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Doctor Who 4x01, "Partners in Crime"

Chronological list of Things:

Okay - first thing... new theme music. It's all big and orchestral. Now, I know that after writing that paper last term about the music of the original DW series I'm a little bit biased towards the way things used to be. It's just that the bigger and more orchestral the music on this series gets, the closer the show inches to an American science fiction thing. And sure, this DW has a bigger budget than the old stuff. The writing is head and shoulders above something like SG1, as well... it's just slipping further and further into a mainstream Hollywood thing rather than a quirky alternative regional thing.

Hee! Health and Safety! Health and Safety times two, it seems. Clever device, this double-investigating. Given what Donna says about having looked for the Doctor for so long, it's totally possible that she was at some or most of last season's London-bound events and managed to never quite catch up with the Doctor. There's shades of the episode with Sarah Jane Smith, though - which I suppose is why it takes so long for Donna and the Doctor to find each other. Meeting too soon would make it even more identical.

And now there's a Doctor in a projection booth! The film geek in me did a little happy dance with his "Health and safety. ...Film department." The Doctor can run my AV equipment any time. Though I wonder about what's actually being projected. I'd have to watch it again, but it sounds like they've put the noise of an actual film projector in there, but why would they have shot that stuff on film? It's kind of reacting like a digital presentation, which would make more sense.

Oooh, and the Doctor's got a new shirt and tie this season. I approve.

For a weight-loss company, I like that you can see a slightly chunky guy working the phones in one of the shots. Practice what you preach, people! Or maybe Space!Nanny doesn't want to use her own employees.

The Doctor's "No, I've met cat people..." made me go tee hee.

That's a cute little fat blob. Cute and friendly, too.

I also like that the boss-lady has a pair of identical mute bodyguard guys.

In the TARDIS when the Doctor's giving his explanation and he realizes he needs an audience... Oh, that tugs the heart-strings a bit.

Awesome fake-out with Penny-the-reporter in the stalls. Too bad Penny's a one-note bitch who doesn't get to do much in the episode but demand to a) know what the hell's going on or b) get untied. A cynic would suggest that the show used up its intelligent black character quota last season, but that would be mean, no? Instead, I'll say it used up its intelligent secondary character quota.

Dude, the Doctor has another new shirt and tie for the next day? Either in the Confidential episodes or the video diaries, David Tennant talked about his fights with the costume people over the lack of variety in his costumes. Looks like someone won a little battle.

MY GAWD. What a great way of staging that reunion moment. Love it to bits. I love Donna so very much. She's so excited. :D

Love this, too:
"How do you lose a planet?"
"Oh, politics are none of my concern..."

A return of the no second chances thing. Closely followed by a return of that same corridor...

K, I like how those little critters wave before they leave. Friendly little things!

OH MY GOD ROSE. (But does she know who Donna is? How much did she see? How long has she been watching? More importantly, DOESN'T SHE KNOW THAT MESSING WITH PARALLEL UNIVERSES CAUSES TEARS IN THE FABRIC OF SPACE AND TIME?!)

I'm no Rose-hater, but... the Doctor's grown a bit since she left. He's had the time to mourn and maybe even start to heal. Rose is obviously still stuck on him, and maybe a little put out now that Jackie and Pete have a new baby to raise together? Yeah, I'd be poking at the FABRIC OF SPACE AND TIME, too, if I wasn't mature enough to suck it up and accept I was pulled through to an alternate universe with people who loved me. And also zeppelins. Someone needs to grow up and not be quite so selfish. (If her poking at the fabric of space and time isn't motivated by some Dire Apocalypse, that is. Any other excuse and I'll be quite disapproving, Miss Tyler.)

More seriously, though- it's a real smart choice to have her show up at this point, because there'd be maybe three people left who'd not been spoiled for that particular casting rumour. Rather than waiting all season long for her to show up we get it over with. When the actual key episodes with its inevitable heart-rending reunion scene does air, the anticipation will be layered in canon, not in speculation. By which I mean... we'll be watching for her because the show told us to look for her, not because of something we read online.

