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30 June 2008 @ 11:53 pm
Thought (confused) about 'Who' 4.08/4.09  
I don't know why I was thinking of this, but uhm ...

Yeah, Moffat kinda wrote a paradox there with that ending. By River dying/saved in the library at the end there, that rather, kinda totally makes it impossible for her to meet the Doctor later because, well, she's saved in the library. So, in other words, yeah, the whole point of her meeting the Doctor, getting the info she needed to make him trust her so implicitly was all done for her to sacrifice herself for the greater good ... before she even meets him because it's a Doctor who hasn't met her yet at the library. So, therefore, she never met him because she was saved in the library, therefore she couldn't have contacted him to go to the library ...

GAH!!! I'm just gonna say that there wasn't this great connection on the Doctor's side in whatever non-paradoxal way he met her, it was just him doing what he had to do in order to save the thousands of people locked in the library, including Donna, and that because River's in the library now, he'll never meet her.

Yup, works for me. Okay then.
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WeHo M.: DW - Travelerafrocurl on July 1st, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
I don't think it's a paradox, because in her previous years she'd already met another version of The Doctor. She just lived out her life in that computer, but all of her encounters with the Doctor aren't affected (as they happened in her past, but his future.)

At least, I think that should work.
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Impossible Planetarabian on July 1st, 2008 05:27 am (UTC)
I guess, but I dunno. And since I prefer to think that these events mean she doesn't meet the Doctor, thus I don't have to deal with that (as an unrepentant die-hard Doctor/Rose shipper) that works for me, LOL!!! Cuz it's all about me, right? Hah!
chalcidicechalcidice on July 2nd, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC)
I was the same way when River sacrificed herself, I thought her meeting the Doctor became void because she dies prior to meeting to the Doctor. It's the shipper in me that try's to validate this point. But after reading other speculation, I do think the Doctor does meet River later in his lifeline.
Honorable Monotreme: doctor ba na na naaaa!nobleplatypus on July 1st, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
We-ell, future!River dying in front of past!Doctor doesn't prevent future!Doctor from meeting past!River. Such is the nature of time travel, I guess. :P

And there must have been some sort of connection for the Doctor to be able to tell River his name, since he certainly implied that telling people his name was a Big Deal, and something he could only do during a special set of circumstances... which he conveniently didn't get into, because River cut him off (darn it), but I think it's safe to assume he wasn't going to finish his sentence with "just in case I get amnesia or you meet a past version of me and have to convince me that I should listen to you because lives are at stake." ;)
Arabian: Dr Who (Ten)arabian on July 1st, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
Nah, works for me what the_spin came up with. It's all twisted and sick, but the Doctor HAS to tell her the info for any of this to happen. So it's all kinda messed up because he knows what has to happen. So whatever the connection is, it's built on this, and built on the lies he'll have to tell her in the future because he can't tell her this.

I know you're not at all about Rose and Rose/Doctor, but as a shipper, I've managed to fanwank my way around it nicely, LOL!
Honorable Monotreme: doctor is not alonenobleplatypus on July 1st, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC)
I dunno, it seems like an awful lot of mental backflips are being executed to try and dismiss any relationship the Doctor might have had (er... might be having) with River... especially since whatever does happen between them happens far in the Doctor's future--after Rose might have died of old age. Is he just never allowed to get over her? ;) Do the Doctor's relationships with other companions, past and future, have to be de-ligitimized before his relationship with Rose can really mean anything?
Arabian: One Angry Loganarabian on July 1st, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
But that's the thing, it's NOT FAR in the future. That's a part of the issue. The way she talks about him, mentions Donna, it's got to be in the next few years. Of course, time will move on, and so will the Doctor, but I see the same thing that David Tennant and Billie Piper, and others involved with the show do when I watch it in that I see Rose as the love of the Doctor's life ... as of now and I want that preserved, at least right now while Rose is still in the equation. It doesn't make me want to make the show all shippy or about them, or about her. It SHOULDN'T be that way. But I also don't want it to just ignore her and her importance ... which is what MOFFAT has done in his last three episodes that featured the Doctor heavily.

