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July 1st, 2007

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12:35 pm - doctor who and the house elves of slytherin
Underneath this cut, besides our usual Doctor Who snarkiness, please find a very special screenshot, apparently an outtake from one of the climactic moments of this current series' finale. I believe fourcoffees and violetisblue have also seen it, and can confirm its authenticity.

This shot is definitely an outtake of Captain Jack destroying the Paradox Machine:

There was an episode of Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers that involved a magical lamp that granted three wishes. Don't ask me why I remember this, just go with me here. Actually, I'll tell you why I remember this, and that's because at the end of the episode, when everything has gone pear-shaped and I think there was a whirlpool and Chip & Dale are clinging to the lamp, realizing that their two wishes have caused such havoc that there's no way out-- wait! Did you say two wishes? Quickly, Chip & Dale realize what to do with their third wish, so they rub the lamp to activate its magical wish-giving power and say "We wish none of this ever happened!"

And, as befitting a kids' show, wham bam ziggity pow, they're right back to where they started, just before they found the lamp. And due to some strange circumstance, they never do find the lamp, so none of it ever... yeah.

When you're 11 years old, that ending is pretty sweet. "Oh, wow, yeah! Nobody ever thinks to do that!"

Problem is, everybody does. You just don't realize it until you've seen the device used a second, third, and depressingly fourth time. The Reset Button ranks third on the list of the Crummiest Cop-Out Devices Of All Time. The second on the list is "It was all just a dream" and you'd think that would be #1 unless you've seen Monster A-Go-Go. This film (officially named by Best Brains as the Worst Film they ever did for MST3K, and that includes Manos) suddenly ends as a mutated astronaut monster is being finally hunted down by the good old US Army, until a voiceover intones one of the best Worst Closing Speeches of all time:
As if a switch had been turned, as if an eye had been blinked, as if some phantom force in the universe had made a move eons beyond our comprehension, suddenly, there was no trail. There was no giant, no monster, no thing called "Douglas" to be followed. There was nothing in the tunnel but the puzzled men of courage, who suddenly found themselves alone with shadows and darkness. With the telegram, one cloud lifts, and another descends... astronaut Frank Douglas, rescued, alive, well, and of normal size, some eight thousand miles away in a lifeboat, with no memory of where he has been, or how he was separated from his capsule.
Hey, folks, guess what? This movie never happened! Ha ha ha! What a joke on us, eh?

Okay, so the Who finale wasn't that bad. But lordy mama, it wasn't all that good and frankly, once the "One Year Later" caption came up, I knew we were gonna have some "time goes back on itself and everything is okay" ending. Someone on another forum said, between Drums and Last, that "RTD doesn't have the balls to kill off 600 million people." Well, Rusty did (and thanks for that great nickname, violetisblue) but then he took it back.

Rusty is the best nickname for Mr. Davies, I think. Mostly because when I hear "Rusty" I think of Dr. Venture, and I am absolutely adoring the mental image of this skinny, acerbic scientific failure trying to write Doctor Who episodes while his sons try to give him ideas ("And then maybe you could have a bunch of giant farting monsters, Pop!" "Brock, could you take Hank here out for a little Outside Time? I think the creative process has liquified his brain.")

But I guess there was a lot of good, though, but still, a lot of "oh, come ON" moments. I felt as if there'd been two finales filmed -- an awesome one and a crappy one -- and for some reason they merged together in time and space, so we were watching the two overlap and weave through each other, all Venetian Blinds-like. Every time we went down to Earth and watched the remaining humans play Post-Apocalypto, that was awesome. Every time we went back up to the floating airship so DJ Beat Master could spin the mad crazy dance tracks, well, that was crappy.

AWESOME: Martha's family not only growing to like the Doctor after the whole Earth takeover, but their full-on cooperation in 1. conspiring with him and 2. taking down the Master as well. Now we know where Martha got her courage and resolve. The Jones family, when they're not busy being all dysfunctional and shit with each other, really know how to take care of business. Or at least try to. And best of all, there was no mawkish apology/redemption scene between Forehead Mum and Ten. None of this "I should have listened to my daughter all along, you really are the good guy" or whatever bull puckey. No, the mawkish apology/redemption scene was saved for later.

