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16 September 2012 @ 03:10 pm
7x03 A Town Called Mercy  
I guess I should post about this episode.

This is easily my least favourite Whithouse effort, which is unfortunate because Toby Whithouse was my one hope for a good final Pond ep. I was disappointed I think even though I had my bar set really low. I dunno.

This episode was about MORALITY and JUSTICE and all these big ideas that usually interest me but did not in this episode. I don't know why, exactly. Maybe the story just wasn't well-crafted. Maybe I'm just too beyond giving a shit about Eleven. I dunno. I thought Matt was pretty good -- I liked how he played the Doctor's anger, even if I'm not sure the script properly built up to the Doctor's anger. The same applies to the gun -- if you want me to buy the Doctor picking up a gun you've got to really work for it and I don't know if this episode did.

Gunslinger looked like Kickpuncher. His punches have the power of kicks!

The "Susan" joke was blech. Even if it was just meant to be that the horse liked the name Susan and not some kind of gross joke about trans people, it wasn't very funny; it's a repeat of the Stormageddon joke and that joke wasn't very funny. Also, the idea that the Doctor can talk to animals is so fucking stupid I have no choice but to believe he's lying, and that means I have no choice but to believe the Doctor thought this horse gender identity joke was super hilarious. So... okay.

I think two things stuck out the most for me and kind of ruined this episode. The first is that the Doctor is 1200 now. That means THREE HUNDRED YEARS have passed since "The God Complex". Not even just since, like, Ten + Rose + the people I care about. Since The God Complex! THREE HUNDRED YEARS have passed in THE LAST SIX EPISODES. The fuck? So in THREE HUNDRED YEARS, the Doctor hasn't picked up any other companions, or gotten over the Ponds, or even changed dramatically as a person. In that time, he's only had SIX adventures important enough for us to witness them. In THREE HUNDRED YEARS. This is such bullshit, like -- lol. Why should I give a shit that the Doctor is going to lose Amy + Rory in a couple episodes if he clearly doesn't need them around? Why should I feel bad about this guy being alone if he's alone by choice all the time anyway and nothing bad happens?

Whatever, that's just like, complaint #235939 about how Eleven is characterized, so what else is new.

The second complaint is "why are the Ponds even here?" Like, seriously, why are they still in the story? What did they add to this episode? Amy was important for about 3 minutes of screentime in which she yelled at the Doctor for travelling alone, and Rory had about five lines in this episode total. Amy's shoes could've been filled by basically anyone, especially since it was really Ben Browder's death that threw Eleven over the edge, not Amy's words. This story didn't do anything for Amy or Rory as characters.

This kind of thing is okay if it's ep 3 of a regular season, but when it's ep three out of five that you've added as a kind of epilogue for these characters, it should be doing something. We have learned fuck all about the Ponds as people in these three episodes so far. They've brought next to nothing to the story and have barely changed, if at all, stupid manufactured baby-drama aside. I don't care that much about the Ponds, but I still think it's a shame that these characters we've now had longer than any other New Who companions have become glorified props in their final episodes.
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Kali: dw :: amy/rory :: i waited for you_thirty2flavors on September 16th, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC)

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demented & sad, but socialpapilio_luna on September 16th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
A+ would lol again
anna_sg1: fs - john/aerynanna_sg1 on September 16th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
I seriously can't with these huge time skips. I mean, I get that ~time is relative~ and the Doctor now has adventures without his companions more that he has them WITH his companions but this is ridiculous! 300 YEARS. Just why the fuck should I care??

If they knew they'd get rid of the Ponds half-way through s7 why even have the last few minutes of The God Complex then? Amy and Rory could've just stayed in the Tardis with him. Makes no difference - at least we wouldn't have these unrelatable centuries passing by. IDGI

Pressed about Ben Browder dying half way through but that's just my inner Farscape fangirl talking. XD

Edited at 2012-09-16 08:11 pm (UTC)
Kali: comm :: inspector! blorgons!_thirty2flavors on September 16th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
Right? It's the writer's way of shorthanding that time has passed but using numbers in the HUNDREDS is just stupid. If it were only a couple years here or there the point would get across and it would still be a change from Ten but it wouldn't be quite so unbelievably stupid.