And finally, we have a companion who thinks the Doctor's great and all, but like hell if she's not running the show. Donna's the crazy older sister, where Martha was the colleague and Rose was the One True Wuv or whatever you want to call it. Speaking as an older sister myself, I'm loving that the Doctor isn't traveling with someone who's too in awe of him.

She's totally the type of person to stare at a corner of the TARDIS with a shocked expression on her face, pointing and gaping until he runs every diagnostic he can think of to find out WHAT THE HELL IS SHE LOOKING AT and the discover her doubled over with silent, gasping laughter. She's going to drive him nuts. Heeheheheh.

Next week in Pompeii, eh? Now, if I recall correctly, back when the Doctor first met Captain Jack, the good Captain boasted about being at Pompeii just before "volcano day".

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-06 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was totally thinking "JACK!!" from his slip in 'Boom Town' about Pompeii. LOL.

'Fraid I'm a big Rose/Doctor shipper, though... so I have to say I'm glad she's back. however, I think that by having her "fade" means she managed to travel between the universes or is maybe more of a projection than ripping fabric/space. She works for Torchwood, right? And she was there in Cardiff when the rif opened. Maybe they'll go with the uber-fanficy "Bad Wolf" scenario with it still in her and controlling things? I bet the words will show up again... epsecially towards the end of the series.

I LOVE Donna. I know tons of people were all like "Ew, Catherine Tate" but she's totally won me over. I quite like that she's not taking his slack but that she's understanding and knows where she stands with him. I guess it's part of my Rose-love, too, so... Martha did grate on me since I thought her so strong and independent but... at the same time... oh well.


It was fantastic, wasn't it? :D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-06 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The thing with Rose/Doctor shipping (and I say this with caution, 'cause I know you're loyal to your pairings) is that it worked. Key there is the past tense. Yeah, they were cute together, they had a simpatico, and they could tear around the universe like a couple of kids skipping school.

The problem (or rather, as [ profile] serrico says in her comment, "reservations") I have with bringing her back is that there's nothing good that can come of it. For one, it's already been established that travel between parallel universes is a Very Bad Idea - and working for Torchwood is no evidence of being able to manipulate supernatural phenomena.

For two, the Doctor has had time to mature and heal after losing her, and if Rose is still fighting to get back to him yeah, that's romantic and all, but if she can't accept that it's over, she's going to turn into that crazy ex who keeps phoning every day and following him to work and trying to bring over pizza in evenings and ignoring her family to resurrect something that died an early death.

My point is: if there isn't a damn good reason for her to be prodding at the FABRIC OF SPACE AND TIME, it's going to look damn selfish. And that I can't forgive.

I think Donna was exactly what the Doctor needed after he lost Rose - someone who didn't think he was fantastic (...after Nine regenerated, that's gotta give a girl some complex: she can never lose him 'cause he's immortal! YAY!), someone who wasn't in awe of him and someone who didn't assume he knew everything. And now she's baaaaack. Bwahaha!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-06 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No, no, fair enough point. You're right, past tense, it did work. And it's hard to go back once it's done and you thought you'd never see that person again. Although, out of this that I'd like to see (because Billie Piper isn't coming back) is an "actual" and not cheaply done goodbye between the two. And, of course, if there was someone for Rose in her universe that kinda looked like that Doctor. That would be lovely. :D

turn into that crazy ex who keeps phoning every day and following him to work and trying to bring over pizza in evenings and ignoring her family

I thought that was Martha... or Gwen... or Suzie... :P I see your point, but for me, it's nice to see her back, even if something happens or not because I did like her character, giant flaws and all. What I liked most about the episode though was Donna and the Doctor and their interactions. Muuuuch nicer to see someone who doesn't fall for the Doctor (Lynda, Reinette [and even though those two dated I so didn't see chemistry], etc).

Also: the fat. Was it just me or were you thinking demented, creepy marshmallow babies??

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-08 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I quite liked the goodbye that Rose got - I mean, she got a second chance at a goodbye rather than getting sucked into another dimension justlikethat. Yeah, it sucked for them, but it worked for the narrative. All I'm saying is after such a good exit, Rose had better have one damn good reason for showing up.