And I don't think it's a lot of mental backflips. We have the fact that when the Doctor meets her -- if he meets her because now she's saved in the Library -- he will know that he HAS to tell her his name in order for him to trust her quickly. He will know that she HAS to fall for him or develop some deep, deep connection. He will know that he HAS to leave her. He will know that she HAS to die to save him. That kinda puts a strain on things, and makes whatever happens a kind of lie.

But the bottom-line goes back to Moffat, he wrote this story, which SHOULD have been beautifully poignant in the middle of a season that had Rose popping up left and right, the Doctor still mourning her loss and it was just not the right time. Knowing he was taking over, an episode like this in season five, mid-way, towards the end, with a character not so smugly written, and (I love Alex Kingston, but she didn't work it for me) better acted, and with someone who had a connection with Tennant immediately (as did Billie Piper and Sophia Myles), this would have been wonderful. But now? At this time? That's the reason the logical, non-psychotic shippers (and yes, I know and am scared of the illogical, psychotic ones) out there ARE trying to lessen this, because of the timing.

And, by the way, I would never lessen the importance of other relationships. I think that, in a different way, Donna is as much the Doctor's soulmate as is Rose. I love their relationship just as much as I do the Doctor's and Rose; it's just in a different way. Martha didn't do it for me, and I haven't watched old Who. So please don't assume that just because some shippers are that way that I am as well; I'm not. I'll accept ANY good story as long as it's in character, and it's consistent emotionally with the overall arc (and it's really good). This two-parter was not the final two for me AT ALL. Even without the connection laid on thick -- which, yes, DID annoy me as a shipper because of the Rose arc happening -- I still didn't like the two-parter because it was too slow and meandering for me and I think should have been a one-slot episode.

At least I thought that GitF was an AMAZINGLY-done episode (if not consistently emotional with the current arc). The same can not be said for this two-parter, in my opinion.

Edited at 2008-07-01 06:39 pm (UTC)
Honorable Monotreme: dandelionnobleplatypus on July 1st, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
We don't really know how far into the future it is--we know, because River recognized him, that it's the tenth Doctor, but since Time Lords are immortal (more or less), we don't know how much time will pass for the Doctor before they meet. For the show, it would have to happen in the next few years, yes... maybe during that string of specials every few months or whatever it was they were going to do for the next season. But the time that passes within the show is different, and quite a lot of time could wind up passing for the Doctor (I think it would be easier to pull that off if they're doing a series of specials instead of their current episode-a-week layout).

I think he will have to meet her, though, for the events of the library to take place at all. And one could just as easily argue that all his relationships with humans are strained because he knows that he's ultimately going to be left alone when they move on or kick the bucket (though the latter happens very rarely; even in the old series, I think there were only one or two that actually died... and one of them wasn't even human--and was arguably a total brat, besides--but the Doctor was tormented by guilt, anyway). It's something he addresses with Rose in "School Reunion," when he tells her she could spend the rest of her life with him, but not vice versa.

I never meant to imply that you were one of the psychotic shippers... but imagining that the Doctor will never meet or interact with someone he has to meet because you don't like the circumstances/timing under which the character was introduced--that does make it sound like you're dismissing their relationship (the one they're going to have). And I find it especially surprising since you liked GitF; Sophia and David had excellent chemistry, but the ep involved him intentionally abandoning Rose (and Mickey) on a spaceship in the middle of nowhere. I've never shipped them, but that part made me furious. :P All the Library 2-parter did was imply that one day, not necessarily soon (River tells the Doctor he looks much younger than she's ever seen him), the Doctor will move on. Regardless of the writing quality or the chemistry, isn't GitF a greater slight?
Arabianarabian on July 1st, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, from an emotionally consistent point of view, which I pointed out above. My final comments were about part of my problem with the two-parter is that I didn't think it was very good, whereas, taking the lack of consistent emotion out of the equation, GitF WAS a very well done episode, but -- like SotL/FotD -- it just didn't fit in that timeline. However, I thought it was better written and well-conceived.

