Chase - Posted on 31 August 2009

This episode is the best DOCTOR WHO ever made. Of course we got DOOMSDAY after that and the rest of this season, they're all wonderful and DOOMSDAY is probably THE number one Doctor Who story of all time but this just gave me good feelings all the way through, and the last 20 minutes gave me positive goosebumps and was just lovely and positive all the way to the smashing ending. AND Chris is the Doctor now. He's a bit Tom Bakerish in this and that's a great thing and he imbibes the Doctor with the correct balance of nonjudgement (to Jack, to Nancy and to sexuality although to be fair he's probably happy now that Rose knows Jack screws with men and other life forms).

On one negative note, I ignored the whole weapons of mass destruction in WORLD WAR THREE because well, the US Pres probably deserved it then and still does (Bush I mean!) and ignored the 9-11 stuff in ALIENS OF LONDON because it was just too painful personally but now I can't ignore this: HEY MENTION THE US HELPED WIN THE WAR it was not just England. In fact, if we look at it, if it weren't for the US it's highly doubtful the UK would have won at all. Here, the US imput is completely ignored by the Doctor and Rose, possibly to shield the future from the citizens of the time zone but...really, the US should have gotten some acknowledgement.

Actually another negative: Algie is also gay as we know and find out more about from Jack here and he's not exactly a nice person either--he leaves Nancy, although she's begging him, with the sick guard. Great chilling scene by the way with Nancy singing the RockABye baby to him. Great ending and great explanations. One thing though: if the DW universe has nanogenes that can raise the dead, why doesn't the Doc use these more often? It would give him more great days if he did and probably end the series as no one would die! Still, just for this story, the nanogenes are a great way to give us horror, caring, and cure all in one. All the acting in this is fantastic from all involved including future MERLIN/DEMONS star Richard Wilson, Chris, Billie, John, and the girl who plays Nancy.

Equally stunning is the dialog they all have to play with. Chris and Billie make/no, cement Rose and the Doctor's relationship in a perfect fashion, gently poking each other rather than being mean to each other. Their dialog as they discuss their own experiences ("I've traveled with a lot of people but you're setting new records for jeopardy friendly") and relationship in subtle form (dating for f'ing or dancing for dating) as well as Jack is just a marvel to behold and the dialog is firm with clues about the mystery and clues about what is really going on between them (LOVE dummy!). The Doc is jealous ("I think you're experiencing Captain Envy") of Jack and apparently they try to play it both ways, making the Doctor a danceless geek ("Didn't feel like dancing") AND an experienced uhm, dater/dancer, f'er. It doesn't always work in other stories but here it works perfectly. Chris is just excellent, did I mention that? He's brave and smart and confident when trying to reasonate concrete but when Rose asks him to dance or show her his moves, his face just resonates uncomfortableness. And when he pleads with the nanogenes as they heal Jamie via Nancy, his pleas are so passionate and so...needy, it's hard not to get tears in your eyes when you realize the Doctor doesn't often get days like this, where no one dies and everybody lives. It's just heart warming and chilling.  Of course, the Doc might be dancing at the end just to shove it in Jack's face as his last look might imply but he's kind to let Jack on his ship in the first place...not sure the Doctor of THE LONG GAME would do that but I like this Doctor better.

What else is there to say? The chase stuff, the typewriter scene, the kids, Nancy getting her way with the fat man, the tape running out in the child's room at the hospital, the Go To Your Room sequence ("those would have been terrible last words"), the amazing Glenn Miller music, the sonic screwdriver jokes vs Jack's square making blaster, Rose's infatuation with charming Jack (if ever he was defrocked she'd have loved to have seen that), and so much more, it all works despite the negative feelings toward gay men.

The Doctor may not get many days like this and we don't get many stories like this but for the most part, DW has hit its stride and the rest of this season and the Christmas Invasion as well as David's regeneration scene are all just extremly high notes. DW was positive now and despite some deaths in some stories, it stayed on a high of positive and good storytelling and emotional depth. It's difficult to realize this will all end with TORCHWOOD, especially the awful CHILDREN OF EARTH, Donna's taking on the Doctor's traits and acting all goofy, the Master's plans being more ridiculous than they used to be in the old series but it's okay it'll pretty much be reset oh except of the fact that humanity will still be Toclafane in the far future, and empty headed Psuedo one off companions (PLANET OF THE DEAD) and empty shallow gimmicky storylines (PLANET OF THE DEAD, THE NEXT DOCTOR).  But watch the entire 2005 season, skip THE LONG GAME, and you'll be amazed at the DIFFERENT show you are watching compared to these "specials" and sadly I'm sorry to say the sound of rumors of the 11th Doctor's first stories are just...more of the same vapid crap.       

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