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La Serenissima, not so serene

Um, Toby? This is what you write on the BREAK from your show? *snerk* Also, does this count as Gilbert Fun?

But this was not actual vampires, of course, which I really wish they hadn't tipped their hand on in last week's promo with the "If they're not vampires, what are they?" Because of course that was always a possibility, but the line being there made it pretty much a certainty. The wonky lamprey teeth were also a tipoff, of course, but could still have just been an odd design choice.

It wouldn't have mattered so much that the hand was tipped, since really the default assumption is that something like that would just turn out to be aliens. Except of course that this is Doctor Who, and it already has vampires, and they ARE aliens.

Well, sort of. And therein lies the problem, to wit, we're never going to see them again, because that would entail picking up where Terrance Dicks left off. And, sad as it makes me to say it, where Terrance Dicks left off is INSANE. Seriously, even when I was eleven, I looked at "State of Decay" and went, "Okay, that thirty-story monstrosity turned these three little humans HOW, exactly?" Various writers took a good whack at it in the interregnum novels (and the fact that there are several novels revisiting that territory tells you I'm not the only one with a huge soft spot for SoD in all its cracktastic glory), with varying degrees of success, but I think it might be just plain too batshit a chunk of canon to make work in the current show.

So instead, they wisely did a bait-and-switch, and gave us... giant bloodsucking sentient prawns. Who can turn humans into giant bloodsucking sentient prawns.

*blink*

*blink*

Wait, WHAT??

I... guess the giant bloodsucking sentient prawns have the advantage of not having that whole "ancient war with the Time Lords" complication? Except, that might have been an interesting complication to have, in lieu of Yet Another Dying Race running afoul of the Doctor because he can't countenance the desperate measures they've decided are the only way to save themselves.

Once, just once, I'd like to see one of them say, "Okay, yeah. We weren't exactly savoring this plan anyway, it just really seemed like the only option. You can help us? How?" But that didn't happen. They stuck to the Bad Plan, the Doctor stopped them, they died, the Doctor was sad. Again. Some remnant of the Great Vampires and the Time Lords' war against them would have been batshit, but it wouldn't have been quite such a retread.

That said, well, that was the plot, and it was a decently-executed retread. At least as important was the "wedding gift," which seems to have accomplished exactly what the Doctor intended. And I like that he spelled it out as what he did intend, to place Rory on something approaching an equal footing with Amy. Last week we had the emphasis on "Time travel changes you," and now we have acknowledgment of the problems that causes when you go back where you came from. Which is a lesson the Doctor should have learned from Tegan's experience, at least, but which never really seems to have sunk in until "School Reunion." And it's been evident since then that it did sink in, but it's interesting that it fell to the same writer to make it this explicit.

It's also nice to see Amy and Rory (a) so damn cute together, and (b) not afraid to hash stuff out quite bluntly. Don't really see any major communication issues in their future, y'know? They're getting married pretty young for this day and age, but there's nothing that screams "headed for catastrophe" about them. Which of course makes it that much more unfair that their wedding day is apparently the nexus of a potentially universe-ending catastrophe.

Which brings us to... Now we don't just have cracks, we have silence. I guess we already did, when the crack consumed the guys in "Flesh and Stone." But that too has been made explicit. It feels like things are coming to a head much faster than I expected, which makes me wonder if we'll get to the cause of the cracks, silence, and "explosion" by the midpoint of the season, and then spend the rest of it tracking down the intelligence behind it. Because it still seems unlikely that these circumstances have just happened. It still seems like somebody has mucked about with Amy's timeline on purpose, and it still seems most likely that the purpose of that is to target the Doctor. I wonder, though, if the cracks aren't an unintended side effect.. which then puts me in mind of the shortsightedness of one of the Master's schemes (Logopolis and the entropy field, anyone?), which I would very much prefer NOT to be the case.

And now I'm thinking myself into a corner, so now I think I'll sit back and watch it unfold. (And read with great interest the theorizing of the likes of nycdeb, who's been doing some scary-thorough extrapolation on the concept that the Doctor who spoke to Amy in "Flesh and Stone" is not the same one who was walking away with River a moment before. Generally I love that sort of time-tangle puzzle, but I'm just not of a mind just now to try to work it out.)

A few more random comments: The stripper's cake, Doctor? Really? *facepalm*

Haven't we learned not to park the TARDIS in a marketplace? I kind of wanted at least a throwaway line. Maybe paying some urchin to make sure nobody sold it?

Sword vs. broom, wheee! If I hadn't already been getting quite fond of Rory, that would have done it. Actually, the whole taking-turns-rescuing-each-other thing was pretty cool.

LoveloveLOVE how the whole discussion of Amy infiltrating the school played out. She made the suggestion, the Doctor and Rory of course both objected, and instead of pushing and arguing, she mostly just waited for them to reach the conclusion that there weren't any better options. To essentially talk themselves into what she was saying all along. Nobody's fool, our Ms. Pond! Not that we didn't know that.

Croatia makes a pretty convincing Venice, at least for those of us not fortunate enough to have ever been there. I don't often have the urge to watch the Confidentials, but this one I want to see.

Overall... Not really more than the sum of its parts, but at least there were some pretty cool parts?

