Traveler's Halt

by Jacob Clifton June 30, 2009
The Next Doctor

Jackson geeks out at the sight of the real TARDIS, but can only handle being in there for like five seconds before he runs back out into the street, laughing his ass off adorably. The Doctor watches him laugh, and loves him ever more, and finally they get ready to say goodbye for, oh, the fourth time I think. When do we jump on the bed with Dominic Monaghan? Wake me up when it's time for that one.

"Tell me one thing. All those facts and figures I saw of the Doctor's life, you were never alone." The light goes out of the Doctor's eyes. Completely. "All those bright and shining Companions! But not anymore?" It's too sad to answer properly, but Jackson pushes, so he answers honestly. "They leave. Because they should, or they find someone else. And some of them... Forget me. I suppose in the end they break my heart."

Jeez. See, if it had just been that somehow, just sad and dark with all that mirroring of Doctor and Companion and Smith and Lake and Rose-Martha-Donna-Rosita, the memories lost and found, Doctor loving Jackson Lake the way we love the Doctor, I would have loved it. Or if it had been Mercy Hartigan attempting to create praxis and the Doctor being forced to fight her even though she is totally right. Or if it had been about Ten's jealousy about Rose's Bad Wolf Bay life with Ten-Five. Or if it had just been about a bloody giant robot, that would have been fine. But instead it's all of this at once, all of it half-assed, and there's nothing more embarrassing than a half-assed episode of Doctor Who, because if you shoot for the moon even something dumb can be transcendent. Planet Of The Ood, for example: that was television with the whole ass. I'm not asking for Human Nature every time out the box, although I don't really see a reason we couldn't have that. But this was more like steampunky Torchwood, in terms of the unnecessary plotholes and general fakeness of emotion hiding the actual structure and meaning of the story under a full fathom of Thames-floating crap.

Anyway, bummer. I like the next one a lot better, and not just because of the heavy hints as to what happens next, or the kind of world into which Matt Smith/Twelve will be born. God, every word in that one is heavy with import, and not the obvious ones either. That's going to be fun to talk about. But ugh. Christmas every time. So Jackson Lake gets a little Donna on the Doctor -- "That offer of Christmas dinner? It's no longer a request, it's a demand. In memory of those we have lost" -- which manages to change the Doctor's mind, which even he finds amazing, and as he accepts and they head off together, he says sincerely, "If anyone had to be the Doctor, I'm glad it was you." I'm happy to say I agree.

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