I thought the fat was really quite adorable - not demented or creepy at all. Twisted, yeah, but not at all sinister.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-06 09:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I *could not* look at the Fat Blobbles without giggling. They're just so damn *cute* and *friendly* and *ludicrous*! AND! There's one amongst the multitudes waddling on the street that doesn't so much waddle as *skip*, which, I'm sorry, but that blobble is *adorable*, and I want an icon. (You just *know* there's some computer effects guy who made the Skipping Blobble one night while high on Red Bull after having put in some insane amount of overtime. And you *know* he adored making that Skipping Blobble!)

I also like the vibe Donna brings (especially since it's just slightly...modulated...from the vibe she had in 'Runaway Bride'). I can buy that she tried to change the way she said she would, then got caught up by the real world practicalities that apply when the Doctor's not involved; that's how life tends to be when you don't have a hot guy in a magical box making things happen for you. *g*

I was also surprised that the Rose thing happened this early--but, like you, I am also pleased and relieved that it's out of the way. (I also have the same reservations you do. HOLES IN THE FABRIC OF TIME AND SPACE MIGHT BRING BACK THE CYBERMEN AND DALEKS, ROSE.)

Overall, I am happier than I expected to be! Donna is not as all-powerfully awesome as Martha, but I think I will enjoy her.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-06 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Okay - there's an extras video on the site that you need to see. If you thought the CG wibbly-wobbly fat-made blobbly was cute, wait until you see what looks like the hand-knit stand-in they used for shooting. So! Cute! (Also there's a commentary where they explain why the newspaper-seller from "Voyage of the Damned" is Donna's grandad.)

Modulated. Yeah, that's a good word for it. With Rose, Martha and Astrid, (and, like, every other companion) they get caught up in the Doctor's adventure and then ride that heady buzz into however many episodes' worth of adventure. Donna, however, was a victim first, reluctant (very reluctant) companion later, and she's had real time to consider what it was she gave up when she decided to stay at home.

Oh, Rose. The more I think about it, the more selfish and stalkery it seems. She just shows up to stare longingly at the Doctor? How fucked-up is that? And is life with a loving and supportive family who're leading a global fight against Cybermen really so dull and uninspiring? I think the character is supposed to be around 21, which is well old enough to get over herself and suck it up. And I like Rose, I really do - I hope this isn't character assassination.

Donna sure isn't another Martha, but what she may lack in pure awesome, she makes up for in the biggest walking piss-take cum reality check the Doctor's ever met. I can't wait to see how their first proper adventure together pans out (I mean, aside from the volcano). She's got that big-sisterliness about her.... bwahaah. (I think that Tate is a few years older than Tennant, too.)

And what was the Doctor's comment about how he'd ruined Martha's life forever? Did I miss-hear that?

(Just heard on the radio that Charlton Heston died last night.)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-07 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've seen the little plushy stand-ins! They are, indeed, adorable. (Miss Foster certainly seemed to enjoy them. :)

Donna, however, was a victim first, reluctant (very reluctant) companion later, and she's had real time to consider what it was she gave up when she decided to stay at home.

Yes; I like that aspect of her. It's kind of Sarah Jane-ish, only without the baggage and Rose-reflecting undercurrents of emotional DOOM. (And with the fun reality-check/big sister aspect you mentioned. 'Cause, really...Ten needs to be a part of that kind of dynamic, at this point.)

I am reserving judgment on Rose until I have more information about a) how she's able to make these incursions, b) why she's making these incursions, and c) what the eventual result of these incursions will be. I mean, I love Martha, but I do like Rose, too--I don't want to dislike her return.

And what was the Doctor's comment about how he'd ruined Martha's life forever? Did I miss-hear that?

You misheard it a little bit: he said he ruined half her life. Which is true, given what most of her family went through. (I LOVE that he regrets the whole Martha situation, and can admit it to himself as well as to others. Respect Martha, dude!)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-08 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Between [ profile] firstgold, [ profile] piratefanatic and the intarwebs, I will learn how to make one of those cute things. So cute! I'm happy that the first episode wasn't full of epic life-or-death nasty-nasty villains, but was more cute than anything else. That means nothing bad is going to happen this season, right? Right??

I don't want to dislike Rose, either. In uncertain hands it could be so dreadful. Hell, Torchwood could find lots of ways to fuck it up. If (as [ profile] firstgold suggests) she's trying to warn the Doctor about something - Sontarans, perhaps - than that's I guess okay. But any personally-motivated DOOM-stuff will be not good. Also I like your use of "incursions". Good word. Five points!

Ruined half her life, okay. I do hope we get some follow-up on her family at some point. I agree: it's great that he's taking some responsibility for what happened. Respect Martha!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-08 12:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The adipose things were SO CUTE! I'm gonna knit myself one. Heee!

Also - I loved the lip reading conversation Donna and the Doctor had. Oh man. Loved it to bits!

I am looking forward to having Rose back, even if it turns into petualant "OMG U R MAI TWU WUV" stuff. But I am going to be confident that it doesn't and that there is Something Big going on in the parellel universe that will impact Rose's Original Universe, and she is trying to find a way to get a message to the Doctor. *nods*

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-08 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awesome! I want to make one, too. I think I loved their little webbed fingers the best of all.

The lip-reading flailing conversation went just brilliantly – and I’m glad that reunion happened through glass, ‘cause everyone knew what she was going to say and this way they got some great comedy beats out of it. And besides: how many times do you get mime on prime-time?

I think the only way I’d accept Rose messing with space and time is if there’s a damn good reason. Like to warn the Doctor about the Sontarans, or something. But if I was the Doctor I’d be so annoyed if she broke reality just because she wanted her old life back. No matter how much I loved someone, there’s shit that’s just unforgivable.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-08 04:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]


Have skivved off a bit of class, austensibly to be productive before I leave for Conference of DOOOOM tomorrow morning. Ended up watching Who. And yeah. I've been so stuck in my studious things lately that I really haven't seen or read anything. Which means Rose was a HYUGE surprise. In fact, my thought process was kinda like this:
"Teehee. Donna's "it'll make sense" line makes me giggle, because I can just imagine the expression on the blond chick's face. Aww, the blond. Aww, Rose. That chick could totally be Rose. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IZ ROSE!!!!!" And then I chewed on my thumbs.

I haven't exactly had time (or brainpower) to process the entire ep and haven't even touched this whole Rose-is-back thing. But. FATS WITH FEET! So adorable! I wants one for me. Once I finish this owl, I may have to curl up with pictures and knitting needles. Because I want a Fats with Feet.

I want to see Donna doing your whole stare at the corner thing, because yes. So much yes. And the audience-less explanation? *sniffle*

Also, his rebound at the very end after that slightly awkward conversation with Donna about the lack of sexing-- moar sad Doctor! His "I'm happy again suddenly, see?" faces ended up playing (to me) as more of a "I'll pretend that this arrangement is what I really wanted and I'll stop thinking about how I really just want my Wun Twu Wuv." He went from Emotional Wreck to Grinning Goofball in a matter of seconds, and I hold that DT is a strong enough actor to make that choice intentional.

That was clunky. My point: DT is a strong actor, and he doesn't usually go from SadFace to HAPPYFACE that fast unless he has a reason.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-08 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*ducks from the wooooosh of squee*

I still can't believe you'd missed that Rose spoiler. Yikesamundo! (But then, I tend to have a spoiler-magnet on the back of my head that so I know how TW s2 ends even though I've about five episodes left to go.) Still. It's so cool that she's back now. She's her own Bad Wolf, I guess...

Fats with Feet FTW. So freaking cute.

If Donna doesn't give us a few practical jokes I'll be disappointed. Sure, she can give him the reality check, but will she be the first companion who's so not cowed by the Doctor that she'll actually goof with him?

I'll have to watch that scene again, but I know it was a bit... off... for me, too. On the other hand, Giving a Big Grin and Dealing With Shit is kind of his thing.
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