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excogito ergo sum
I committed myself to life as one would to an asylum
Fannish stuff - I don't know how to call these anymore 
17th-Nov-2014 12:31 am

Bullet point reviews:

  • KATE! Doctor on a payroll. Mostly KATE!

  • Humans being stupid: the Doctor president. Well, it’s really no coincidence if aliens are always trying to invade us. We might be the dumbest sentient species to date. I’m not kidding. It’s not even cool. It’s the kind of idea that makes me pinch the bridge of my nose and shake my head in despair. Saruman, be kind to us.

  • Clara, Clara, Clara. More lying! That never goes wrong. That said, I’ve got to give it to Moffat, he really made me think for a split second that in a Big Bang-like move, the Doctor had swapped body with Clara. Not exactly before the opening titles because her speech was pure Clara. But right after the opening titles and before she started listing evidence (because that also screamed Clara), I believed.

  • “Not telling you.”

  • Osgood not so much of a fansert anymore. I really like her.

  • Weaponised the dead; nice call back to the Vashta Nerada.

  • Old Brig. That’s completely not hilarious and over the top. Good. Now we can write threesomes involving Old Nate and Ma Mystère.

  • “Look at me. I’m bananas.”

  • “Hey Missy, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind.”

  • “I’m proud of you sister.”

  • “I’m accelerating for dramatic effect.”

  • I need to stop, but Missy is clearly a goddess.

  • Osgood dead? Okay, might have called it the moment the Doctor offered to add “all of time on space” on her bucket list. It’s just one of those blatant “she’s gonna die” lines. It’s a shame though; Moffat really rounded the “fan insert” edges. She was competent and adorable and seems to fit UNIT much more than the first time. I still cannot believe she’s dead? I thought her mind would be uploaded in the Nethersphere and that she would be somewhat saved. Epic death though. Love a good death scene.

  • Missy killed Kate?! Okay, I might hate her now.

  • The Doctor diving into the TARDIS River-style. Come on, Moffat, you wanted us to think about her!

  • “Kill some Belgians. Might as well, they’re not even French.” The French heaved a collective sigh.

  • Zombie Danny. Incidentally, Zombie Danny comes with the proof that this whole weaponised dead is wonky as hell. The cyber-exoskeleton clearly is attached to whatever is left inside. And I bet the most part of the buried humanity is dislocated bones. So how do you make it work? I mean it’s not Who only. One of the main reasons I don’t like Zombie movies is because they don’t bother to come up with solid explanations. If you integrate magic, everything works. If you remain within the realm of science-fiction, how do you explain that a bag of bones with half its tendrils stays up? And people are not the same built. Children died. Elderly died. And if the exoskeleton is a clever idea, I’m still left with the “What in the world do you think people buried for such a long time look like?!” Most skeletons are probably incomplete…  Skeleton war is fun. In Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

  • Clara was a pawn in the Mistress’ hands? Or rather a move. In fact, Clara really encouraged the irrational streak in the Doctor. Enough for him to ‘Go to Hell’. Enough for him to let her take control when she shouldn’t. That’s a really elaborated con you pulled here Missy. Come and talk about it to Nate and he will point you out everything you did wrong.

  • As much as I adore the dead fighting for the living, I am a tad upset by the consequences. Basically, every person buried up to this date could have been turned into a Cyberman. Hundreds of graves empty. Like the moon being an egg, it’s the kind of information you’d rather jettison to make an awful lot of things work in-universe, especially in fanfiction. *shrugs*

  • Every actor really rose to the challenge. It’s masterclass acting-fest.

  • Missy Poppins!

  • The fact she did it all for the Doctor makes me feel really bad.

  • “I need my friend back!” Missy broke my heart there.

  • “I am an idiot!” He said it.

  • Bit nonplussed by the Doctor’s big speech. As much as it was moving and necessary, I fear it was somewhat ill-prepared writing-wise. It’s not exactly as if the Doctor had been blind and dishonest for the whole series. Instead he had been remarkably clear-eyed and honest. He didn’t skimp on a pragmatism close to cynicism, sure. But he obviously loved Clara and didn’t act that much like a soldier –except when Danny was there to point it out. In fact, it felt as if Twelve was making a speech for Eleven on Trenzalore rather than himself. You know, the old man who actually waged war for hundreds of years and manipulated and lied and refused to love far more than Twelve. That’s not the speech I expected him to make after this series, after the way Clara changed, after the way they were left unable to communicate, after the way he was out of depth most of the time. It’s confusing.

  • “Love is a promise.” Also a psychopath. Enter the Mistress.

  • Moffat spends a disproportionate amount of time in cemeteries. This episode is super dark. The cemetery scenes are just greyish-ly lit. It’s not going to be pleasant to gif.

  • “I’m not a hero” but you still decide who lives or dies. Yeah. *lets it go because it’s the Doctor*Actually, no. It always bothers me, it always makes me sick, so I’m going to complain. Never sentence someone to be executed on your own. Even if it an unrepentant genocidal maniac. Even Clara asks you to. She’s raw, she’s been misguided for half a series now, she’s probably traumatised, but damn it, Doctor, you don’t get to make that call.

  • Danny’s decision is not really a soldier’s decision at this point. It’s a hero’s one. You were a good man Danny Pink and I wish we had seen a little more of you and understood you better.

  • OKAY, EVERYBODY GOT BURNT IN THE SKY! Have you any idea what will be snowing afterwards? That’s right, carbonised bits of your deceased relatives.


  • The Brig saving his daughter and being saluted by the Doctor. Okay, my eyes stung a little bit at that moment. Just a little. Probably still under the ‘carbonised  bits of rotten relatives ash rain’ shock. Yikes.

  • Missy lying about Gallifrey. HA! That’s why you don’t just execute criminals, you idiot.

