Monday, September 28, 2015

The Witch's Familiar - discussion two days after

Well I'm sold.  The Witch's Familiar was brilliant and made me realize my doubts about The Magician's Apprentice was due to being out of practice watching two parters.  Now I will gush about all the things I loved this episode.  Beware, there may be some divisive comments, but that's the great thing about the world of Who - we can discuss and debate at length, but in the end, we all still love it.

On the matter of Missy
I mentioned it briefly last week, but this week it was even more prominent - the chemistry between Missy and Clara was remarkable.  The give and take, the camaraderie and hatred.  From the moment Clara was upside down, through their walk back to the compound, until Clara being stuck in a Dalek (for the third time!).  You could feel the history between them, even though they haven't had much screen time together.  It also helps that Michelle Gomez and Jenna Coleman are brilliant actors.

Which brings me to potential controversial point number 1 - the Master becoming the Mistress.  When the reveal first happened last series, I was a bit upset.  Up until that point, I loved the character, Missy.  She was mysterious and crazy and colorful.  I wanted to see more of her.  But when I found out she was the Master, I thought, "Why?"

I am a strong believer that there needs to be more prominent and interesting female roles in television and film.  I wonder why there aren't more of those roles being created and written.  Taking an existing male role and casting a woman in it is not the solution to changing the industry.  It's like trying to put an ineffective band-aid on the problem.  I could go on at length about this topic, but I'll stop there and bring it back to Doctor Who.  So I wondered, why couldn't Missy just be a fantastic character that they cast as a woman?  Why did they have to muddle her brilliance with the gender controversy?  (Of course it's because they were testing out the gender change to see how changing the Doctor's gender in the future might go.)

Well, with Michelle Gomez's wonderful acting, seeing how the Master/Doctor history and dynamic is being incorporated into the past few stories, and the chemistry between Missy and Clara, I am convinced.  It doesn't matter if the Master, the companion, or the Doctor are male or female, as long as the writing, acting, and chemistry all work, just like with all productions.

On the subject of sunglasses
Oh I loved that moment!  I'm not even going to apologize or try to downplay it, even though it could be controversial point number 2.  First, the sunglasses really suit the Doctor's look and energy for this series.  Second, it was so fun seeing them bring the TARDIS back together and making the connection back to why the Doctor was so touchy about Davros touching them (it wasn't just another funny joke or 12th Doctorism!).  Third, I think it's great for the 12th Doctor to have his own sonic device, different from 11.  Yes, I know the screwdriver has been a key component of the reboot.  It got them out of an unlocked wooden door in The Day of the Doctor after all.  But it's not like how the Doctor approaches problems will change.  And it's not the TARDIS changing.  I'm excited to see how the sunglasses come into play in future episodes.  I love them so much, I made another shirt in honor of the sonic sunglasses.

For those who want their own pair, the 12th Doctor's sonic sunglasses seem to look like Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

On the development of Davros
Last week I wasn't sure if a Davros story was too intense a way to start the series, because I had no idea what might be coming, but the way it played out was perfect.  Steven Moffat is sometimes criticized for making his story lines too complicated and not giving the audience enough of a break between complicated twists.  Personally, I love things that are complicated, but I can understand wanting a bit of a break sometimes.  I may not be the right person to judge, but it felt like this two parter had just the right amount of complication for both people that like and don't like it.

When the Doctor was going to give his regeneration energy, I was thinking, "What's happening?  This is so obviously a trap.  It's completely out of character for the Doctor not to see that.  There's an error in Moffat's writing!"  But then I learned that I was the idiot, not the Doctor, because how did I not see that of course the Doctor knew it was a trap and he meant to fall for it?!?  After watching so much Doctor Who, how did I fall for that?  But I guess it's good I still fall for things because it's more fun that way.

Speaking of complicated and multi-episode story lines.  What do you think the setup of the Missy-Dalek situation will bring?

I both can't wait for more episodes and don't want them to come because it means the end of the series is getting closer.

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