Sunday, September 20, 2015
In Which I Review Doctor Who (9x1)
Missy certainly seems to think so, eh? Also, hello Missy. I'm not sure how you're back (but then again, I was never sure how you came back last season, so we'll quibble over that later). Missy spends much of this episode being exasperated that Clara would question the friendship between herself and the Doctor because all they do is try to attack, harm, and generally kill each other. To Missy, that's what friendship is. For Clara, friendship is simple. It can be put into a box of correct and right actions and anything that does not fit into that box is equated to being, simply, not a friend. Missy constantly trying to kill the Doctor? Not friendship. But for Missy, and it turns out to the Doctor as well, friendship is infinitely more complex than a set of correct and right actions. This goes back to what I was stressing above; the relationship between hero and enemy is born out of necessity; you cannot have one without the other in this cosmic chess game. There might be hatred and ill will toward the other party, but there is an understanding that you need each other. The hero creates the villain just as the villain creates the hero. It's not love, really, but something higher, something that Clara (and perhaps, really, humanity) cannot grasp because we see heroes and villains, light and dark, right and wrong as two separate, binary entities. But those concepts, especially in modern media and fiction, are far more complicated and it's our inability to see those complexities that lead to hostility, racism, sexism, and prejudices. Missy is "evil" because she opposes the Doctor, right? Then why is she trying to save The Doctor, especially under the headline that she's his best friend? Because they need each other; but that doesn't mean she's crossed into the light--she'll still kill the guards standing 'round. We are complex creatures and the threads between us and the rest of our kind are infinitely more complex than we could ever hope to conceive.
--If the Doctor is the Magician, then is Davros his apprentice?
--"Survival is just a choice."
--There were a ton of callbacks to the classical era (hi, Tom Baker and Genesis of the Daleks!) and the pre-Moffat regenerated era, including the Ood, the Jadoon, and the Shadow Proclamation (they've redecorated. I don't like it...)
--Clara should give up teaching and go work for UNIT. It gives her the rush she craves without having to leave her home or time period.
--"Not dead. Back. Big surprise. Never mind."
--The Doctor. In Essex. In 1138. On a tank. With a guitar. I have missed you, Doctor Who.
--"I am a dragon slaying...." "DUUUUUUUUUDE"
--Speaking of classic heroes, I got a strong whiff of Norse mythology when the Snake Alien was tying up the Doctor with one of his slithering friends. Very Thor and Jormungandr, the latter of whom often represents the idea of cyclical history and birth/death/rebirth, an ouroboros, a theme we're seeing play out.
--"I was right to create the Daleks." "You were very wrong." "This is the fight we've had since we met..."