Also, I don't think you're getting what I'm saying re: the two-parter. I wasn't trying to make it never happen because I don't like it from a shipper point of view. No, the_spin made it work for me on a level that I could accept with the current arc and as a shipper ... and if I can logically work it out to make sense in my brain from a character/emotionally consistent point of view, I'm okay with it. My reason for the original entry had nothing to do with my shipper-dom, it had to do with the whole time paradox matter. Which is simply if this is BEFORE she met the Doctor and at the end of THIS meeting with the Doctor, she's saved in the Library, than it would be impossible for him to meet her later. Which, of course, brings up the whole, then why would she have written him now, which she wouldn't have done had she NOT known him in the future ... and yeah, it goes back to not a very-well written, plotted, planned-out episode.

I actually dislike GitF greatly because of the emotional WTFuckery of it, but as separate episode and not linked to the episodes that preceded or followed it, it's strong, well-written and heartbreakingly done. Doesn't mean I like it on a shipper level or as part of the whole, because as a part of the whole it does not make sense at all.
Honorable Monotreme: doctor fixes almost everythingnobleplatypus on July 1st, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
Ahhh, okay. I think I get what you're saying re: the episodes and the shippiness and whatnot. I had originally interpreted your post as pure fanwank (sorry :P), but it seems more like you're just confused about the seemingly paradoxical ending:

it had to do with the whole time paradox matter. Which is simply if this is BEFORE she met the Doctor and at the end of THIS meeting with the Doctor, she's saved in the Library, than it would be impossible for him to meet her later.

Okay, here is how I had interpreted the general timeline weirdness of the episode. River's personal timeline goes something like this:

1) River meets the Doctor after he's been with both Rose and Donna and possibly even others--but is still in his tenth body.
2) River becomes his companion, and they have enough zany adventures for her to fill a TARDIS-themed diary. At some point during all this, he tells her his name and gives her his sonic screwdriver.
3) The Doctor nips out for milk or something, and River finds out she's going to the library and writes a note to him about it on his psychic paper. But the message goes chronologically awry, and the Doctor winds up getting the message while he's still with Donna, and before he's 'met' River.

The two of them each have their own separate timelines. In River's timeline, she was the Doctor's companion before the events of the Library took place. In the Doctor's timeline, she's his companion afterwards. It'll make their relationship a bit screwy, as you said, because he's going to introduce himself to her already knowing what's going to happen to her in the end. But since he can travel through time, there's nothing preventing him from going backwards along her timeline and having adventures in her past--just as he could theoretically visit Rose when she's a toddler (though I imagine Jackie would freak right out and clobber him with her handbag).

The only difference is, if he were to visit a former companion before they'd actually met him, he'd risk tearing a hole in space-time and destroying two-thirds of the universe. But since he already knows that River met him in her past, there's no danger in him popping back a few years to say hi. Any time in her past that he picks will be the right one. It's weird, and like most Moffat eps, the whole "time traveler" aspect of the Doctor is really emphasized. But it isn't a paradox.

... Does that make any sense? It's a bit like "The Time-Traveler's Wife," if you've ever read it (and if not, you should, because it's AWESOME).
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Christmas Invasionarabian on July 2nd, 2008 12:32 am (UTC)
I haven't read it, but I've heard of that being referenced. I guess it makes sense when you look at it that way, but it's just so damn needlessly complicated.

And it just wasn't a good, interesting two-parter for me. And it really disappointed me because I loved TEC/TDD, GitF (taking aside the lack of emotional continuity) and "Blink." So add the fact that I was very, very disappointed on a shipper level, I was also disappointed because I expected another great show from him. (It also didn't help that it was my firat watching in somewhat real-time Who episode and it was just so blah and just did nothing for me as Who viewer or Doctor/Rose shipper. The only thing I liked about it was the Donna plot in part two.
Honorable Monotreme: doctor theme musicnobleplatypus on July 2nd, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
"The Time Traveler's Wife" is a lot like that two-parter, only on a larger scale. This guy can travel through time, but has no real control at all--the only constant is that he always shows up around this particular woman. So even though he meets her for the first time when he's in college, she meets various versions of HIM all the time from when she's, like, four. It's not too complicated if you think of it all in terms of HER timeline and not the Doctor's, since the Doctor treats time like a bouncy castle.