Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Name You Choose is a Promise You Make

Spoilers for "The Name of the Doctor."  Right after Wash "I'm a Leaf on the Wind" gets killed (oops - spoilers there).

Can I just take a moment to blow a huge, frickin' raspberry at all the dipshits who actually thought we would hear the Doctor's name?  My hell - They were never actually going to tell us his name!  How many misleading episode titles have there been in Doctor Who?  And not just with Moffat - does "The Next Doctor" ring any bells?

And then, after I'm raspberry'd out - I want all the entitled little brats in fandom who've been pissing and moaning this season to write letters of apology to Steven Moffat.  Because, frankly, most of you guys' behavior this year has been nothing short of appalling.  You've all acted like babies and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.  Dislike an episode or a story or whatever, that's fine - but there's no need for all this angst and panic and blame.  The majority of us have enjoyed this season and we don't need you all coming in to take a dump on something we love and you profess to love, but I think you really just love to criticize.  So, if you're going to continue to do that - might I ask that you take your ball of malcontent and go home?  I don't need your negative shit around here.

(Will they actually write or apologize or even act like they're ashamed?  Probably not. Because that's what little babies do. They have no shame).

Okay - my review:

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That was THE BEST DAMN EPISODE of Doctor Who the guy has ever written (yes - even better than "Blink" or "The Pandorica Opens"/"The Big Bang").  I'm not entirely convinced it wasn't the 50th Anniversary episode - it had all the Classic Doctors (either seen or heard), it added to the mythos of the Doctor - AND WE NEVER HEARD THE DOCTOR'S NAME! River said it to open the tomb, but we didn't hear her say it and in the long run - the Doctor's name wasn't important (not until... well, I'll get to that in a bit).

I did NOT want this episode to end.  Even when I knew we had to be getting close, I purposely did not check the timer on my player because I didn't want to think "GAK! Five minutes left!"  The whole thing was tightly woven, it brought in elements of things that I thought were forgotten (even clear back to River Song being saved in the Library databank).

I loved the concepts and idea behind the Doctor's tomb - that he doesn't have a body to bury, but just his timeline woven around were the TARDIS console used to be.  Because - he really wouldn't have a body.  Not one that's seen and been through everything he's seen and been through.  It's just fitting, in a way, that a Time Lord wouldn't have one body to bury because he's died so many times.  The entire idea pays homage to the Doctor's whole life - and not just certain pieces of it.  No wonder he'd have to lock up his tomb securely.  Especially considering what happens with Dr. Simeon and Clara.

And that cold open!  I thought I was going to fall over from excitement.  Clara was a Time Lady on Gallifrey and told the Doctor which TARDIS to steal (the navigation was shoddy, but it'd be more fun that way).  All her moments through the Doctor's timeline - and seeing all the Classic Doctors - but not exactly seeing them. THAT'S how you do a 50th anniversary tribute! (HOLY CRAP THERE'S SIX! AND THAT'S "DRAGONFIRE!" AND "ARC OF INFINITY" AND - AND - AND - *dies*)  And she did it to save his life.  She wouldn't have done it if she hadn't been the Doctor's companion... but she wouldn't have been the Doctor's companion if he'd never seen her in his timeline (it's the chicken-and-the-egg conundrum/paradox/thingy.  It's Doctor Who, it's time travel - I just go with it).  It's probably one of the most brilliant things I've seen in a long time.

Dear Sweet Scorby - I loved this episode to pieces!  I don't know how it could have been any better.  I can't say anything bad about it, I have no suggestions for improvement, I can't think of anything that bothers me - it all makes sense and it all falls into place and it's just... beautiful.  The acting is top-notch - not just from Matt and Jenna, but Vastra's group as well (and how River Song works right alongside everyone else as though she's been there the whole time - which, in some ways, she has).  Working Clara seamlessly into Classic Who was probably not an easy task, but I thought it looked great (mad props for getting Hartnell and Troughton in color too).  I just want to bake a plate of cookies and send them to Steven Moffat for such a flawless and exciting piece of television.

