate!

i thought i'd post my few and realtively shallow notes (i actually took longhand notes while i was reading!) too because i love the conversation....let me see if i can transcribe my scribbles.

re: eccles i am in total agreement. he was my first doctor too and i simply straight up without any reservations adored him. i loved his broad grin and twinkly eyes and sad sweet depth of loss. he was marvelous and when david tennant came on (especially following THE moment between him and rose) i was devastated. it took me several eps (i was watching everything in a huge clump on netflix) to feel like tennant had become the doctor for me. i think i was with rose right there and trying to get my head around the same person in a new body who then becomes a different person because he has a different body....grrr. but i got there and now i really love dt (even if he does get yelly on many occasions).

also totally agree on the oddly transient aspect of the show which as a dyed in the wool shipper (i ship therefore i am) makes it sort of funny to love. since i generally live and die by my various ships (although i don't like to fanwank and tend to let the writers take care of things for me --damn you joss whedon!) it is strange that we are asked to first love this doctor and then this one andthen this companion no wait here's another. i was totally invested in eccles/billie and hten had to shift to dt and then to martha* and then to donna**, but i guess too that it's the construct of this wersion of doctor who and that if i'd been in the whoniverse years ago i wouldn't see the shippiness of things in the same way. a dear friend of mine who'd been a whovian for simply years, has a hard time with the switch--no shippiness for her! and of course she loved eccles and is in the donna camp of dt is too skinny (which ok, yes, even though i adore him too)....

*martha: not so much for me. i really tried to love her. couldn't. liked her for sure. and really liked her in the master eps. thought she had really found her stride and loved that it was her strength that saved the day. i was also really glad that she found herself a new love interest so she could move on and live out the more traditional companion role.

**donna: yup. you said it! she may not be my most favorite character of all time but she is really awesome. in fact, she is awesome to the nth power. so yeah. me like! (catherine tate is just too much fun!)

i've never looked at any of the fora on twop because i tend to love my show, love my characters. and i really wind up hating, in any fandom, the "death to whomever!" fannishness. i'm usually quite bemused by that kind of character hate and choose to stay far far away from it. in that respect doctor who really works for me because i have to practice flexibility: things change, and i roll with it. it comes down to trusting the show. even when it doesn't go the way i think it should. i always hope it will give me what i am going to love even if it isn't my ship. (again, joss, you killed me!)

ok. i have to run! class is calling but i wanted to let you know how much your post made me think! thank you!@!!
*hugs*





lavender gooms: dw: the doctordonnathe_spin on June 4th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
Yay, Doctor Who meta! I'm a little late to the party, but whatever I'm responding anyway. I always love a chance for DW squee and there is so much gold here.

I'm so with you on the companions; I loved Rose so much, and mostly for her flaws. I loved that she was that girl on the bus, the girl down the street who worked at a shop and wears too much make-up and who's coded as sort of trashy and dumb and who most people would totally dismiss as kind of a chav. I love that she's that but so much more, strong-willed and brave and curious and exactly what the Doctor needs to bring him out of his funk. She is, as the Doctor says in Utopia, so very human. And that's what made her so fabulous.

I liked Martha, but I think they made some bad narrative choices with her that basically stopped me from being able to really love her. I think I got what they were attempting to do with her, setting her up as someone running parallel to the Doctor, someone with a clever, analytical, detached way of thinking. 'The Doctor's Daughter' really soldified that for me, the way she struck out on her own with her own little Hath companion. It was all very Doctorish. That's a character arc I could have loved, if they hadn't torpedoed that by making her fall in love with the Doctor in her first fucking episode.

That pissed me off so much, and not because I was bitter that Rose left or whatever as so many people in fandom like to claim. I wouldn't have minded Martha falling in love with him gradually, the way Rose did. I could've believed that. But I absolutely never buy falling in love with someone in such a short time. Whenever anyone is instantly infatuated with someone else, I automatically like them less because I think it makes them seem a bit stupid. And that basically ruined Martha for me, because I could never take her seriously because of that, and because it was so at odds with the way they drew her character otherwise, so sensible and sophisticated and pragmatic.

