Life after Journey’s End

Journey’s End has produced some fabulous fiction. I’ve loved getting to know all the new writers. I still have major issues shipping Ten II and Rose but I can still appreciate some of the brilliant stories I’ve read with that pairing. Some are character-driven and that’s fine, others are compulsively and brilliantly plotty as well. And an Honourable Mention for the Journal of the Most Normal things – funny, touching and interactive role-play.

For my own part, I feel I’ve peaked as a writer. I’ve now done post-JE four different ways – one completely canonical, one basically rewriting the episode with the whole bunch of them stopping the Doctor from running away, one where Rose stays with Ten II and the Doctor gets Donna back and finally a version where both Doctors, Donna and Rose stay together. Although that’s not a simple solution by any means, for me it’s the only one that works, at least when I write it. That must mean that at some level I haven’t really accepted the outcome of JE, because the Doctor remains alone.

There are a couple of people on my flist who think we haven’t seen the end of the narrative arc yet and that the Xmas Special will bring some kind of resolution. I’d love to buy into that but I’ve been let down too many times. On Christmas Day I’ll be on a plane to New York and I’ve no regrets. I thought VOTD was an overhyped pile of shite and I’m quite prepared for this year’s to be no better. At least they don’t seem to have a huge star name in it this year, unless DT himself counts. After all, if your run of Hamlet can sell out in three hours flat, that must make you pretty stellar.

I think what makes me sad about JE is that I get the distinct feeling a lot of the people creatively involved didn’t like it any more than I did. I’m really looking forward to getting the inside scoop (or as close to it as we’re ever likely to get) in RTD’s new book. It didn’t feel like it was written by someone who felt comfortable with it, that he was producing his best work. And we don’t know what pressures were brought to bear, why it was done the way it was, but I wish it hadn’t been. I think the major fault with it was there was just too much packed in, too many characters, not enough time, and it wasn’t possible to do justice to the emotional whammy. It was almost as if it left spaces for fan fiction to fill.

I haven’t really liked a thing I’ve written since “Lighten Our Darkness”, which was pre-JE. I’ve a feeling I won’t quite come to terms with the new landscape and that my best DW work is behind me. The last few stories I’ve done haven’t engaged me emotionally or been nearly as much fun to write as my earlier ones. I’m surprised anybody liked them at all, to be honest.

OTOH I don’t feel a particular urge to continue with classic Ten/Rose + Jack stuff, either. It’s all a very long time ago now. What seems to have happened is a whole “generation” of new writers have been inspired, just as I was inspired by “Doomsday”. I may not be enjoying writing DW fic as much as I once did, but I’m enjoying reading it more than ever before.

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5 thoughts on “Life after Journey’s End

  1. I didn’t, and still don’t, like JE at all (I’m not sure from your post whether or not you like it either; I suspect you’re – at the least – unhappy that Ten is on his own again); unfortunately so many people seem to be happy, or at least can deal, with it that those that don’t seem to be very much in the minority.

  2. Yes, we’re a minority but we’re in good company. Watch the last Confidential and it’s pretty clear that Billie and David didn’t like it (they finish on David’s words “It’s just desperately sad”). As for Donna, I haven’t heard anybody, even RTD or JG or PC, say that was a good ending. Which means either we have further developments ahead, or there were factors coming into play of which we were unaware.
    I can appreciate and enjoy post-JE stories – some of them, anyway, even though I didn’t like the episode and I wish things had turned out differently. It does, at least, give us a canonical playground for Ten and Rose. Ish.

  3. It’s the Equinox, a time of slowing down one thing and changing the energies into something else. Your heart and your head will be invested in your MA, after following Tennant from screen to stage.
    If it helps, most of the ‘old’ writers I know have had difficulty in getting the muse going and maintaining it this year for previous settings and dynamics. I’m included in that. Even though one of my started stories is AU, and that itself implies non-acceptance of canon, it’s still only one chapter long. Admittedly, chapter two is hard in the elements and time scale. I suppose in a sense this sticking chapter is my own JE – however I initially thought I could deal with so much in one chapter is beyond me! I hope you’ll stick around to read it when I finish it. I think it’s a plot bunny you wanted to read.
    I don’t blame you for giving this Christmas an initial miss, given your previous emotional investment and health impact. Maybe the expectation of rubbish is shying your muse away? Or maybe the worry that your emotions will be put through the wringer again?
    Have you seen the excerpts from RTD’s book floating about? He says he writes at the last minute, because he likes the ‘stress’. I have to say it shows in his season finales. While I write an end and then build a story up to itor at least know where it’s going and won’t ‘publish’ it until it’s all complete, RTD seems to write fantastic cliff hangers and then not know how to resolve them because it’s so tight for time.

  4. it’s pretty clear that Billie and David didn’t like it
    There must be an icon somewhere with Confidential screencaps saying “The leads demand an explanation for this BS.” I can’t imagine DT’s and BP’s disappointment upon being reunited for filming and recapturing their onscreen character chemistry, only to have things pan out how they did.
    I can’t wait for the S4 boxset with DT’s video diary. I imagine most of it for JE will be ‘GROUP HUG’ at having so many friends on set at the same time, and the nightmare of playing two characters in the same scenes. Little room will be left for the “when they sad Rose was always coming back, this isn’t what I expected.”
    I was having a discussion quite a while back about Donna’s ‘mind rape’ and made a comment that RTD was talked out of using a ‘cheap trick’ ending for The Second Coming that he ended up using for JE. I don’t know how true it is, but I think shows could benefit from an ‘opposition’ like in politics, instead of everyone supporting the exec without question, when they don’t seem to have a long term goal in advance.

  5. I really haven’t read a ton of JE fic. I just wasn’t happy with JE at all. I’m sure there’s some very good fic out there but I haven’t gotten into it.
    I’m sure it’s all part of my creative malaise, too.

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