THE FAMILY OF BLOOD
Again a 5/5. And to David's credit, he...well, he's incredible in this episode and takes chances that no one else would have I think. And it ALL works so well. In fact, David makes me rather like John Smith, despite John Smith's inadequatcies and backward thinking, MORE than the Tenth Doctor. I can totally see Joan's desire to have John Smith back and not the Doctor. On the other hand, I had a friend who said, "What's up her ass?" after the Doctor tells her they can try and invites Joan to go with them and Joan turns him down. That friend had seen only TALONS, ROSE and Rose's first five episodes, the 2005's last two or three episodes, and BLINK and possibly bits of CHRISTMAS INVASION. She loved Martha and from this, who wouldn't? In fact, who wouldn't love Martha from anything she's been in. Freema is just so likable and in this she excells beyond all hope of any negative comments against her: I have none. She's great and Martha, despite her crush on the Doctor, proves that she rises above the petty stuff that Rose always held close to her heart: Martha will sacrafice herself for Joan and John. Even in the end, Martha was willing to talk to Joan to get her to come with them or change her mind. Tears were welling up for most of this ep.
The actress who plays Joan is SO good, too. She just makes me believe all the impossible things. The boy who plays Tim is good, too but frankly in the WW1 scenes, I don't believe in him as a strong survivor type, I just don't as much as I like the actor. Glad Tim didn't die here. We don't get to find out much about how his life turned out and I wonder if they were going for a "Tim is gay" too thing or not. The ending was meloncoly but nice in a way.
The aliens are just so well portrayed here, too. As Freema says in the extended confidential, you keep hoping that there will be some reasoning with them because they look so human but really there is no hope. Will Scarlet from ROBIN HOOD or rather the actor who played him is Son of Mine and while I had some misgivings about how he played Baines before Baines was taken over, he does a great job as a quirky, strange alien with a sense of humor and malace. Similaly, the actress who plays Jenny as Mother of Mine does a great job, especially when taunting Martha about how Jenny died and evoking a scream in the middle of it. The difference is she imbibed Jenny with a real human flavor before she was taken over.
I told of my misgivings about the ending and how the Doctor disabled the foursome but in hindsight, perhaps the destruction of the ship brought them down in power. They still had their guns so they still could have shot the Doctor. If the confrontation were to go like this, why hide anyway, why not give yourself over to them a long time before all this, move some controls, and...I guess that wouldnt have worked. Still, it seems irresponsbile of the DOctor to hide out among humans who could become and did become targets.
In the novel, which I am sure is NOT as good as this (the fob watch being the main case and the acting) but was fairly well done anyway, I'm sure I recall many more boys being killed by the Family and much more bloodshed. I'm sort of glad they didn't take that stance here and have kids being killed outright. It was creepy enough that Lucy had to die thanks to Sister of Mine. BTW what were the family? Entities of energy? Clouds? Alien mayflies?
Interesting dilemma for John Smith. And one he faced bravely: he had a lot to lose. ANd Martha claiming that the Doctor is lonely. He is. Tim's speech is so magnificent for all of it but especially how it ends, "...and he's marvelous..." At first, I thought he could have avoided many deaths by just giving the watch to Martha but the watch apparently didn't want to be given over at the wrong time.
The scenes of the life John Smith would have had...magnificent, too. Brilliant and so so sad that the Doctor/John and Joan will never have that life which is why I imagine that when the DOctor is ready to die, he will go back and find Joan and convince her he is now JOhn Smith and lead that life all over again and then die at that ripe old age and then...who knows what lurks in his DNA (see my last post about the first part of this story and how I'd love DW to end in the long run). ANd if they had children...Time Lord DNA lurking in them someplace, too?
The thing is: the novel and this is at odds with a lot of other DW. For one thing, the Doctor had his own family and apparently had a wife, a son, a brother, and a grand daugther, thus falling in love should have occurred to him. Having a lover should have occurred to him and it is not as if he didn't do some of this before, danced before as put in THE DOCTOR DANCES.
Still if you can ignore the DOctor's death dealing in other stories, his mean ending for the family here (THEY SO DESERVED IT) and his hiding in the first place compared to other DW stories, this is really a great love story and I don't mind that there's less Doctor in it than John Smith...he was a hero, John Smith.
Still, I would not mind seeing Joan again and having her return MUCH MORE than the River Song character.
10/10 or 5/5 and if possible a higher score than even that would be given. Riveting.