OMFG do I hate weaving in ends. It’s easily my least favorite part of knitting. And when you’re knitting a 20ish foot scarf with oodles of stripes, there are oh-so-many ends to weave in. We hates it. And no, lest you think I somehow have managed to complete the behemoth task that is knitting this scarf, I am definitely not finished. I have vague (and horrible) recollections of the mind-numbing boredom brought on by weaving in the ends of the season 12 scarf I knitted for my mom a few years ago. I thought I would be terribly clever and try to weave in the ends chunk by chunk this time. I still think it’s a good idea–in theory anyway.
Good idea or not, I’ve learned a few things tonight. One, don’t start weaving in ends after you’ve already taken your melatonin for the night. Two, make sure you have a really good light source. (I currently don’t.) Three, it’s probably not a great idea to tackle something you detest when you’ve been in a cranky mood for the bulk of the day. I know these all sound like no-brainers–probably because they are. Oy. I have no excuse.
(Note: SPOILERS ahead, so Mom, if you haven’t caught up yet…well, gosh darn it, get on the stick! Series 6 is great. You and Dad need to get there!)
So while I was enduring the nightmare that is end-weaving, Matt Smith and his “time team” were enduring nightmares of their own. I hadn’t seen this episode since it first aired, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t remember much about it. All I did remember was that it made me feel a little annoyed, disturbed, and uncomfortable. I didn’t really remember why. Now I suppose I do.
My first problem with this episode is the idea that Amy might choose the Doctor–and I mean that in some sort of romantic way. I’ve never felt comfortable with the Doctor as a sexual character, so the thought that his companion sees him as such just makes me feel sick inside. And yes, I’ve dealt with this problem throughout new Who. I try to ignore it as best I can, but in this episode, it’s pretty central, so it’s more difficult to do that.
I think the other reason I find this episode disturbing is the fact that it’s all about choice. I am notoriously indecisive. Watching an entire episode that’s about not just any choice, but probably the most important one Amy has made in her life, well that made me feel a little sick inside too. And yes, I fully admit that this particular issue has everything to do with me and nothing to do with the episode itself.
Maybe more than anything else though, I struggle with the Dream Lord as the dark side of the Doctor. It makes perfect sense, but it’s hard to stomach. I get that there’s a lot of self-loathing seething under the surface. That seems only natural for someone who survived the Time War and saw/caused the end of his entire species. But I grew up with the-Doctor-as-a-bright-shiny-hero. And yes, I realize that wasn’t always the case even in classic Who, but I started watching pre-kindergarten, when I was too young to spot the lurking darkness, and as the Head & Shoulders ads used to say, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” The shiny-happy-Doctor will live forever in my heart. Add to that the fact that I’ve spent plenty of real-world time watching amazing, worthy people hating and destroying themselves, and I guess you just have a recipe for a gigantic turn-off of an episode for Erika.
Which is really too bad, because this is an excellent episode. It’s well-written, well-directed, and well-acted. There are some great lines–for example, Amy saying “If we’re gonna die, let’s die looking like a Peruvian folk band.” (See the photo above.) It’s a great idea for a story–toying with the nature of reality, and the back-and-forth between the “realities” is handled very well. Matt Smith (as always) is wonderful as he realizes who the Dream Lord really is. He turns in a performance with such depth! I want to like it. I really do! Perhaps someday, when I’ve exorcised some of my own personal demons, I’ll be able to do just that.
Until then, I’ll just continue weaving in these ends. Le sigh.