CRAPPY: Flashback to the Doctor whispering to Martha! Flashback to the Doctor whispering to Martha! Flashback to the Doctor whispering to Martha! Gee, do you think he was trying to tell her something? Let's see what she has to say: "Before I left, the Doctor told me something..." Flashback to the Doctor whispering to Martha! Christ almighty, it's like watching a telegraph key sometimes.

And speaking of telegraphing, just how long did the Doctor get to whisper to Martha before she left? Apparently long enough to say "Okay, here's what you do: Teleport out now. Spread the word about me. Get everybody to think about me at the same time on the same day, oh, a year from now because I'm pretty sure a year from now the Master will be about to accomplish something so incredibly evil we'll need to stop it. There'll be someone you'll encounter who you know will betray you, so you can make it right back here safe and sound. Oh, and while you're telling people about me, make up several other stories: one about how you are the Savior, another one about how you are Making A Gun, and one about three clergymen of different faiths who all visit a pub together. Now there's a good girl, see you in 365."

AWESOME: Wasn't expecting the "Oh, yeah, the whole gun thing? Just a front. I was waiting to be set up so I could visit you personally and mess your shit up like this." AWESOME. Martha pulling that was brilliant, and as I said early on in the series, I am more'n happy to see a companion who can really Get Shit Done. When she's not being completely emo over somebody from another planet at least. And it's a damn shame the "this" that she did was monumentally lame.

WAIT, WHAT: Going 'round the entire world in a year spreading the Gospel of the Doctor must've been fun once Martha made it to countries what don't speak English. Then again, on a show where the King's English is spoken on every planet in the Universe unless it's an integral part of the story or the individual character, I guess it can be excused.

CRAPPY: Clap your hands if you believe in Time Lords, everybody! Come on, clap! CLAP, DAMN YOU, CLAP, OR DOCTOR DOBBY THE TIME ELF WON'T GET HIS SOCK! (thanks for that one, fourcoffees.) I mean, seriously, this was an awesome concept: What would you do if you had 9/10 of the Earth's population all thinking the same thought at the same time to overload a mind-controlling satellite network? Well, first I'd probably get everybody to think along the lines of "Bustificate the mind-controlling shit" or something. (Maybe that's why it's a good thing I wasn't the one in charge of that operation; I wouldn't know how to say "Bustificate" in Mandarin.)

And I can almost accept the Doctor spending a year feebly insinuating his mind into the satellite network, but that's where I draw the line. I could accept Rose merging with the TARDIS and becoming Queen Of All Things TARDIS to save the day, but that was a one-shot.

But no. We get Prayer. And lo, the Doctor becomes God for as much time as he needs to. (Okay, prayer/god correlation, that was okay.) But that time is very short and he turns out to be one of those Zen-like floating deities. Riiiiiiight. You know how we had all those warnings about Ten being a vengeful motherfucker who could unleash Time Lord Rage 'N Wrath upon anyone he was sufficiently angry at? I'd have thought with all that PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER (he even absorbed that itty-bitty living space upon attaining Godhood) that he'd have somehow felt that rage again, especially for his arch-nemesis, the guy who just wiped out 10% of the Earth's population. Nah, instead he just glows and floats like a David Blaine illusion.

(I know the Doctor didn't want to just up and kill the Master, seeing as how they're the last of their race. We know Ten's views on genocide and how he'd rather keep a race alive with one survivor than do the deed and wipe 'em out for good. But still, unless there's some crazy Time Lord mating stuff involving spores or I don't know what, having two guys being the Last Of Their Race ain't gonna help things much.)


AWESOME: I liked the Professor. I really did. Then again, I also liked Mrs. Moore, so perhaps it's the archetype. The Doctor needs a companion as cool as either of them, even if the Professor was a turncoat by destiny.

WAIT, WHAT: How'd Martha know the Professor had a son who was somehow being mistreated or otherwise employed by the Master? And who the hell was the son, anyway? This wasn't Blink; there were no instructional DVDs hanging around. Did we have any mention of the son before the Betrayal scene? So why the hell should we care? Martha could have just as easily given herself up by taking off her TARDIS key and waving it around some Sphere Babies.

