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stellastars ([personal profile] stellastars) wrote2009-08-18 01:49 pm

Classic Who (Re)Watch, Volume 4 (Plus an Audio Story Cut-Away)

Ugh, I have been woefully ill with a summertime head cold this past week. Which (looking on the bright side) gave me plenty of time to curl up and watch Classic Who! I'm finally feeling better (no sneezing! no sore throat! yay!) and am thinking clearly enough again to put together my thoughts on the past two serials that I watched, plus a couple of audio stories as well.

The Myth Makers My reaction to this serial was one of ambivalence. I was fairly annoyed throughout the beginning with how much Vicki was side-lined (the injured ankle went on a bit too long for me -- I like my Vicki to be action!Vicki) and with how much she was treated like a child (she's young, but not *that* young). However, I loved how Vicki became Cressida and adored Vicki/Troilus. (Seriously, they were too cute together.) But then, I hated how rushed her exit was, the hurried goodbye to the Doctor and not even properly saying goodbye to Steven. Plus, I hate losing companions, even if Vicki had a better exit than some. Sooo... yeah. Generally I like the historical serials, but this one was just kinda mediocre for me, given its inconsistency.

Favorite moments:
∗ I kinda loved the idea of One as Zeus. :-)
∗ Steven going after Vicki! Go Steven!
∗ Vicki "protecting history" as I referred to it in my notes. She could have told the people of Troy what was coming... but she didn't. I admired that.
∗ Vicki and Troilus. I don't have enough adjectives to completely describe their adorable-ness. (What can I say? The ship worked for me!)

Favorite lines:
∗ Vicki, to Troilus: “You shouldn't be killing people at your age.” She's nearly his age, but seems much wiser with this statement. (And I rather loved her for it.)
∗ One, to Katarina: “I'm not a Doc. And I am not a god.” This line just seemed like it was so The Doctor; like it was something he would say, in any regeneration.

Random musings:
∗ Is it just me or were they trying to make Agamemnon to be like Nero? And it just didn't quite work...
∗ Did One really suggest using an airplane? Like, really? What was he thinking!?

Number of times I feared for the TARDIS: 1. When the TARDIS disappeared at the end of Episode 1, for a few moments I really thought Vicki had discovered a way to make it dematerialize! I was concerned! In another TARDIS-related note (though not one of concern) when characters were trying to figure out what the TARDIS was (and suggested it might be a monument) I was reminded a bit of New Who's Fires of Pompeii when the TARDIS was considered to be modern art.

Number of times I wanted to take over for the writer: 2. The lines ..."as nervous as a Bacchante at her first orgy" and "'re a bit late to say whoa to the horse..." (both from Episode 3) got the following response in my notes: Who *wrote* this?

Number of times I drew ♥'s in my notes: 8. 50% of the hearts went to Vicki, while 38% went to Steven, and 12% went to Paris. Vicki received ♥s for being well-mannered and generally adorable. Steven received ♥s because he was so concerned about Vicki, especially when he was delirious. And I just really liked Paris. :D

The Daleks' Master Plan Oh, epic serial of epicness. I'll try to keep my notes succinct (since the serial was not). My reaction in a word: disappointed.

I thought the Dalek Cut-Away was fantastic. It was tightly-written and suspenseful and I was expecting something as awesome as that episode. Not that DMP was all bad -- in fact, it had some bits that I loved -- but it just wasn't all great. My biggest annoyance with the serial, was that it could have been at least two episodes shorter. The Feast of Steven annoyed me quite a lot *in the context of the story.* I would have liked it just fine on its own, but, at the time, I really wanted something to advance the overall plot.

Even though I was prepared for it, I was still rather upset with Katarina's death. I like getting to meet new companions; I dislike companions leaving; I *hate* seeing companions die. And Steven yelling for her broke my heart. :-( And then Sara! I didn't know Sara's demise beforehand (though I suspected that she wouldn't be meeting a good end when, mid-serial, I searched for her on Teaspoon and found nothing) and, oh, more sadness. Overall this serial had what I thought was a shockingly high body count for Doctor Who.

And then, something I was totally not prepared for -- THE MONK RETURNED! And he wore sunglasses! LOL. I loved that costuming choice.

So, all in all, a good serial, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

Favorite characters/moments:
∗ Mavic Chen. Great character. Slimey to the core, but so snarky and devious. Also, I envy his manicure. (See: Episode 5.)
∗ Sara Kingdom, how awesome is she! She can use a gun, fight, *and* make ship repairs. I ♥ her more than a lot.
∗ Invisible creatures on Mira! I found them to be genuinely creepy!
∗ One being sweet, after poor Steven electrocutes himself.
∗ In Feast of Steven, One is so grandfatherly, telling the actresses to get on some clothes Meanwhile, Sara complains about people telling her to take hers off! Hee!
∗ The Christmas toast, to everyone!
∗ Sara and Steven make for an adorable bickering couple.

