Doctor Who: In The (Rebel) Flesh (w/Commentary)

“The Rebel Flesh”–how appropriate.  My flesh tonight is certainly in rebellion, considering that it’s midnight & I should have been asleep hours ago. Apparently, that’s what happens when you sleep in until 1:45pm.  That, in turn, is apparently what happens when you stay up until 4 in the morning. Cause and effect: it’s neat!

“In the flesh” is appropriate because I’m in the midst of preparations for Chicago TARDIS! That’s where I’ll get to meet some of my Doctor Who twitter friends in the flesh for the first time.  That’s always a bit nerve-wracking because as nice as folks seem to be online, in real life they could turn out to be total creeps.  Or more likely, they’ll discover that I am.

So.  I suppose I should talk about the episode itself.  Sigh.  Not that it’s bad.  It’s just…not…special.  This two-parter was, for me, sort of a lull.  I enjoyed myself while I watched this and “The Almost People” (of course I did–it’s Doctor Who!) but once they were done, I was kinda like “So.  Those were episodes.  Okay.  Now on to something else.”

When I’m having a bad day, I tend to make myself list things that are good and things I should be happy about.  So here I’ll list the things I liked about this episode.  I loved the location.  It was a nifty old creepy castle.  That’s right up my alley, and the direction was well done and used it to lovely effect.

I liked the small cast.  I do appreciate “insulated” episodes of Doctor Who–where all the action takes place in a nice, confined area, and you don’t really have to worry about the rest of the world.  Speaking of the rest of the world, I love that in this episode, we’re only worrying about the fates of the inhabitants of this base.  It’s not a huge, dire, “ohmigod the whole world/universe/time itself is screwed if we don’t fix this” dealie.  I was getting sick and tired of that.  You can only up the ante so far before it just gets tiresome.

Umm…what else?  I liked the Muse song at the beginning of the episode.

I liked that I wasn’t distracted too much from my knitting or listening to the commentary.  That’s right, I listened to the chatter of those delightfully ridiculous Radio Free Skaro boys while watching this episode.  And in this case, I think it really improved the experience.  Perhaps because Warren kept taking them off track with lots of Star Wars talk.  This pleased me.  Not that I prefer Star Wars to Doctor Who by any means.  It just seemed more interesting than quite a lot of this episode.  Also, the guys may have convinced me to try revisiting the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films.  I really ought to give them another shot.  Then again, maybe I’ll wait until I have some way to watch them on Blu-ray.

Well, seeing as how this blog post has followed RFS’s suit and veered from the topic of Doctor Who completely, I think I should bring it to a close.  I’ll just briefly mention that I did crack out a few more rows of the big purple stripe I’m working on.  And then I’ll think about trying to get some shut-eye.  I don’t have a heck of a lot of hope.  Thank goodness for the internet–a boon for insomniacs everywhere, it is.

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Doctor Who: The Doctor’s Wife (Commentated)

So my weeks of utter slackage have apparently come to an end.  After more days off than I’d like to admit, I got back on that horse called knitting.  I only got about 10 rows done in the space of this episode, but hell, that’s 10 more rows than I’ve done in…  Whoops.  I almost admitted it!  I told you I don’t like to do that.  Anyway, it felt good to get back at it.  Let’s hope this trend continues.  Does it count as a trend if I’ve only done it once?  No?  Drat.

Ok, so The Doctor’s Wife.  I love this episode.  It’s no secret that Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, so when I heard he was writing a script for Doctor Who (years ago when he first mentioned it on his blog), I was thrilled!  I was also pretty apprehensive.  I mean, I love his work, but this is Doctor Who.  It’s practically sacred.  But I decided I could probably trust Neil to do it justice.  I’ve known for ages what a huge Who fanboy he is; I know what he’s capable of writing-wise; and I knew Steven Moffat was at the helm and would likely not steer us wrong, so…let’s just say I remained hopeful.  My cheerful optimism proved well-founded.  This story was positively lovely.

I hadn’t seen The Doctor’s Wife since it aired, and I’m rather wishing I’d watched it again recently before trying to watch it with commentary.  It was occasionally difficult to avoid ignoring the voices in my head(phones) while I fixated on the screen.  Luckily, Steven, Warren, and Chris from Radio Free Skaro are pretty damn amusing, so that didn’t happen as often as it could have.  I definitely recommend checking out their series 6 commentaries.  This one in particular held several laugh-out-loud moments for me.  The best of all being Steven’s Ribos Operation quotation (ooh! a rhyme!): “What’s a hole doing in my TARDIS?”  Thank god I wasn’t drinking anything or that would have been a legitimate spit take and my laptop would have paid the price.  Other commentary highlights include more agendas than you can shake a stick at, fun with Nazi fashion, glowing cleavage, and many of the usuals like Matt Smith-adoration and the obligatory trips into the gutter with tour-guide Chris.

As for this episode itself, I don’t think I’m alone in ranking it as one of the best of series 6.  Part of what I like most is the fact that it really doesn’t fit into the overall arc of the series.  This one really stands alone.  Now I’m usually a sucker for a story arc, but in this case, I was pretty pleased to just get away from that for a while.  I think any addition of arc-related nonsense would have only muddied things here.  Better to keep the love story between the Doctor and Idris pure and unsullied.  And that’s really what this was–a love story.  The most beautiful love story in the history of the show in my semi-humble opinion.  And as Steven said in the commentary, “it’s the only one I can ever believe.”  Nothing before or since can come close.

Period.