Saturday, 1 May 2010

Doctor Who: Flesh and Stone

OK, there's not a whole lot of archaeology in this one I have to confess, but there is one major point I want to bring up. By pure coincidence, last Wednesday I posted my short paper about the portrayal of Daniel Jackson in the original Stargate movie, in which I discussed how, in the world of science fiction, being a doctor of archaeology automatically makes you an expert in practically everything, as if you were Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap and had nine doctorates that keep changing as you change history. This episode fell prey to exactly the same odd notion, that because you have a doctorate in something, you are incredibly good at everything, as River fixes lights and teleporters and generally runs around being a mechanic for much of the episode. Now, I have a doctorate in a similar area, and I can tell you right now, I can't re-wire a plug. Or cook a boiled egg. My understanding of science in general is reasonably good but limited and my understanding of anything remotely practical is nil.

Three things do ameliorate the ridiculousness of the idea though. Firstly, River is clearly very, very clever in many ways so fair enough, she's pretty good at problem-solving in general. Secondly, River is an archaeologist (not an historian/literature person like me) and archaeology is a science with a much higher practical/scientific element than my language-based work, so most archaeologists probably can boil an egg. Thirdly, River Song is still pretty unknown as a character and may have all sorts of things in her background we don't know about yet (murder, for example). So I can let it go for now, but I'll keep an eye out for it. Even Daniel Jackson, I feel, could not have fixed a teleporter no matter how hard he tried.

Also, we got a name for what will persumably turn up in the finale - the Pandorica. If the finale includes River Song I'll blog it anyway, but I suspect there might be some more classics-y stuff in there as well...

Other stuff... I loved Marco for just putting his hand over Amy's eyes to close them and was most sad when he was wiped out of existence. Still loved Father Octavian as well, and was equally sad when something happened to him (the Angels seem to have abandoned their old modus operandi of just sending people back in time, but we didn't see him die, so you never know) though his final scene was very good. I really want River's murder victim to be the Doctor himself, but that's half 'wouldn't that be a good story' and half 'Matt Smith's a good actor and I'm sure he's a lovely person but he just isn't quite The Doctor for me' so I may be way off base there. I really like that we've had some explanation of the crack in the wall already. I was worried that this season's overall arc was just going to be 'here's a crack... here's a crack... here's a crack... whoops it's the finale, this is what it is!' Which would be very dull. So I'm glad that's not what happened.

Amy walking through the forest with her eyes closed was absolutely terrifying - very well done. Killing off everybody who isn't a regular or semi-regular character may be a bit of an overreaction to previous observations that Moffat doesn't like killing people off though.

As for Amy and the Doctor - well, it's nice to see someone who just says what she's thinking rather than moping after him all season, but I think we may have overdone the 'companion in love with the Doctor' thing now. The bit about not wanting something long-term was funny, though I'm guessing (and hoping) it went over a lot of kids' heads.

Overall, this was probably my favourite episode of series 31/5/whatever so far, though we haven't yet seen anything to really blow me away (in the way that The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Human Nature/Family of Blood and Turn Left did).

Two final randomnesses - did anyone else picture something totally different when the Doctor said 'tree-Borgs'? And is anyone else still vaguely thrown by Rose Tyler's mother as a hooker in Ashes to Ashes last night?!


  1. Daniel Jackson could do anything! (especially ask Sam Carter for help!) ;o)

  2. I loved this story in spite of a couple of technical problems with the angels, and I much enjoyed Amy's attempted rape of the Doctor. Keep in mind that she's not in love with him the way Rose was. She seems to have every intention of going through with her next-day marriage, and just wants a quick shag with her Time Lord hero she's been obsessing since she was seven years old. My thoughts on the matter here.

  3. I'm ashamed to admit that I do not watch Dr. Who-- but I have an award for you on my blog, because yours is awesome!

  4. That's so cool, thanks Amalia! My first award! :)


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