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17 September 2011 @ 10:53 pm
Doctor Who: The God Complex  
Since I'm not feeling well, I decided to take a peek into what this show's doing of late. Particularly since this episode was written by Toby Whithouse of Being Human fame.

I haven't been following the major threads of this show at all. I completely missed the whole thing with River Song and I didn't even really follow the thread of how traveling with the Doctor has affected Rory and Amy's marriage. The last episode I saw was "The Doctor's Wife" which I enjoyed for its madcapped-ness but didn't like it so much that it drew me back into the show.

Back when Matt Smith first took over the role, I'd watched the first episode and commented that finally this show made me feel old. Its main theme seemed to be that to travel with the Doctor was to be a child again, free of responsibilities of a "real life" and lost in a fugue where everything will always end up fine because that was the fantasy. It was an interesting idea but one I thought ultimately failed because the show had bought into its own set up and made all the episodes seemingly too light for me where nothing really had much consequence (at least in the first season with Smith).

What I enjoyed about "The God Complex" was that it finally paid off on the notion of what it means to be a child and what it means to finally grow up. I know the Doctor purposefully killed Amy's blind faith in him in order to save them, but it was also clearly the moment when he knew he had to finally push Amy out of the nest and have her grow up. As I haven't seen a bulk of the show, I can't really attest to how true to character it was that Amy needed to grow up. But from what I'd seen of her in the first series with Smith, it seemed to fit. I have never made it a secret that I disliked Amy greatly as a companion. Mainly because I found her bipolar attitude toward Rory somewhat tiresome and her supposedly "cute" abuse not so much endearing as irritating. Still, it did fit with the idea that a part of her inside was still that child who wasn't ready to let go of a fantasy life (traveling with the Doctor) to embrace a life that could be wonderful, but very much grounded in reality.

I had some issues with some components of this episode, but I liked that it did a nice loop around to the first theme established in the first Smith episode and concluded it in a way that was understandable and rather touching in parts.

I saw that a few people were annoyed that it seemed somehow Whithouse was suggesting Amy's real life should be to be a wife to Rory and nothing else. But I didn't see that at all. I think the point is that Amy hasn't done anything else since childhood other than pine after the Doctor. The rest of her life, even the part with Rory, has always been at a standstill because nothing lived up to her fantasy idea of the Doctor. This includes the Doctor himself. It's not about Amy embracing a life of domesticity being the "right" decision. It's about Amy embracing reality as any adult must, even if that reality is often tinged with the incredible for the Doctor will always be a part of her life.

All in all, I remain still somewhat disinterested in the show, but I did think Whithouse turned out a pretty good one.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: SPN_IDon'tUnderstandThatReferenceguardian_chaos on September 18th, 2011 06:11 am (UTC)
I...kind of haven't followed the show since Ten left. I've caught the odd episode when it happens to be on, but I've been such a wretched Doctor Who fan since Eleven arrived that, frankly, it's shameful. XD

These themes about growing up do sound interesting, however. I like it when a show lets a character grow out of his/her flaws rather than grow stagnant in them.

I just miss Ten. I didn't understand those fans who would rant about how "He's just not my doctor!!" until Ten went away, and now I get it. Goodness. If only the show's tone had at least remained, but that never seemed to be an option. :(
The Writer They Call Tay: DW: Ten - 'brainy specs activate'awanderingbard on September 18th, 2011 11:55 am (UTC)
I've been keeping up with the show, because it's on and, as I've said before, I'm pretty easy-going with fandom. It takes a lot to put me off. That said, I'm not really enjoying it like I used to, but everything that I dislike about it seems to be wrapped up in a neat box at the season finales and explained away in a way that makes me go 'oh, that's clever' and makes me want to keep watching.

I find what my main issue with it at the moment is that every episode seems to be a 'Blink' episode, you know? It's all about being scary, psychologically traumatizing and weird and I feel like there's no heart or point to it. The Doctor isn't going around changing anyone's life for the better, he's just dragging Amy and Rory into one emotionally scarring experience after another. And maybe that's the point, but I don't like it. And I feel like several of the episodes just don't make sense because they're trying so hard to make it creepy that there's huge plot holes in them.

I think you're right in your assessment of Amy needing to grow-up. But I think there's a lot of it that the Doctor needs to think of her as grown-up, too. In the Eleventh Hour commentary, Stephen Moffat said that The Doctor still thinks of her as Amelia Pond, the little girl he met and not Amy Pond, the girl who grew-up thinking she was insane for believing in him.

What really pissed me off this season is that she's still treating Rory like crap (though it has gotten significantly better) and he doesn't deserve it and I was like 'if you didn't want Rory around, writers, he was dead, you didn't have to bring him back'. So I think that the fact that he's telling her
to go be with Rory is important because she's never going to treat him properly with the Doctor around, even though we've seen that she really does love Rory more than the Doctor. And the fact that the Doctor calls her Amy Williams is a sign that he's realized she's grown-up and he needs to let her go. Just like he had to let Martha go and Jack go and Donna go, even though it seems like we're pretending he never met them.

The sad part is that I feel like Matt Smith deserves so much more than they're giving him. He deserves a nice Donna companion, not a Series Two Rose companion who's a special snowflake and hogs the spotlight and makes it all about her. He's a really good Doctor and I feel bad that he's stuck with mediocre characters.
aelfgyfu_mead: Rory & Amyaelfgyfu_mead on September 18th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
I do like Amy (and have from the start, although I've been really angry with her at times too). She was seriously messed up, but I do think she has had an arc in which she grew out of her obsessive attachment to the Doctor. She stopped lusting after him (I hope you missed that bit, that was the worst!) and realized that, while he can be a friend, Rory is the one for her. I was just a little surprised that it was breaking her faith in the Doctor that saved her, because she also has a lot of faith in Rory. I don't want to spoil any episodes you might go back later and see, but her love for Rory getting her through difficulties has been a theme in multiple episodes.

Then again, her faith in the Doctor is still sometimes an infatuated, blind faith. Her faith in Rory is the sure knowledge that he won't ever abandon or give up on her, and (though I'm not sure she has fully realized this point yet) that he won't get her in trouble or make it worse. The Doctor shows up and saves her sometimes, but he also gets her into trouble in the first place, and he makes terrible, terrible mistakes.

I was not at all sure he said "Amy Williams," though I thought I heard it. Several people did, so that's probably right. I certainly didn't see the Doctor telling her to go be a good wife! Rory has been consistently shoved more into the traditional wife position: the one with a traditionally female job (nurse), the one who cares about people, the one for whom the spouse is everything. Amy's the one running off to have adventures; Rory is running off to be with Amy. Even if she does settle down to some extent with Rory, it won't be for just marriage, any more than I'm just a wife to Brilliant Husband and a mother to Small Child!