Yeah they could've... lol. The Doctor wants to "save them" in God Complex but can't commit so he keeps popping back for them anyway. So it will be his OWN DAMN FAULT when tragedy strikes in episode 5.
Katherine: Idris TARDISspicandspan89 on September 16th, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah this was by far Whithouse's weakest offering. And ITA about the Ponds... they had NOTHING to do. I did like the reference to motherhood, but coming on the heels of the awfulness in AOTD it felt really weird. If they had mentioned River at all in AOTD then this would have flowed better.

The Susan thing... IDK. On the heels of Oswin's ~phase~ comment.... not loving it. Also, I'm not well versed in trans issues, but shouldn't the Doctor have referred to Susan as a "she"? lol the Doctor fails at PC.
Kali: dw :: teamtardis :: only take the best_thirty2flavors on September 17th, 2012 12:23 am (UTC)
Yeah and like ... lol... I don't know it would've been interesting if that spawned a reaction in Amy but instead it was just there to further the "are you a father?" "in a manner of speaking yes I am a father to a race of robot killers" foreshadowing stuff. It wasn't really about Amy being a mother. So... whatever.

Yeah I mean if we're supposed to believe the horse is trans (ugh) then you'd think the horse would also want to be "she". If it was just that the horse wants to be named Susan they could've phrased it another way -- the "respect his life choices" thing seems like a bit of a dig. All in all, the fuck was the whole bit about?
demented & sad, but socialpapilio_luna on September 17th, 2012 12:13 am (UTC)
Apparently it's also time for Round 5976 of Doctor + Guns Y/N? The answer to which is of course "Has he and does he? Who cares because he's more interesting as a contemporary fictional hero when he doesn't."

I could give zero fucks about the canonicity of guns. I have a few fucks to spare for character continuity vis a vis guns (because let's face it, as execrable as many things about that episode are, the "man who never would" speech is fairly clear on Ten's stance on the issue). The rest of my fucks are reserved for whether or not the Doctor remains an interesting character if he's just like, "I use guns now, guns are cool."
Kali: dw :: jenny :: awful lot of running_thirty2flavors on September 17th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
Apparently it's also time for Round 5976 of Doctor + Guns Y/N?

I HATE THIS GAME. I hate having to listen to a billion people explain how One cracked a rock over someone's head and Five held a gun and blah blah oh my god I don't care. Toby Whithouse himself said that he knew he had to do a lot of work to get the Doctor to a place emotionally where he'd pick up a gun -- personally I do not feel he got the job done but even the writer is aware that this is a thing you have to work towards.

Anyway like you I think it's more interesting to avoid the use of all guns all the time. I don't really buy that this particular scenario was SO MEANINGFUL IMPORTANT that it pushed Eleven to that point, but whatever, Eleven's a mess anyway.
Rosa | ¯\(ºдಠ)/¯rosaxx50 on September 29th, 2012 10:33 pm (UTC)
There were two things I liked about this episode

- "It would be so much easier if I were just one thing", which was a nice line, I thought, without excusing in any way what the scientist did

- ~*~The Gunslinger~*~. Look I just read book 2 of Stephen King's Gunslinger saga ok and the reference cracked me up a bit. I'm pretty sure 90% of my liking for this is through fandom transference issues, because I still hold out hope that one of the characters in another main fandom of mine, who is currently out being a psychopathic avenger, realises he's a protector instead. Otherwise I would be hugely annoyed at how quickly everyone in the town seemed to accept the ALIEN THAT WAS TERRORIZING THEM AND KILLED THEIR SHERIFF as the new sheriff.

I didn't actually mind the comment on Amy's baby so much. i felt like it was the first time this season that her ability to have children and/or motherhood was discussed outside the context of her relationship with Rory. Annoyed that this theme about ~women are either hypersexualised or Mothers~ keeps cropping up, but at least it came out of the mouth of someone who showed a terrible judge of character? (The only way I can rationalize it, yes.)

Still, this is a far cry from School Reunion's glory, where Sarah-Jane was at least given great attention, unlike the few minutes the Ponds were allowed to have.