Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dear Impossible Girl,

We've solved your existence. More or less. Now I'm half-certain that I must go and rewatch the past half-season. How am I supposed to divine the emotional thread of these things if I don't line them up end to end to analyze? This whole one-every-week thing is a nice way to watch TV, but nice apparently doesn't do it for me. I must be immersed.

And yes, I'm also the kind of person who, when I get a good novel,  will stay up all night to finish it.

My thoughts on season seven part two (without divulging spoilers):

We had an over arching question -- how is the Impossible Girl possible? -- which we answered in the final episode of the season. Not to say that there aren't going to be more impossible attributes to her existence, but we did learn her origin. But we really didn't chip away at that question except in the very final episode. Personally, I was hoping for more hints, I was hoping to chip away the way we did when we got to see Rose Tyler calling out to the Doctor in her failed attempts to punch through dimensions, then her discussion with Donna, eventually heralding her actually punching through dimensions.

The end of season seven poses loads of new questions, all of which make me very excited for season eight. Of course the existence of Clara as posed by the season seven Christmas special made me very excited and well ... it sort of panned out. The final two episodes were great. The stuff in the middle of the season? ... I guess every season needs filler. Like that episode with Rose and the 10th Doctor about the support group that got assimilated into the alien's body fat. Yeah, could have done without that one too.

When people raved about Neil Gaiman's "The Doctor's Wife" a few seasons ago I raised an eyebrow -- but Mr. Gaiman has redeemed and outdone himself with "Nightmare in Silver." Not only has he upgraded Cybermen back into the realm of scary but he gives as a brilliant statement from the Cyber Planner: (to paraphrase) you may have erased yourself from history, Doctor, but there's much to be learned from the shape of the hole you've made. 

Now that's cool.

We finally get sense made of the stupid leaf. The leaf was cool when it was in her book. It was stupid when it was fed to a giant planet-ish vampire. Now, come the end of the season, we understand the leaf's importance ... but it was still stupid in episode two. A bit like Rose Tyler using Bad Wolf to keep herself from burning up in the second episode then sitting on it until the finale when she realizes what it means. Although in this case I guess she was always supposed to have known what it meant, we just weren't really privy to an understanding of that information? Maybe? I feel like I'm reaching here.

Two other interesting revelations which I'm still teasing out -- and since these do have spoilers, I'm putting a cut, which you'll have to click on to read more ... unless you came to this page via direct link, in which case: ahoy! spoilers ahead!

The Doctor's relationship with Clara ratchets up a notch in "Nightmare in Silver." There are things said when the Doctor's brain is being semi-controlled -- that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the very end of the episode, and the fact that the Doctor has a long standing habit of not seeing his companions as relationship material until someone else does. The Doctor was more like a father figure to Rose so long as her boyfriends were inept fools, but as soon as Captain Jack came on the scene, that all changed. The Doctor brought Rory on the Tardis to stop Amy Pond from making another move on him, but as soon as Rory starts to prove himself, the Doctor forces "Amy's Choice." Clara receives a marriage proposal from someone who can give her the universe -- someone other than the Doctor -- and the Doctor is quick to try and intervene. If I've read all the signs right, this is the potential turning point. Allons-y!

But isn't he married to River Song?

Maybe. Sort of. Time travel does a real number on marriages. And then there's the "Name of the Doctor" (final episode) assertion that we're more or less in a post-River timeline now. But there are all these great link with Clara hints of mysteries waiting to be solved. What is River's link with Clara? And if we're at a time when we're dealing with post-Library River, then why hasn't River faded as the Doctor suspected she would?

Although I cry foul on that notion of fading! But that's only because of some behind-the-scenes commentary from one of the writers saying "if you're dead and the choice is between oblivion and eternity in the world's greatest library..." implying, of course, that the "saving" process didn't allow for fade once she'd been uploaded. But interviews aren't canon. Hell, it's Doctor Who -- is there actually a canon that can't be rewritten?

Highly Recommended