AWESOME: Ok, I really loved the Sphere Babies backstory. Didn't see it coming, thought it was great. I also enjoyed the interrogated Sphere Baby saying "Yeah, we like to kill" right before it gets a bullet between its puppet-controlled eyes. Human nature hadn't changed as much as we'd thought in a billion zillion years.

CRAPPY: Yet more Rusty-Brand Campy Villians, yet more Rusty-Brand Villians Who Look All Non-Threatening And Friendly Just Before They Turn Evil And Campy. This time, at least, the Master does evil shit while dancing about, instead of just dancing about while rubbing his hands gleefully together in anticipation of whatever evil thing he's about to do.

I'm conflicted with the Master's portrayal, actually. On the one hand, yes, it was over the top at points and his giggly smirky bullshit in Drums really got on my nerves. Oops, Mr. President, am I being a baaaaad boy? Tee hee hee! He did everything except stick his naughty pinky in his mouth and grin.

But on the other hand, consider: You're a youthful chap. You're hell-bent on conquering Earth and perhaps the rest of the universe while you're at it. And you've been driven absolutely bonkers because you stared into the Total Perspective Vortex when you were 8 years old and it stuck a song in your head. Wouldn't you start dancing around your Not-So-Secret lair once you'd conquered the planet, gleefully reveling in your triumph and your cleverness that got you where you were in the first place? Of course you would. Minions! Cater to my every whim! Bombadier! Let's find a target to nuke! I never did like Djibouti. Eunuchs! Bathe my entire harem and bring them to me!

See? You're being evil! It's fun!!

Near the beginning of Last, when the Master tastes the tea and spits it out, I expected him to kill the servant in cold blood -- until it was revealed that the servant was Forehead Mum.

AWESOME: Martha finally Getting Over Him. Her return to the TARDIS at the end was just great. His reaction confirmed it, too. Ten wasn't looking for Someone To Wuv anymore. Buoyed by the final words of the Face of Boe, he was looking for someone of his own kind. And even if that other one happened to be the Master, well by gum, it was still another Time Lord, and he couldn't let the penultimate Time Lord slip away...

But the Master did. For now, at least. He's not gone forever. Not with that ring shot after the Jedi funeral.

(by the way: "You are not alone" does not necessarily mean "There's one other time lord.")

CRAPPY: Captain Jack Face Of Boe Harkness. Oh, please. I don't care if Jack came from the Plains of Roshamboe or what the fuck to make it to Time School Academy University, I don't care if he's immortal and yeah, after 9 billion years look as good you will not, but JESUS H., RUSTY, YOU DON'T HAVE TO TIE EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN CHARACTER YOU LIKE TOGETHER.

I mean, really. The Face of Boe, right? Look at the name. It is a FACE. Of BOE. FACE OF BOE. Not FACE OF SOME GUY STILL GOING BY THE NICKNAME THE KIDS GAVE HIM IN SCHOOL. You can't tell me Rusty had this in mind alllllllll the way back to the second Eccleston episode. This is some serious-ass retcon and as I can't determine the motive behind doing this, I declare it Rubbish. It explains why the Face would have known about the Master, but why does the Face have to be Rusty's very own Mary Sue?

Oh, and there's already Wikipedia Weenieness afoot(TM) over whether or not their Face of Boe article should be merged with the article on Jack Harkness. While currently the "You're all nutters, don't merge the articles" vote is winning, I can't believe how far my eyes rolled at reading this. Come on, guys, don't you have anything better to do, such as attaching clothespins to the inside of your elbow or writing angry letters to the newspapers on yellow notepads?

This is a lot of snark. I am tired. Maybe I'll remember more stuff later. I dunno.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I woke up this morning, full of hope, knowing I had an all-new episode of Doctor Who to watch.

And then everybody had to clap their hands and believe in the Doctor or the planet would stay all bad and they'd have to live 300 to a flat and stuff.

Personally I was hoping the paradox was that the Toclafane were the people of Gallifrey and the Doctor would have to kill them all over again to get back at the Master.

Filming the Floating Doctor Jedi scene had to be a treat. "Wait, so I've changed from Gollum to Yoda/an Archon from StarCraft who can deflect lasers and stuff?"

