We have officially begun to re-watch S8.
So far, it’s not holding up terribly well. Storytelling is all over the place; there’s no logic, no progression, just some fun ideas and clever quips thrown together in a shape roughly resembling story. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Matt Smith’s reappearance remains the highlight of ‘Deep Breath.’ I don’t know why I’m sentimental about him all of a sudden, given how much of his stuff I didn’t like, but this really is a wonderful scene. Clara’s grief for her lost friend comes to the fore. Twelve may be the same man, but he is not the same, and finally all of them acknowledge it.
It’s interesting to compare Clara’s experience with Rose’s, as the Doctor changes in front of their eyes. Rose of course had no idea about regeneration, while Clara knew her friend had had other faces. Both dealt with an unpredictable and then unconscious Doctor, and a threat they’d have to face without him. But Clara had the Paternoster Gang at her back, with all their otherworldly skills and experience. Rose had Mickey and Jackie and Harriet Jones – good people, but not much use under the circumstances. Still, Rose’s friend turned out to be a charmer. As soon as he woke up he was the Doctor again: fighting aliens, defending the Earth, clearly caring for her and interested in making her happy. Clara’s Doctor confused her, insulted her, and abandoned her, before finally begging her to see him for who he was. No wonder it took her a whole season to adapt. It sounds like S9 will finally be the romp Rose got in S2, which Clara has long deserved. Here’s hoping.
‘Into the Dalek’ is mostly quips, with some beating over the head about the nature of Daleks. Still, it’s pretty fun. Zawe Ashton is wonderful. The soldier storyline is weird on a number of levels. Journey Blue is not likely a soldier by choice: humanity faces extinction, and the Daleks must be fought. She disobeys orders, choosing the Doctor over her own family and thereby saving the day. Then he rejects her because of her profession – one that was clearly desperately needed at the time. Not even the Doctor could avoid soldiering when the Daleks attacked his home; it seems unreasonable for him to hold it against her.
Clara too is odd on the soldier front. She openly insults Danny immediately upon meeting him, then later says she was ‘being funny.’ There is nothing funny about what she said; if she meant it she should have stayed away from him, and if she didn’t she should have apologized. It’s very hard to see what draws these two together, other than physical attraction. I suppose for some that’s enough to get things started.
Basically, the Dalek stuff is cool, and the rest is Moffat trying to say something interesting and failing.
On to ‘Robots’ and ‘Listen,’ an episode that didn’t get my proper attention first time around.