I also was never enamoured with the Ten/Martha dynamic. It was always a bit too serious for my taste. For me, Ten needs someone to bounce off of. I love Ten most when he's fun, and I get that he was grieving that season but Martha/Ten was just so serious that it kind of killed my joy. Plus 'Runaway Bride' proved that Ten can be grieving and still be entertaining. I did love their dynamic in 'Utopia' though, once Jack showed up. I thought Ten/Martha/Jack worked really, really well and was incredibly fun. I think Martha might've worked a lot better if there'd been another companion in the TARDIS the whole time, like with Sarah Jane and Harry or Nyssa and Tegan.

And Donna. I totally agree with you; she is simply MADE OF AWESOME and is exactly what the series needed at this point. I freaking love her. I am consumed with love for Donna Noble. She works really well with Ten; she can play straight man and bring him back down and slap him around when he needs it, but she can also play comic relief and just be silly and fun. She's perfection.

And Doomsday. Oh my god, Doomsday. Army of Ghosts/Doomsday is fucking shippy perfection. I will never hate RTD the way large chunks of the fandom seem to because of it. He's such a shipper and I love it.



Edited at 2008-06-04 10:24 pm (UTC)
lavender gooms: dw: one and the samethe_spin on June 4th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
mega comment part two
~continued because I love talking about Who

I admit, I'm a bit opposite you in that I love Ten/Rose way more than Nine/Rose; I actually had a really hard time buying Nine/Rose before 'Parting of the Ways' ::ducks::. But Ten/Rose worked for me from the very very start. I think I'm one of the few people in the fandom that absolutely loves the fact that together they're a bit giddy and thoughtless in the face of death. I loved that because it seemed so real to me. I've always imagined the Doctor as sort of alien and thoughtless and jaded, so that part of their dynamic always worked for me. I liked the way he and Rose see the universe in a way that is very much the same.

I think it's probably because Ten is much more in line with the way I like my heroes than Nine is. My favorite male protagonists are almost always shouty and slightly insane, with lots of sharp edges and moments of exuberant joy tempered with moments of real darkness. John Crichton from Farscape, Josh Lyman from West Wing, they're all very much in the same vein as Ten. I am incredibly predictable. I can definitely see the appeal of Eccleston's Doctor; he does have this odd sort of innocence, and he plays everything so calmly and quietly but in a way that resonates with hidden emotional depths. He unfortuntely just didn't hit my narrative kinks the way Ten does.

I agree about the third season; it had some good episodes and some weak ones, but I was just so uncomfortable with having to watch Martha pine over the Doctor and having to watch him snub her repeatedly, it kind of put a damper on my enjoyment of it. 'Blink' was fab, though. And I love 'Utopia.' 'Utopia' may actually be my favorite episode aside from 'Doomsday.' The scene with the Doctor and Jack hashing it out? AMAZING. Great scripting, great performances, just fucking great. And the fobwatch reveal was so wonderfully done.

I actually didn't mind the stupidness of Sound of Drums/LOTL because I LOVE Simm-Master so much, and I loved Ten/Martha/Jack together. That entire arc is worth it for me just because of the Master/Doctor telephone conversation. It gave me chills.

I think it's really too bad that we never got the connection to Martha's family that we got to Rose's and that we're currently getting to Donna's. Jackie and Mickey were so lovingly drawn, and they never gave the Joneses that same kind of development, I think. Yet another mistake they made with poor Martha there.

Wow, okay, that was long. Thanks for the meta! I love hearing other people's takes on this stuff. It's so interesting to see how other people think about this stuff.
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4ensicbones on July 24th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
And it was a little over two full years before I actually watched another episode because the Doctor was ... Christopher Eccleston. Period.

OMG, I thought I was the only one! All the other Who fans I knew were like "Tennant's the best!" and the whole time, I shrank away in shame and fear because while Tennant is good, Eccleston will always be the Doctor.