Thanks to icons for the piccie.
Under a cut for length. No specific spoilers in my post, but I can’t vouch in advance for the comments.
We have reached the zenith. Appropriately, here in the Northern Hemisphere it’s the Summer Solstice – we glory in the light and pick ripe fruit and fire up the barbecue, and relax because exams are nearly over – and it’s lovely, and you’d have to be pretty churlish to point out that it’s all downhill from here, back to shorter daylight hours until we wake up one morning with a nip in the air and in no time at all it’s Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving, Christmas. The cycle keeps turning.
It’s a zenith in the Who-verse, too…
All is expectation as we wait for the big reveal next week, the confirmation that Moffat is unutterably brilliant. It’s very enjoyable, but it won’t last, because everybody dies, everybody disappoints you sooner or later when you’ve piled too much longing and emotional investment into something that’s worldly and fleeting. You ask an England fan, or a parent at 9.00 on Christmas morning.
Moffat hasn’t let us down yet – he’s not yet been under enough pressure to serve up a turkey like Last of The Time Lords or The End of Time. The fanbase hasn’t got to him to the extent where he’s snapped, “F**k you, I’ll do what I like and who cares if it makes sense, you try making this goddam show. I’ve actors to keep happy.” He’s still able to draw on the ideas he’s had years to develop and refine, and indeed they’re very good, and I enjoyed The Pandorica Opens hugely. I’ll miss next week’s, and funnily enough I’m not that bothered. There’s always iPlayer, and I’ve been this way before.
But mainly, I’ve lost my show. That’s okay, I’m a big girl and I love to see people having fun. How lame would it be if, instead of enjoying the fact that next Saturday I’ll be hiking in Devon and staying in Torquay, I was morning the demise of Fawlty Towers after a measly twelve shows? Devon in summer is glorious, so was Fawlty Towers in its own way, and as Sondheim once said, a person should celebrate everything passing by.
And even if the show reincarnates into something that’s not to my taste, I can still watch the fans. And I can speak frankly, as so many of them do, and present my view on what is really going on. To summarise, it saddens me. The show itself might not mean an awful lot in the big scheme of things, but the things it reveals about people are eternal – they will change their form, but like the Doctor himself, there will be a core of truth that outlives all the regenerations.
There is so much intellectual snobbery about DW. It’s the underlying reason for the Rose-hate, because she represents RTD’s vision in its purest form and he’d zero patience with all of that. She was just an ordinary human girl without A levels who loved the Doctor with her whole being. But people think he’s too exalted a being simply to be loved. No, his consort has to worthy of him – cleverer, sneakier, more enigmatic. It’s such an irony that the very people who accuse Rusty of Mary-Suedom exhibit very similar tendencies themselves. They self-identify with whoever they see loving the Doctor, and they don’t see themselves as working-class shopgirls, thanks very much.
Frankly, I can’t be bothered working out the timey-wimey plot stuff. I know I’m bright, and that’s partly due to the example of David Tennant giving me the inspiration and courage to go to Stratford and take a Masters in Shakespeare Studies. But I’m not bright in the way that relishes ever more intricate puzzles. To be honest, they bore me. I used to think that meant I was dumb, or depressed, because I live with a very intellectual family and they all love puzzles. But Stratford changed that for me. So I no longer think I’m dumb because I like my stories to have a heart. I’m not ashamed to identify with people who watch soaps – I don’t care for them myself but I do recognise the considerable amount of hard work and talent that goes into them, and if Corrie‘s good enough for Sir Ian McKellern, it’s good enough for me.
I think the Doctor has been split in two under Moffat, not physically as in JE but at a conceptual level. One the one side, there is an intellectual parlour game that appeals to the nerdy, who enjoy outdoing each other in fannish obscurity and arcane knowledge. (Having said that, I have some academic types on my flist who love this series, and I enjoy their comments and references – sometimes I join in the fun myself). But to support the parlour game, the show has been distorted and twisted into a highly marketable shape, with huge cynicism. Yes, Moff can have his smart scripts, but to get them made he has to include Stonehenge in the episode that goes out two days before the Solstice, he has to have rainbow Daleks, bring in all the enemies so a new set of figurines can be issued before the end of the school term, and make a football-themed Confidential for the night England play the USA.
And so DW becomes a thoroughly modern brand, with a beta version for kiddies and an alpha one for smart, somewhat anal grown-ups. And I don’t fit into either category, so my prediction is that it will sputter on until the Next Big Thing comes along.
And my dream is that at that point we’ll get a David/Billie movie with an RTD script, and it’ll be as big as Toy Story 3 because there are still a lot of people who like their smartness with a side order of emotional warmth and honesty, and Pixar are brilliant at delivering that combination.
But for now, enjoy. It’s going to be one hell of a ride next week.
It’s a very short road
To the ten thousandth lunch
And the belch and the grouch
And the sigh
In the meanwhile …
There are mouths to be kissed
Before mouths to be fed
And a lot in between
In the meanwhile
And a girl ought to celebrate what passes by
(From A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC)