Honestly, Christmas Specials tend not to do much for me due to the fact I am a Grinch to the bone, what up. So I was surprised/intrigued by how (subtextually) dark this episode was for a holiday special? And that all came down to the Doctor. Who was very interesting indeed here. The most chilling (IGNORE THE PUN) moment for me was the way he went about blithely using the memory worm on everyone essentially just to preserve his own privacy. Even with whatshisface villain dude at the end, the Doctor's weird glee about erasing the man's memories was vaguely horrifying. It's a no-brainer as to why that (rightfully) backfired. It's also a no-brainer that the cure to being literally turned into ice was a (literal) outpouring of human emotion, WHAT IS METAPHOR. Of course, try as he might, the Doctor can never succeed in not being human.
Not gonna lie, I dug the broody mcbroodypants at the start. I think that Eleven, probably more so than his predecessors, is a performative personality -- he puts a lot of effort into constructing and maintaining a particular persona, i.e. the mad ridiculous hyper-active boyish professor whatever whatever BOWTIES R COOL. (PERFORMATIVE ASSHOLES ARE MY FAVOURITE BTW.) I mean. Just looking at the way he dresses, he clearly prides himself on appearing distinct, unique, special, etc. etc. His insides are his outsides. And when his internal world has been turned upside down, he expresses his feelings by GIVING HIMSELF (+ Tardis) A MAKEOVER. This is so melodramatic and adolescent I can't.
And the self-imposed isolation business was myopic and self-centred in the extreme, clearly, BUT I LIKE THE DOCTOR MYOPIC AND SELF-CENTERED SO GOOD. And I think it was significant that the reason stated for said self-imposed isolation was that he "prefers it to the possibility of pain's return". It's not just that he was deeply depressed and lacking motivation/conviction to do anything (= depression); it's that he was protecting himself from the world. Because he didn't just "suffer losses"; he didn't JUST lose his companions to some great alien evil that needs to be vanquished (that would even be EASIER, because the Doctor is GOOD at fighting evil, chasing monsters -- it's basically what he lives for). Noooooo. The REAL reason that he pulled away almost entirely from the outside world, shut himself away in an ivory tower in the fucking clouds, isn't that the Weeping Angels snatched his friends away like the villains they are; what it really comes down to is that singular moment in that graveyard where he begged Amy Pond not to leave him and she actively chose to do so anyway. The Weeping Angels didn't destroy him; his best friend did. That's the one thing he can't get over.
Natch, even with the Doctor practically throwing himself at Clara, it's still all about Amy. I mean. It wasn't subtle. "One word: Pond", he hears while wearing Amy's old reading glasses, and it's enough to spur him out of his cave!!! From the get-go the Doctor's newfound attachment to Clara is explicitly linked with his grief over the Ponds, and that is is both very powerful and potentially really fucked up (and I hope the show doesn't drop that thread). Obviously, Clara couldn't know the significance of "Pond", but I think the Doctor might have taken it as a magical sign from yonder because he's a fool in this way, take pity on him. Less explicitly, her personal similarities to Amy -- brash, fiery, flirtatious, shoves her tongue down his throat, etc. -- probably sped up the attachment process, you know, just a bit (never mind Moffat's kinks, MY HEADCANON IS BETTER). Also similar to Amy, Clara/Oswin is simultaneously Intrepid Girl Explorer AND Damsel Who Needs Saving. The Doctor (always, constantly, repeatedly) failed to save Amy, but maybe he can save Clara -- maybe the universe will give him that second chance, and isn't "bargaining" a necessary stage of grief? In conclusion, everything is about Amy
Honestly, I really don't it's fanwank though? It was completely summed up in the Doctor's final line in the episode -- "watch me run" (!!!!!). Any opportunity to run away, right? If you're always running you can never get left behind. I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS.
In less quasi-analytical news, I'm prepared to love Clara. I'm ready, let's do it. Less wild about the (predictable) flirtation with the Doctor! Jenna Louise Coleman and Matt Smith are a lot of fun together but all of the innuendo was v. forced and weird!! Especially since the Doctor is technically, erm, still married?? Though, I don't think it'll amount to ~anything, and I'm still very much anticipating a good companion/doctor friendship.
Also, Jenny/Vastra were awesome, as was Strax. I'M THE CLEVER ONE, YOU'RE THE POTATO ONE. Make him a regular, tbh.
(2) I have the first batch of screencap meme fills. More will come (beware). But for now:
light: dead like me
my emotions: castiel, supernatural /TROLOLOL
(requested by pocochina)
(requested by pocochina)
space: elena gilbert, tvd
[all caps from magic-hours.net, homeofthenutty.com, and true-fellings@LJ.]
Oh, and happy NY to everyone, btw. (It is already 2013 in Australia.)