I may have to go back and watch Blink. This was disappointing on so many levels.
Date:July 1st, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
How about Lucy shooting the Master? Did you only see that coming from, oh, the moment the Master vamped about his massage girl and hoping for threesomes? That was almost as unpredictable as when it will turn out that Lucy shot him so that he could return through mumblefootechbabble instead of being captive in The Doctor's ship.

I'm sorry to see Jack back with Torchwood. Yeah, he has a series, and it's inevitable, but Torchwood Jack is dull, and Jack's Torchwood is incompetent (maybe if they'd spend less time shagging each other...). The Face of Boe thing was amusing at first, but gets less likely the more I think about it.

I did like the dark tone the episode started with, even if it did flash "Undo Button Coming" in bright white letters. But really, didn't we know that was coming from the moment 10% of Earth's population died last week? Until they hit ctrl-Z, the episode did a good job of painting a brutalized planet lorded over by a gleeful maniac. It's an alternate universe or "the future that was" kind of glimpse -- intense to watch even though you know it's going to be wiped away by the end of the episode.

For the first 25 minutes, it was a good episode. Then The Prophet Martha testifies about the Doctor. Yawn, but okay, whatever, I've almost learned to tune out the crush. Then, Martha laughing in the face of death? That's kind of cool -- and ballsy, given how effing lame the real plan was. Then, 34 minutes in...JesusDoctor H. Christ on a Stick. You've written about how bad this was better than I could, but Good GodDoctor that was bad.

Another thing: the TARDIS must be in police box shape out of voluntary nostalgia now. Last week, the TARDIS was "permanently" fused so that it could only hop between the modern day and the year 100 Trillion. Then it was cannibalized to make a Paradox Machine. Then it was shot the hell up (BTW, just because Jack can't die doesn't mean he can get anywhere he wants -- he has some downtime between lives. Just shoot him as he recovers, and he'll be down again for a while. So how did he get past two Tochlewassnames to get into the TARDIS?). Then, without a word of explanation, it's back good as new at the end of the episode? The TARDIS was cannibalized before the US President (Elect?) was shot, so ctrl-Z didn't fix it. Did JesusThe Doctor pick up his supplies at Home Depot, or Microcenter? Or can his severed hand fix everything except, for some reason, the chameleon circuit?

I actually liked Simms' Master in this episode. He was a little less goofy, and a little more menacing.

After starting well, the whole thing went to the crapper fast. What a disappointing end to a very good season.
[User Picture]
Date:July 12th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
I am holding out hope that TW!Jack will be more fun now that he's worked out some issues with the Doctor? I hope?

I adore DW!Jack so very very much, enough to watch anything Captain Jack Harkness is in, but Torchwood Jack is just not the same.

My theory, which is probably not what the canon will be, is that the doctor did a poor job fixing the tardis at the end of the episode and that's why the fucking titanic crashed into it. Also, did they ever say how much time passed at the end?
[User Picture]
Date:July 2nd, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
That was a lot of snark, and I'm tired and haven't seen much of this series.

But, they've dealt with the language thing before. It was during the nine-ten handover finale. As long as The Doctor's fully-functioning, the TARDIS translates every language in the universe for him and his companion and his goldfish, presumably even if they're on the other side of the world.
[User Picture]
Date:July 2nd, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
We shall be seeing Russel T. Davies in hell, it would seem! I sort of hope this is true, even though it has appeared, as you say, that he has become more aware of his strengths and weaknesses of late.
[User Picture]
Date:July 3rd, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC)
Martha didn't say SHE knew about the professor's son, she said the RESISTENCE knew about the son, which is completely believable. Other than that - yeah, where was the vengeful God stuff?

I'm mostly disappointed that going for the Heart of the TARDIS and turning himself into a Vengeful God wasn't the very first thing he did. They could at least have explained why it was impossible.

(I did really like the "drums in his head" retcon, and now I want to watch some Ainley episodes with that in mind and enjoy his campy performance a lot more.)
[User Picture]
Date:July 4th, 2007 02:09 am (UTC)
We're 3 for 3 of season finales with nigh-infinite armies of hostile robots. Keep your eyes open for next year's robots of choice.

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