I squeed with internal joy when I saw Russell T. Davies' name. I ♥ him and his work and I don't care what anyone else says about it! Overall, I really, really enjoyed it! I actually think I kinda loved it. Random thoughts ...
- Gwen just grabbed me right away. I know that some have issues with her, liked Gwyneth (her character from Doctor Who's "The Unquiet Dead," but don't like Gwen. I wrote in my rewatch-review of that episode:
I mentioned in my review of Journey's End that "I did NOT realize that Gwen was played by the same actress who played Gwyneth in The Unquiet Dead." Now, I might have had I gotten to that one in my rewatching, but as of now, I didn't. Watching this today, I still don't think I would have known based on the little bit of Gwen I saw in the Who episodes because Myles did such an excellent job of creating a fully-fleshed, fully-realized character, one that was so different from the Gwen I saw in "The Stolen Earth" and JE. Of course, the different accent, hair, make-up and clothing helped, but I do give most of the credit to the actress. She was truly wonderful, creating this believable, warm wonderful person who I fell in love with by the end of the episode. I didn't want her to die, but I loved her sacrifice, willing to risk so much because she believed it was the right thing to do. She was just beautiful and delivered the nearly epic arc of Gwyneth's journey -- this servant girl saving the whole of the world and no one would ever know -- with such grace and gravity.
As much as I enjoyed the writing of the character of Gwyneth, I think now that a large part of my love for her was based on Myles' performance because I loved Gwen by the end of this episode just as I had loved Gwyneth by the end of TUD, and that episode was written by Mark Gattis, while RTD wrote this one, so the common denominator was the actress. Who rocks. Several times towards the latter half of the episode, I kept thinking/saying "Poor Gwen." I so felt for her. (Dude, I already made a Gwen icon to accompany this post!)
- Even though I'm not the biggest Jack fan by ANY stretch of the imagination (and I still am mind-boggled by his popularity in the Who fandom) because of my obsession with all things Who, I did do a little squirm of joy and grin when I first saw him and went: "Jack!" I also found myself liking him throughout the episode a lot more than I ever did on Who. Honestly, I think it goes back to the fact that he was written and treated like a leading man on Who and I was bothered by that because the Doctor should have been the only one written that way, in my opinion. Plus, I hated that the last five episodes of my only Christopher Eccleston-series, I wasn't able to just enjoy my Nine and Rose, but had to put up with Jack written and directed as the third star of what was (and should have remained, in my opinion) a two-star series *, and furthermore getting in the way of Nine/Rose yummy goodness.
* Unless, of course, there is an alternate universe show out there somewhere with the Doctor, Rose and Donna traveling. Then it should be a three-star series.
So, with this being Jack's show, I'm having no issue with him being written, directed, framed as THE star, because he is. With that conclusion, I do think that I'll enjoy him a lot more on TW than I ever have on Who.
- It's the wife from Rome!!! I didn't know she was in this. I thought while watching the episode: 'Oh, I'm so glad she's not going to be dealing with the death and ickiness that happened on that show.' At the denouement: 'Oh, wait ... spoke too soon. Sigh. Ah well. I liked her!'
- I also like the little bit we've seen of Toshiko (of course, I found that I really liked her in "Aliens of London" -- as I wrote in that review:
I also really liked the doctor who (heh, didn't do that on purpose at all) "autopsied" the pig, and the Junior Secretary, Indra Ganesh. The first, Dr. Sato, played by Naoko Mori, I just read that she's on Torchwood which makes me more anxious to watch that show despite having a vague knowledge of her story there. She just had a few short scenes, but they were GOOD ones.
With just the few short scenes in this episode, I liked her again. And I look forward to seeing more with her. (Yes, I know vaguely what happens.)
- Owen was a trip. (Yes, I know vaguely what happens.)
- Ianto was cute. DAMN! I knew I should have watched this before Dragon*Con. He was THERE!!! this year. Darn.
- Yeah, totally, TOTALLY, not one for the kiddies with all the profanity and bloodiness and I know what else follows.
- Another squee of joy when I saw the Doctor's hand. And I kept thinking back on it!! SQUEE!! The Doctor's hand!!!! SQUEE!!!!
So, yeah, overall, I really enjoyed this. And this was even with odd, out-of-the-blue high expectations. I hadn't thought much about it, and if I did, it was more of 'eh, I might like it, but we'll see' attitude. Then when I got the discs a few days ago, I've been anxiously waiting the chance to sit down and watch them with my anticipation growing with the thought that 'hey, I might LOVE this show!' Nice to know that even with those sudden ramped up expectations, I did love it. Yay!!!
Off to watch episode two.
I am mostly unspoiled for this, so PLEASE DO NOT PUT SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS!!! Thanks :)
ETA: Vague relationship spoilers in the comments.