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
lyssie
May. 9th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC)
Now I sort of want newskool to go back to Ancient Gallifreyan times and fight during the Great War... (of course, if the Time Lords are gone, who's to say that the GW actually happened in the first place?)
wiliqueen
May. 9th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
Or that it happened the same way. Either is an opportunity to fix the more batshit elements of TD's vampires and make them usable in newskool continuity.
bktheirregular
May. 9th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
Heck, this might be an opportunity to do one of those timey-wimey-snarled-up-to-hell-and-gone episodes, like The Five Doctors, or The Three Doctors ... maybe The Four Doctors? Eight through Eleven?

Centering on the point where Eight slammed the door on Gallifrey? (Or was it Nine who did that? Or might that be how Eight became Nine? Or maybe I shouldn't have had that last bit of caffeine tonight?)
nycdeb
May. 9th, 2010 11:30 am (UTC)
Not really more than the sum of its parts, but at least there were some pretty cool parts

this sums up my take on Vampires of Venice as well. More extrapolation shortly, BTW on the dual Doctor conundrum now that I've got a more solid idea (from the previews) on what Amy's Choice is all about.

Now we don't just have cracks, we have silence. I guess we already did, when the crack consumed the guys in "Flesh and Stone."

We've had 'silence' mentioned all along - but connected with the idea of the Pandorica opening and silence falling. The fact that the Doctor actually now HEARS a silence (so to speak) at the end of Vampires could (and I assume) should be taken to mean that it is in the process of opening and that may be why the cracks seems to be getting bigger ("some the size of worlds").
wiliqueen
May. 9th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
The fact that the Doctor actually now HEARS a silence (so to speak) at the end of Vampires could (and I assume) should be taken to mean that it is in the process of opening and that may be why the cracks seems to be getting bigger

This. Very intrigued by where it's all going...
nycdeb
May. 9th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
me too. it's been ages since I've thought through a season of anything in this much details. I kinda missed it.
wiliqueen
May. 9th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
I'm having great fun watching you do it! I think Being Human depleted my meta tank for the next little while...
nycdeb
May. 9th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
you know - I started on Being Human and then got distracted and never picked it up again. But I have been reading your posts on it and clearly I need to check it out on full because it sounds like an uber rich meta-dessert
wiliqueen
May. 9th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
That's what happened to me with Jekyll. Mostly because I got distracted by BH.

I would be very, very happy to have you join the circle of People What I Can Babble BH At. :-)
thanatos_kalos
May. 9th, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
"Okay, yeah. We weren't exactly savoring this plan anyway, it just really seemed like the only option. You can help us? How?"

That would be interesting-- esp as the Doctor didn't even offer here to help-- but I'm wondering if they might consider that too complex a characterisation for a family viewing time slot. (It isn't-- looking at what Blakes 7 got away with in the 70s/80s at 1900 proves that, esp as audiences are more sophisticated today).
wiliqueen
May. 9th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
esp as the Doctor didn't even offer here to help

A point I neglected to mention. We were going "Um, offer to take them home? Or somewhere else if home is no longer viable?" But he didn't.

I'm wondering if they might consider that too complex a characterisation for a family viewing time slot.

I'd be quicker to ascribe that mistake to them if the Doctor himself weren't such a tangle. Granted, we see him every week, and they have time to illuminate the nuances -- which might be more the problem than who's watching. If a desperate-but-not-irredeemable baddie ever actually took him up on it, they'd then have to figure out story pacing for the actual means of saving them, plus arguments from companions and/or guest stars who don't agree that he should. Not impossible, but definitely tricky.
thanatos_kalos
May. 9th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
esp as the Doctor didn't even offer here to help

A point I neglected to mention. We were going "Um, offer to take them home? Or somewhere else if home is no longer viable?" But he didn't.


it is a major point of discrepancy, thuogh it could be ascribed to not-knowing Isabella's name.

I'm wondering if they might consider that too complex a characterisation for a family viewing time slot.

I'd be quicker to ascribe that mistake to them if the Doctor himself weren't such a tangle. Granted, we see him every week, and they have time to illuminate the nuances -- which might be more the problem than who's watching.


true.

If a desperate-but-not-irredeemable baddie ever actually took him up on it, they'd then have to figure out story pacing for the actual means of saving them, plus arguments from companions and/or guest stars who don't agree that he should. Not impossible, but definitely tricky.

the best way to do that, honestly, would be with a character we all ready knew who turns out to be the villain of the ep or of the series. There are several viable candidates for that in the canon (or cannon), and if we know/like the character all ready then that gets rid of some of the plot tangles. It could be done in a 2 or 3 parter, but it's the disposition of asid character that poses a problem. They die a:has been done b: is literally not an option for all of the potential characters, either due to having seen them later in their personal timelines, being immortal, beign able to regenerate, etc. Magically healing them doesn't work either, so, left to their own devices somewhere/escaping is kinda it.
wiliqueen
May. 9th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
it is a major point of discrepancy,

Or a new development with this incarnation? I do sort of excuse the retread in the sense that this is the first time Eleven has been through that situation, and he did handle it subtly differently.
thanatos_kalos
May. 9th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
yeah, that's what I meant by discrepancy-- all of the Doctor's parts and pieces get tossed around during regeneration, not to mention that he's grown durign his earlier 5 eps etc, so why wouldn't Eleven eract a bit differently from earlier Docs?

One could even argue a throwback to the First Doctor, who tells the Daleks straight out that, even if he could help them, he wouldn't.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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