So - I've got to talk about The Huge Reveal.  Apparently, there were a few spoilers roaming around concerning John Hurt, but I didn't look at any of them, nor did I partake in any discussion.  I just left it alone and got on with my damn day.  But when Simeon rattled off the Doctor's other names - and mentioned the Valeyard (which, THANK YOU Steven Moffat for putting that one in there), I wondered if that was going to play a role later.  And... I think this is it.  I think the Moff is going to give us the Valeyard in an alternate timeline and Ten and Eleven have to put a stop to it and that's going to take care of that Continuity Snarl.

Quick check of Twitter - I'm already seeing people who "need" to rewatch this episode.  And, weirdly, I do not.  I'm going to rewatch it anyway, just to get all happy and giddy and go "HOLY SHIT!" again.  But I understood it quite well on the first go-round.  Vastra, Jenny and Strax call a meeting of the Doctor's current companions-plus-his-wife because of information concerning the Doctor's secrets, The Doctor goes to Trenzalore to save his friends from Dr. Simeon and the Whispermen, gets tricked into going into his own tomb, Dr. Simeon sneaks into the Doctor's past to screw with things, history gets rewritten so the Doctor loses all those times he was supposed to win, Clara follows Simeon into all those timelines to fix things, history's happy again, the Doctor dives in to find Clara, John Hurt is a future incarnation of the Doctor that may or may not be the Valeyard, but let's wait until November 23 to find out, mmmkay? Might have missed a few minor details that I'll pick out later, but beyond that - easy peasy.

Other Things:
- Sexy's window broke :( Someone on Tumblr pointed out that Big!Sexy still had a broken window in the same place. Which did nothing for my emotional state (I've learned that if you want to bawl your eyes out, just go to Tumblr).

- The Doctor called Angie and Artie "Little Daleks" when they ditched him in their game of Blindman's Bluff. After last week's episode, I'm inclined to agree with him.

- "I think I've just been murdered." Jenny!  JENNY! :( :( :(

- River Song got her goodbye. Dammit...

- Clara's leaf came back!  She's a leaf on the wind!

- I think Moffat broke all my feelings.

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Bottom Line: "The Name of the Doctor" was a superb finale.  It did everything we were promised, plus more.  It was a fitting conclusion to this 50th Anniversary season and a brilliant lead-in to the 50th Anniversary Special in November.  It gave everyone their due, moved the story along, and paid tribute to the past while also looking forward.


Some Housekeeping -

I found this article that questions if the doomsayers have any kind of leg to stand on.  How much moaning and bellyaching has their been on Twitter and elsewhere about this season?  How much calling for Moffat's head on a platter and heartburn over What Should Have Been?  It's driven me insane, personally.  Hence, my raspberry-blowing at the beginning of this review.  And after this episode I hope they all like the taste of crow.

And kudos to the internet for not spoiling the episode after those Blu-rays got shipped out early (heh... oops).  Because Doctor Who fans are (largely) not jackasses (at least, where spoilers hare concerned.  They're jackasses in other ways that are not the purview of this blog to enumerate, although Rassilon knows I want to) - we got this adorably charming little clip of Matt Smith and David Tennant just being... well, see for yourselves.  If this doesn't make you giddy for the 50th... I don't know what will.*

*I actually know one thing that will make people giddy for the 50th, but it's a Spoiler-With-A-Capital-S-For-Sweetie.  And I don't think it's been released through official channels - but... oh what the hell. I'm posting a link...


Of course, if you don't give a flying monkey turd about spoilers, feel free to click away (scroll down for the really good stuff) --> Link To Spoilers

(I know, right????)

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  1. I agree with every single thing you said! I am surprised I didn't wake up my grandparents with the squeeing and cheering I was doing last night! :-) And you would tease with that link! I must be strong and not click on it!

    1. Hee hee - this is the only place I would even put a link to spoilers. It's much less tempting than Twitter or Facebook, but I still get to glee over it! :)