Well, we’re back. Had a wonderful time in Venice, a city that completely lives up to expectations. I’m very glad I did my homework first by watching “Francesco’s Venice” on DVD. Made the whole experience more rewarding. It was fascinating to be in a completely car-free city, and all the praise heaped on its beauty was entirely justified. We had excellent weather and a reasonable little hotel right at the heart of things, just minutes from the Rialto Bridge.
Food was good, and I probably need a course of Adipose pills to get me back to a reasonable size.
After two frustrating days back home waiting for British Airways to return our luggage, DD was off to Guide Camp and DH and I to a Michelin-starred hotel deep in the Lake District. Had a fabulous meal, were thoroughly pampered and did a short but scenic hike on the Saturday. Got caught in a brief snowstorm on the fell top but it cleared enough to give us a memorable view down the length of Lake Windermere. We then descended into Troutbeck, a village that sounds more interesting than it actually is, had a quick look around a National Trust property (Townend) and got home just as the new DW was starting. Perfection.
Oh well, back to normal now. The washing machine’s flooded, my son’s home wanting food, still no luggage and the cat is distraught after her first stay in a cattery without her mum, who sadly died last year. The house is a tip and I can’t do any laundry. Outside, brilliant sunshine with snow on the ground.
My TV thoughts below, to avoid spoiling people.
The plot was just silly enough. Full of lovely throwaway moments, like the casual way the Doctor burns through doors to gain access to buildings. The lovely, understated but very poignant moment in the TARDIS when he realises he’s talking to thin air. But he’s changed, hasn’t he – much more emotionally connected and aware of his impact on other people. Quite where that came from is anyone’s guess, and I expect we’ll never know. Or it could just be that Donna brings it out in him. She did in TRB which is why I loved that so much, and this was even better.
There was something about Martha as a character that was very “me, me, me.” The Doctor’s grief seemed to get in the way of what she wanted – ie, romance with him – rather than concerning her in a way that focuses on him and his needs. Please don’t jump down my throat and quote feminism at me. The Doctor can be equally crass and often is. Some of the scenes that were cut might have mitigated the balance – like the one just before they went to New York. But I like the dynamic with Donna so much better. She sees right to the heart of him, and her epressed lack of interest in him as a partner seems to give him the confidence to open up a little. Who else could have got away with that remark about the children, for example, since Rose?
Oh yes, have to mention Rose. I was completely surprised, but it made a lot of sense on reflection. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Rose doesn’t follow them through the whole series, thus sparing us and the writers a huge amount of exposition. It turns it into a quest narrative, in more ways than one. The way Donna was empowered by her ordeal in TRB and turned it into a proactive search for the Doctor may be a parallel of Rose’s own story, and the fact that Donna’s story has a happy conclusion but opens up many more challenges is a parallel, I hope.
I’m starting to wonder whether they will eventually go the asexual Doctor route and we won’t get a romantic resolution. If we are to believe that the Doctor really is incapable of a sexual union, where does that leave Rose? Possibly realising that despite her deep love for him, he really is better off with serial companions and people like Donna are much better for him than the Marthas of this world who are preoccupied with their own romantic agenda. After all, his huge mistake with Martha was to adopt human courtship and seduction strategies, believing them to be a solution to his loneliness, and giving out entirely the wrong messages.
What the Doctor needs most is possibly not an OTL but a family to come home to. We’re hearing that loud and clear. When I think of his happiness at the end of S2 the image that comes into my mind is not the flirtiness of “Fear Her” (though I loved that) but the peace and security he just radiated as they walked hand in hand to see Jackie at the start of AoG. Rose may be the fixed point, the person and the home he returns to. It’s a very radical idea in this highly sexualised age when everyone assumes a happy ending has to be a clinch and a kiss. And a part of me really wants that for them. But it may be the same urge that made Martha so unlikable at times – wanting what I want, not what is right for the Doctor.
It would be very interesting if Rose did follow them around, getting a real feel for the Doctor’s life from the outside, and a massive contrast to S2 where they were totally wrapped up in each other. I think they need to be in each others’ lives, long-term, but I no longer feel that the only possible outcome would be a romantic resolution. And from the TV producers’ viewpoint, it would allow BP to drift in and out of the narrative very freely, maybe having some full-on adventures with him, or just being there for him in between.
Well, we shall see. And meanwhile, it’ll be a very enjoyable series, I’m sure. And I want an Adipose to cuddle, please. And a few icons of Wilf.