Favorite lines:
∗ One, getting defensive about his ship: “Don't you start to criticize my TARDIS!”
∗ When talking with Bret about their impending crash-landing, Steven implies that One is "valuable cargo." *♥ Steven*
∗ One, trying to placate a Dalek: "Oh, my tin friend!"
∗ “Citizen of the universe and a gentleman to boot!” (It really is a great line!)
∗ Sara, regarding One and Steven: "The idiots!"

Random musings:
∗ A dalek says the word "Excellent..." (Daleks say things are excellent?)
∗ I liked Katarina. I understand why she didn't make an ideal companion, but I would have enjoyed seeing a bit more of her.
∗ Since watching Children of Earth, I now associate all kickass women with CoE's Johnson; as such, when Sara was described as "ruthless, efficient, and a good soldier," my first thought was that she is truly the original Johnson.
∗ WHEN DID MY SHOW BECOME A SOAP OPERA? "He was my brother!" What? Sara has killed her brother? Seriously? What?
∗ Is it just me, or is The Doctor's ring, the original Sonic Screwdriver? (At least in some functions?)
∗ First One steals The Monk's directional unit... Then it gets burnt up, so One suggests stealing The Monk's TARDIS... But wouldn't he have the exact same problem -- and still not have a functional directional unit?

Number of times I was stupid/oblivious during this serial: 1. My notes read: Bret sounds a lot like Brig. *credits roll* Oh, wait... that's cause it IS Nicholas Courtney. *headdesk*

Number of times I LOL'ed at this serial: 1. At the expense of the FX department, with the mouse experiment scene. *giggles* Sorry, FX dept!

Number of times I said OMG during this serial: 1. THE MONK!

Number of times I drew ♥'s in my notes: 2. All ♥s were for Steven. These were for general sweetness, but also because I particularly loved that Steven understands how One's mind works at this point!

Number of times I wanted to hug a character: 2. I wanted to hug Steven after poor Katarina, well, you know, and after he zapped himself playing with the energy-thing-y.

Final note: Since there wasn't quite enough of Katarina for my liking, I searched for her on Teaspoon and found two tiny fics, A Second Change and Desperate Prayers. I thought both were interesting. (And would have enjoyed seeing the first one expanded.) As I mentioned earlier, I also searched for Sara-fic, but, alas, found nothing. If you have any recs for either character, I'd love to see them!

And, since I've now finished Vicki's (and Katarina's... and Sara's...) run as companion, it seemed like a fitting time to listen to her Companion Chronicle. I listen while I'm driving, so, without notes, I just have a few thoughts on...

The first thing that caught my attention was how much Maureen O'Brien sounded as though she had aged. Which, of course, worked for the story, but I guess (for me, anyway) Vicki will remain a perky 16-year old in my head.

I liked the story and thought it was pretty interesting. I enjoyed the frost fair, especially when novelist Jane joins in the adventure! ;-) (And I absolutely adored the bit about One dancing with Jane!) The phoenix/cinder was interesting, but creepy, in its parasitic nature. And I always enjoy a good causal loop.

It wasn't exactly the ending I would have wanted for Vicki, but I think it was the most realistic one. She did seem to genuinely love Troilus and the life they'd built together... but it wasn't exactly the perfect picture she'd thought it would be. Her loneliness made my heartache, but it was honest, realistic writing.

And then, a brief cut-away from Classic Who, to a couple thoughts on a Sarah Jane Adventure's audio book...

It isn't my favorite of the SJA audio books, but there were several things I liked about it... The first -- and most important -- being CLYDE LANGER. Good heavens, I love that character. (Especially when it's just Sarah Jane and him interacting.) I cannot wait for the show to be back on this autumn.

The other detail that I loved about this story, was the ending. While we've seen actions-having-consequences on the show before, this book really seemed to give more weight to team!SJA's reactions to things not-going-to-plan with unintended results. It felt a bit like they were growing up, like the series and its audience were growing up, and it was nice to hear that development.

I feel like I've accomplished something, having finished all of Vicki's time as a member of Team!TARDIS. My next big hurtle will be to make it to One's regeneration. There are many things to look forward to on the way there... (Properly meeting Dodo! Ben & Polly! Yay!)