Doctor Who: Sat 29th May • 31 May 2010 • The SnowBlog
Doctor Who: Sat 29th May
Well, frankly I'm at a loss to explain it, but for whatever reason I've rather enjoyed this recent Dr Who two-parter. I even (brace yourselves) even found myself thinking Matt Smith was doing a good job on a couple of occasions. Small things, like there were a couple of jokes that I felt he delivered with a flourish rather than stepped on. And big things, like when he was supposed to be feeling a particular emotion I (gasp) quite often got a sense that he actually was. Really, I don't approve of burning through most of a season before you begin to find your feet, but this double ep was the first time I didn't find myself hoping they'd replace MS for 2011. If I had to put my finger on it, I'd say that he'd finally managed to conjure up a little gravitas (presumably not easy for someone in their mid-twenties). And while there were all sorts of things wrong with the story - emotionally, logically and dramatically - the whole wheezing contraption still somehow swept me along with it. I suspect I might be in the minority with that reaction but I'd rather it was this way round than be left out in the cold. [keep reading for more spoilery thoughts] I have to say I won't miss Rory. He was amusing as a character, but it was difficult to root for him. As a partner for Amy he was so openly insecure and suspicious. As a member of the team he was the one who always seemed to be saying 'hold on, I don't understand' or who'd be grumping because either the Doctor or Amy was doing something heroic. And as for his practical skills, there's comedy fighting to add to his yet-to-be-demonstrated-and-now-never-will-be nursing know-how. He tells Tony Mack he can help, but only has time to dab once at his infected green veins before he's distracted. And maybe three seconds after telling Alaya that she won't die because he'll save her, she dies. Plus he's spokesman for humanity for all of about ten seconds, in which time he's basically just confused. And did he save the Doctor or just get himself killed? I suppose it was the former, but I could never quite believe that Amy, who's chock-full of daring and humour, intelligence and confidence would plan to spend the rest of her life with someone so timid and disapproving. Which undercuts his loss rather. If instead of joking about it, they'd actually made Rory into Amy's nervous brother who she promised to keep out of trouble, I think I'd be rather sad about his loss. But still, no one deserves to be erased from history and have their fiancée forgot they were ever there.
Nice touch, though, having a scorched lump from the Tardis as a clue for what's going on with the crack in time. Presumably the reason that the crack pops up everywhere our heroes (and their transport) do is that they're somehow involved with its creation. I hope the Doctor isn't reduced to travelling on foot after this season. Plus, with the continued references to unseen parts of the Tardis (the library, the sick-bay, the swimming pool, the kettle) I hope we'll get a glimpse of some of that soon. I've been waiting to see more of the Tardis since 1976 when the Doctor switched to using the alternate control room for a while (before then I'd assumed the Tardis was all one room, rather than a vast and intriguing labyrinth).