Doctor Who

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | 2 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
People Are Places

The Archive is sort of like the Library, the biggest Thing of its class, and in both cases it's a collection of history: The Doctor is that too. Amy joins Reinette and River in the group of women (Maiden, Mother, Crone?) whose lives twist around the Doctor's in this out-of-joint way, and vice versa. (Add Sally Sparrow to that, come to think of it.) "Leaving the Library," sharing a house with Prisoner Zero, FORGET/PROTEST/ABDICATE: They're all much like that hallucinogenic meadow, which is to say they are all much like the Matrix, and bring into question the ultimate nature of reality itself.

Mme. de Pompadour, CAL -- even the Winder/Smiler/Liz parts of Starship UK, which is to say the majority of the Starship UK -- were essentially women who were also machines and didn't know it. Who had gotten lost inside the dream. And then there's the Crack, "two places in space and time that never should have touched," which -- in these stories, people are always also places -- will almost certainly prove the answer to the question, whatever the question may be. It occurs to me, and somebody said this eloquently enough on the forums that I can put it into words now, that the Doctor's encounter with Amelia has already itself broken the cycle of this show: The Companion is lifted by the Doctor to unimaginable heights, usually, and then dropped back into the slow path forevermore. And that will fuck you up. But to do that to a child?

The Doctor is even now, maybe without yet realizing it, doing penance for what he accidentally did to Amelia. And as personally troubled as I am by the evidence and the way it is expressed, I cannot say it's not a valid story. In therapy they tell you that people are like butterflies: Open the chrysalis too soon, out of weakness or childish cruelty or because somebody once did it to you, and nothing good can come out. Add to that Moffat's take on men and women, and the whole stripper/kissogram thing turns into something new and different and altogether awful. But not, sad to say, entirely unfamiliar.

The Doctor's always tread a line somewhere between father and friend to the human race -- to lie in the bed with us, like Martha, without touching -- and only the Master was until now capable of perverting the difference. But by accident of TARDIS and regeneration, on the day he lost his entire family for at least the third time? Maybe Amy's wedding is the first wedding on this wedding-centric show -- Clement Donna, Library Donna, Doctor-Donna, post-Doctor Donna; Rose and Ten Point Five; Mickey and Martha; Peter and Jackie and Peter; the Doctor and River; River's posthumous tampon commercial in the Library -- that absolutely must take place, to set right the Crack. In repentance for Rose and Martha and Donna, and the things the Doctor did to them; to make psychological what Sandman and RTD made mythic.

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Doctor Who

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