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VERY BELATED "The Caretaker" reaction post

I totally forgot to do one, then I thought "too late, won't bother" and then I thought "but then only one episode from season 8 is missing a reaction post."

So here. Spoilery questions underneath the cut?

1. Were you "sold" on the idea of Clara with Danny before and if not, did this episode change anything?
2. How shit was the monster, though?
3. How do you feel about "Doctor invades the companion's life" stories generally and is this an exception or does it just support your existing feelings?
4. Does Danny have a point about the Doctor? What's with the soldier theme this season?

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
randomgirl666
Oct. 12th, 2014 01:35 pm (UTC)
Answering my own questions:

1. I wasn't really sold before this episode or during this episode. I didn't think there was anything particularly wrong with their interactions in "Listen" but I also wonder why they would keep trying after that train-wreck of a first date. Their initial attraction to each other didn't seem so compelling that it would be worthwhile. In fact, I only started to warm up to Clara and Danny at the end of "Kill the Moon" and then I started to lose interest again in "Mummy on the Orient Express."

2. The monster was shit, it looked like something left over from "Batteries Not Included."

3. I am generally not that into "Doctor invades the companion's life" stories but this was better than some.

4. Danny probably does have a point about the Doctor. Some people have said otherwise, but for me the Doctor's objection to soldiers is a long-running thing that goes way back to the 1970s or earlier. Yet he's done lots of soldierish things. I don't know, maybe the Doctor's real objection to soldiers is that they might bring out that side in him more? We know the Doctor is definitely influenced by his companions - that's why he picks people like Amy and Clara who are probably not gonna waste a spacewhale or kill a moon egg.
imyril
Oct. 12th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
I've had no problem with Clara/Danny from the start - I like Danny Pink, and I have enjoyed their tentative goofs. I think we're all much quicker to judge things on screen than we are in reality though; to simplify and see the worst, forgetting the way our judgement gets clouded by hormones, chemistry and nerves. And I believe Clara is smart and bold enough to recognise when a train has derailed for the wrong reasons, and to go back, apologise and start over. Which isn't that different to what she has done again in the Orient Express...

I did have a problem with the escalated confrontation between Danny and the Doctor in the Caretaker - that rang less true for me, or perhaps more honestly I just didn't enjoy seeing behaviours I don't like from 2 characters I desperately want to like. The Doctor was childish and rude, and Danny responded in kind. He had cause - he'd been wound up enough - but the way it was handled didn't win my sympathy.

So overall, I ended up disliking this episode quite a lot. The Doctor behaves badly, the monster was just rubbish (and the Doctor's plan to lure it to the school was barmy). I'm failing to think of Doctor Invading Companion's Life stories to be honest, but this didn't sell me on them.

But Danny does have a point - just as Rory did, and Mickey too. The Doctor pushes people beyond their boundaries; this is a good and a bad thing, but it frequently puts them in danger and out of their comfort zone. And it often ends badly for them in NuWho - only Martha has walked away unscathed so far, and actually - given what she goes on to do (including nearly blowing up the planet) that's a pretty terrible definition of unscathed. She's become a different person (although compare and contrast how Donna ultimately doesn't, and how utterly heartbreaking that is). So he's right to worry about Clara, and I did respect that he respects her choice to continue putting herself at risk - his ultimatum isn't intended to stop her travelling with the Doctor, only to do so with her eyes open and to start being honest with Danny (and by extension herself) about what it's doing to her.

The Doctor hating soldiers... well, there's continuity to a point, but it's certainly amped up now, isn't it? I'm taking this as more of an overarching plot point even than Missy, although I assume the resolution of those 2 bits of meta will be interwoven - the Doctor either being proven right to distrust soldiers/Danny or being forced to re-examine his prejudice in order to resolve whatever Heaven represents. I've not been thinking too hard about what that might - I'm just along for the ride :)
randomgirl666
Oct. 12th, 2014 10:01 pm (UTC)
"I think we're all much quicker to judge things on screen than we are in reality though; to simplify and see the worst, forgetting the way our judgement gets clouded by hormones, chemistry and nerves."

Yes I suppose this is true. I think it was just that my initial impression of the amount of "hormones" and "chemistry" between Danny and Clara didn't particularly make me think they would be that committed that quick. Their initial flirtations seemed to me more like a "let's see what happens" thing than a "oh my god he/she is so HOT" thing.

"I'm failing to think of Doctor Invading Companion's Life stories to be honest, but this didn't sell me on them."

I was thinking of "The Power of Three" and... come to think of it there are lots of moments where he invades the companion's life but not many episodes centred around it.

"So he's right to worry about Clara, and I did respect that he respects her choice to continue putting herself at risk."

He does have a very good point, but the fact he appeared to have insight into the situation after knowing about it for five minutes didn't quite convince me.

"The Doctor hating soldiers... well, there's continuity to a point, but it's certainly amped up now, isn't it?"

I think the Doctor's been more consistent about it in season 8 than he ever has previously. Even when the Third Doctor was constantly snarking at UNIT, he'd be friendly with them as individuals. This plot point may as well have a big flashing red sign pointing to it, but I'm okay with that because I'm interested in where it's going.

Edited at 2014-10-12 10:04 pm (UTC)
imyril
Oct. 12th, 2014 10:31 pm (UTC)
I'd forgotten Power of Three (ahem, and most of S7(a); I'm looking forward to rewatching it to see if it makes a better impression - I enjoyed Asylum and was then underwhelmed by everything up until Hide).

And yes, you're right - I'm cutting Danny a lot of slack for being charming, funny and super-insightful - or a pre-briefed UNIT plant. I'll be slightly disappointed if he's just charming, funny and super-insightful ;)
nostalgia_lj
Oct. 12th, 2014 07:36 pm (UTC)

1. I just don't really care about pairings that don't have the Doctor in them :/

2. It was very SJA which doesn't have to be a bad thing.

3. I like when he pretends to be normal, he is so bad at it.

4. Danny's presumably right about everything, I think he is gifted with Authorial Voice.
randomgirl666
Oct. 12th, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC)
Ah. To be honest, I was a bit embarassed by the monsters in SJA. It was very "children's BBC." I couldn't imagine anyone being scared of it, it looked like it could be used to teach small children about the alphabet.

I hadn't thought about Danny having authorial voice, but come to think of it, he has pointed out the Doctor's hypocrisy after all of five minutes of knowing the guy AND he's been perfectly reasonable about Clara's decisions.
nostalgia_lj
Oct. 13th, 2014 01:23 am (UTC)
it looked like it could be used to teach small children about the alphabet.

Heh!

Danny strikes me as being the one reasonable character and the one most likely to be right about things.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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