Sunday, October 26, 2014
In Which I Review Doctor Who (8x10)
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
--William Blake, The Tyger
All things in balance, eh? Love and hate, war and peace, beauty and horror, death and life. The tyger (er...tiger) is a creature of immeasurable beauty and grace and poise and it will tear out your throat and suck the marrow from your bones if given the opportunity. What sort of God would create such a world in which there is an undeniable existence of evil and violence but still so much regal splendor? That's some heavy philosophizing there, Doctor Who. The idea of balance and the examination of good/evil and the God who inhabits both are central to this weeks episode, "In the Forest of the Night." It wasn't as good as last week, to be honest. There's a lot to unpack in such a heavy episode that is simultaneously trying to give playful winks to your old favorite fairy tales, casting The Doctor, once more, as the wizard with a magical wand who, this time, realizes that the earth is saving itself. The heavy philosophical treatise coupled with the gentle fairy tale nudges were ultimately a problem because I wasn't sure how seriously to take this episode--are we really speculating on the Doctor's God like nature viz a viz Life that Prevails or were we supposed to laugh at the girl in the red coat being chased by a wolf leaving breadcrumbs in the form of modern day paraphernalia?
Miscellaneous Notes on In The Forest Of The Night
--Aright. Let's talk Missy. There were a lot of hints that Clara = Missy or that Missy = Clara. I don't know which and frankly, I don't care. When the little girl said that the "thought" she had to go and get the Doctor were from Miss, we all though she meant Clara because that's what her students call her. But given that neither Clara nor The Life That Prevails sent the Little Girl to the Doctor, that leaves only the demented Mary Poppins, Missy. I don't like this storyline. Maybe I'll like it more in the next two weeks when we finally get out answers but if Missy and Clara are the same I might throw a fit. Stop making Clara Oswald the single most important person that has ever lived. Missy could have been a villain from the past and I'd have been perfectly content: The Master, The Rani, hell, even Davros in a new woman suit. But to make Clara and Missy somehow linked and connected just sets my teeth on edge.
--Not a lot of funnies this week: "That's a draw back of being the last of your species. No one to ask when your TARDIS won't start."
--Why is a British kid wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap?
--Most of the child actors were a bit over the top.
--The ending was honestly one of the worst cliche Doctor Who endings I have ever seen. The daughter comes home and the magical fairy folk uncover her to the delight of her mother and sister? Wow. That's bubblegum sickly sweet even for Doctor Who. Though, I did enjoy this extra meta reference; I honestly expected the lost little fairy girl to say, "you can visit my forest again." (If you don't get this Secret of Kells reference, I pity you).
--"I am Doctor Idiot!"