More “Doctor Who.” More mega-spoilers behind the cut bits. I promise this will be it for awhile. Sadly no new episodes until Christmas. Maybe it’s just as well, because I have this dissertation to write.
You know, I’m a composer. I’m in academe. I know how brutal and cruel people can get about one’s work. I’ve gotten my fair share of snark disguised as constructive criticism or thinly-veiled personal attacks. I’d like to say it gets easier to deal with, and in some respects it does. One would hope academics, especially, would be more into judging a person’s work on the work’s merits, and not getting personal, but they’re just as petty as anyone else.
So the “Doctor Who” season finale was last Saturday, with two episodes leading up to it. People either loved it or hated it. OK, fine. I get this. What I don’t get are those–read any fan community on LJ or board–who take it as a personal insult that the episode didn’t meet their expectations.
OK. Extrapolating to something else, namely “Crossroads, part 2” of “Battlestar Galactica.” I was disappointed with it, but at the end of the day, it still entertained me for 45 minutes, and I’ve got the season 3 DVD on pre-order from Amazon. Am I a raving fangirl? Maybe, but if people want me to ramble on, I’d be glad to elucidate where I thought it could be better. Does it mean anything about the writers and producers? Nope. Did it jump the shark? Nowhere near as badly as “Battlestar 1980” did. Arguably BSG is still one of the best programs on TV. I doubt that Ronald D. Moore is out to pee in people’s breakfast cereal, like people are convinced the writers and producers of “Doctor Who” are.
So back to “Doctor Who.” Was I expecting some of the ending? Yah, parts. Did I think there were things that could’ve been tighter? Absolutely. I’d love it if they released the Criterion Director’s Cut of all my favorite shows. But more importantly did it follow its own logic? Yes, as well as they could with so many threads in 51 minutes.
Things I didn’t have a problem with: glowy Doctor rejuvinated by the psychic field. If anything, I really wish they would’ve developed this further. They’ve never really gone into any detail about the psychic capabilities of Time Lords aside from a few throwaway lines and when the plot suits it. I was blown away with the Doctor forgiving
the Master. I don’t think defeating him with words was out of character in the least. If anything, that’s the Doctor’s greatest strength.
The Master really needed to die. He went out at the top of his game, and I think why the Master became almost comic in the 1980’s was because he was defeated almost every other week by the Doctor. It’s like Diana in “V.” You can’t have a big badass supervillain, when they’re defeated by the good guys all the time. They have no potency if they aren’t a real threat. The Master was badass, and in dying he won.
Martha needed to leave, even temporarily. Ever seen the movie “White” (“Blanc”) by Kieslowski? Same deal as between Karol and Dominique as between the Doctor and Martha. (Ok, with a lot less sex.) You can’t have a relationship–even friendship–when there’s such a great inequality of power. I also don’t doubt for an instant that the character of the Doctor loves his companions, but it’s not a human love. (You saw that in “Human Nature/”Family of Blood.”) Either companions come to terms with it (Martha) or they don’t. (Tegan, Adric.)
The funeral for the Master: Yeah, OK, they used a pyre in “Return of the Jedi,” but so do a hell of a lot of cultures. My first thought was that it looked a lot like a Balinese Hindu cremation. And, really, how else are you going to get rid of an archetypal character?
In the end, though, I thought it was a good resolution to the series. The things I enjoyed far outweighed the things I didn’t. I think I need to quit reading fansites, since I’m so fed up reading personal attacks on people who have done nothing to me.