Doctor Who
Tooth And Claw

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B | 2 USERS: A+
The Breaking Of Albion

The Doctor gets familiar: "Your Majesty, you said last night about receiving a message from the great beyond; I think your husband cut that diamond to save your life. He's protecting you even now, Ma'am. Even from beyond the grave." Huh. Yeah, that's true, I guess. Certainly if you see time the way he does. "Indeed," says the Queen. "Then you may think on this, also: that I am not amused." The Doctor groans; Rose cheers.

Victoria's not fucking around: "Not remotely amused." Rose's and the Doctor's smiles slowly drop -- you get what you want, Rose, and you never want it again, and that's how fantasies work -- "And henceforth: I banish you." The Doctor begs the Queen's pardon; her anger is quite a match for his, even on his worst day: "I rewarded you, Sir Doctor. And now you are exiled from this empire, never to return. I don't know what you are, the two of you, or where you're from, but I know that you consort with stars, and magic, and think it fun. But your world is steeped in terror and blasphemy and death, and I will not allow it. You will leave these shores, and you will reflect -- I hope -- on how you managed to stray so far from all that is good. And how much longer you will survive this terrible life. Now leave my world. And never return." Sad faces all around, except for the Queen. She is rageful. She tasted Albert's world, and in doing so she lost him forever. She tasted the Doctor's world, and got a bit of the Wolf in her for her troubles. But she's the one who has to stay with both feet in the real world, no fucking around with time machines and space ninja werewolf cults: she's the strong one. She can't have one foot in both, because no one can: so she repeats her admonition from the first act, and banishes the Doctor, and with him his world. This is the story of how Albert finally died and, with him, how Victoria finally died too. It's not the Wolf speaking, if the Queen's got the Wolf in her: it's a human woman, who can't afford to fall into fancy and strangeness. The space between you and me, or Victoria and Albert, or the Doctor and Harriet, or even Rose and her sweet Doctor, is subject to Zeno's Paradox: as wide across as a three-way kiss, as thin as pity, or a nine-letter anagram, or Hell itself. This isn't allegory, I'm being serious: that space between is no less necessary than it is terrible, for the same reason that the last step in the Hero's Quest is the Return to the mundane. Forget this and you're fucked; you're the Brethren, burnt up from inside. God's not user-friendly, because God's there when you need Him and only then. He doesn't want you for his girlfriend, or his boyfriend either. Everybody wants to see Neo fly up into the sky -- captain of his destiny, a superhero -- but nobody wants to see him crash back down to earth. Every conversation with God contains in itself the future of your sucky real life: bills, mortgages, colic, Arizona. The Monarchy, alone. The Wolf is Fear, and the Wolf is no second chances. You say there's no unifying theme in Season 2? There's no fancy, no momentary ouija, that didn't fall to earth with a terrified thud. There's no detail that doesn't reflect it like a fractal, and it is wonderfully and beautifully made, because both sides are true and both sides contain infinite grace: where the Bad Wolf takes everything there is and says that it is connected, a holy matrimony of spirit, the Wolf of Torchwood says you're just another alien threat.

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