Sunday, May 07, 2006

Have you met the French?

What a beautiful episode - though the Dr denies that the posh frocks and cleavage qualify it as costume porn.

(Afterwards, she got to watch Sense and Sensibility (for its healing qualities), and I teased her about the Alan Rickman thing. You know, where he runs down a corridor like someones pulling at a string tied to his... breeches.)

The Girl in the Fireplace reminded me, probably inevitably, of Casanova - the style, the pace, the sexual frission of court, and the unavoidable end of the party... Loved how scary and funny it was by turns, and every line part of the ultimate, clever resolution. It's nice the audience gets an answer that the Doctor misses out on. And yes, bananas are good.

Two things struck me watching it that then didn't happen.

1. This was the first time we've ever seen Dr Who drunk.
Actually, it turns out he's pretending. We already know the Doctor can handle his booze: the Twin Dilemma referred back to the fourth Doctor's drunken antics (though onscreen he was only drinking ginger ale), and we've seen him drink wine several times.

On the intoxicants front, he also started out as a smoker (he's landed in trouble when a caveman sees him lighting a pipe with "his fingers" (actually a match). And the Left-Handed Hummingbird (a book from the days when Dr Who really wasn't for children) has him take some magic drugs that will let him get to the baddie. We also know, though that what with his alien physiognomy, an aspirin could kill him. Which might explain why he's soft on the boozing.

2. He takes the long way round
For a minute, I thought he was really going to hang around for 3,000 years and catch up with Rose and Mickey the slow way. He's a Time Lord, he can do that. Again, the books had him stuck on Earth for a century waiting for his mates to turn up, and it's the sort of huge and mad idea New Show has made work so well (just like, "It's not 12 hours, it's 12 months... Sorry.")

These aren't criticisms - I just can't really think of anything else to say.

The Dr (my Dr) is out of plaster, but has her foot strapped up for at least a week, and could be on crutches for four. We dared to have lunch in Beckenham, just to get her out of the flat for a bit. That's worn her out for the day. Cheers for all the messages (and hello to everyone who's found this blog via the mail she sent round herself). Will keep yous posted.

Right, back to my Benny homework.

3 comments:

Scottie said...

It was an interesting episode, wasn't it? Stunningly well-made and beautifully directed, with top performances from everyone involved. Although, for some reason, something niggles me about it... and I'm not sure why!

At first I thought it might be Sophia Myles. Don't get me wrong, she delivers a fine performance throughout, but she lacks the charisma that a character such as hers needed. I didn't dislike her by any means, but I also feel that, for the Doctor to really fall for someone the way he does, she needed to be a bit more engaging and thrilling. Maybe she'll grow on me, but it just seemed a case of too much, too soon and that the Doctor was falling for her reputation rather than the woman herself. Heyho...

I also feel, whilst the episode was very well scripted, the plot had been neglected somewhat. This isn't to say that Mr Moffat's a bad writer - far from it - just that everything in the first thirty minutes or had a specific purpose in setting up the story's resolution. Which is fine if they operate on further levels but, for me, that was all there was to them. And so, yes, whilst it did treat us to a hugely clever and satisfying, well-thought-out climax, it meant that everything early on suffered in order to get there.

But hey, I've only watched it the once. Maybe now I know where it's going, I'll be able to enjoy it even more. And for the record, despite the above reservations, the final ten minutes or so of the episode were absolutely beautiful to watch. Euros Lyn and Steven Moffatt, eh?!

Glad I'm not the only one to come across all Casanova either...!

Jonny Morris said...

Doctor Who is rather tired and emotional at the end of The Androids of Tara Part one.

He also has a hangover in 'Slipback' but that not on telly.

Philip said...

He gets completely plastered with Kadiatu in Transit, as well.