  • Danny saving the kid. Okay, despite questionable FX choice (I thought Danny was bringing Clara’s mother back O_O), this was beautiful. Just perfect. Although I’m not sure I understand how. But wonderful, wonderful bit. This episode should be called ‘The times Danny sacrificed himself a lot’.

  • Clara and the Doctor lying to each other’s face. Nope. It’s rude. Part of me thinks the Doctor lied to Clara precisely because she changed him and he can’t allow her to change him more than she already did. He wanted to kill his former best friend for her. He believed in heaven and Gallifrey back, because of her. He had started his series as a sceptic and a pragmatic but Clara had been chosen for him; the girl who made her life a story and lives in lies. He started believing. Missy was the mastermind, Clara the confidence trickster. I did say in Listen that she was bad influence.


  • Very nice ending of Clara sending the Doctor off. Not the end of her story though. Obviously. She’s as gone as Missy is.

  • The ending is tonally odd; it’s The Flame Within all over again.

  • Okay, I’m practically sure no one knows what The Flame Within is. It’s a 1930s picture with Ann Harding and Herbert Marshall. And the ending is directed as light, when story-wise it’s abysmally bleak and quite despairing. Which is a bit what happened.

  • Danny and Clara’s story never really came across as an epic love story because it never was. Just like Danny died a ‘boring’ death, Danny and Clara had a pretty ‘unexciting’ story. Danny was completely straightforward as much in his attraction or discomfort with Clara. Clara was the one who kept coming back, quite literally pushing forward the love story narrative. Even the Eurydice path she prompted. In the end Danny performed his big epic sacrifices less out of love for Clara and more out of being at this point a ‘better man’ than the Doctor or Clara.  Retrospectively, it makes a lot of decisions Clara and Danny had respectively taken work for me. At last.

  • It wrapped very nicely the series, very very nicely. I missed Moffat’s timey-wimey acrobatics, but Missy somewhat made up for the more down-to-earth narration. She’s insanely fabulous. Scratch that. They all were. Moffat really managed to make his characters “peak” in this episode.

On the series as a whole: technically one of the best material written by Moffat. Themes, stories, character development, no more blockbusters. Excellent new writers. Episodes that really stick out (Listen, The Caretaker), some very nice blending of actual plots and character development (Flatline, Mummy on the Orient Express). Not the most exciting series for me though. Emotional arcs are not exactly my cup of tea and this was more of a season-long character study than classic ‘Who’ fun and adventures. I miss the lightness and a team. In terms of ambitions and completion of the latter, it was solid, adult and subtle (most of the time). Which is good. Of course Who can do it. I guess it only shows just how malleable Doctor who is.

Fortunately, I'm less talkative from now on.

Kitty and Joan. Sherlock and Bell. That is all.

Actually, I have a bit more to ramble about. The toys being used as drug was rather extremely disturbing and I loved the fact that it was Kitty who practically came up with the solution. Apparently I have the sort of imagination that would make me an excellent criminal. The more you know… That’s not what I wanted to ramble about. I like how everyone’s relationship is trying to balance this series. It does not work perfectly yet and does not seem to aim for equilibrium as well, but it’s certainly not forced. Kitty broke my heart and now I just want Watson and Sherlock to teach her together. This show is still extremely satisfying when it comes to characters. It’s like a good play; it just flows, without a reef.

I need to watch the new one.

For Grissom’s sake, it was Coulson whump from beginning to end; it’s embarrassing. And Ward is out and I have no desire to see him the focal point of the story as he was around the same time last series. No. Not again, show. You have interesting stories to tell about Skye, Jemma, May, TRIPLETT, hell, Fitz and Mack, begging to be told. Stop focusing on white fan favourite males. I am pissed off. Coulson has no arc, Ward is a good villain but why, oh, why narratively favour him against the rest of the team? When we want nothing but to learn more about Triplett who is criminally underused. I don’t even know what Hunter and Morse are doing there; I’m just as annoyed as May by their banter. I actually love Bobbi… when she’s far from Hunter. Hunter is only fun when he is being utterly despised by May. Show, you can do better.

I’m behind with Korra.

Hum, in other news, it also has been Moffat appreciation week on tumblr, and I've (barely) done things:

In the best villain category: The Mistress - "I am in charge."

In the best underappreciated work category: Jekyll - "What's the big deal about Claire?"

(I absolutely did not draw this to see if I could manage Gina Bellman's face in a realistic manner. This is immensely spoilery and meta-ish of me. I apologise.)

Check this tag and bask in Moffat love with us all.

17th-Nov-2014 04:59 am (UTC)
Can I love you for this post?!

17th-Nov-2014 10:47 pm (UTC)
Love is always welcome? Especially when it flatters my ego and prolixity.

*hugs tight*
17th-Nov-2014 07:54 pm (UTC)
Love your Doctor Who thoughts, although am... thrown by the idea of Clara being the bad influence. She has gone from a young girl whom Eleven declared about:

DOCTOR: But you don't run out on the people you care about. Wish I was more like that.

To someone who can confidently declare that she *is* the Doctor.

And this is directly due to the Doctor's influence. Especially Twelve, and this season... He lures her away from her ordinary life and 'PE', compliments her on her lying skills, and step by steps trains her to be just like him. Throws the fate of the world at her, and expects her to catch and make that decision.

Not that Doctor-induced damage is confined to Clara, although her metamorphosis is more pronounced and complete than any of the others... (Donna apart)

- Rose got stranded in Pete's World.

- Martha walked away, but she - and her family - were deeply traumatised.

- Donna... oh Donna.

- Amy's childhood was messed around with, her child was stolen and abused, and she ended up stranded in the past.

I have not seen all of Seven's stories, but Clara's arc mostly resembles Ace's IMHO. Ace's story was supposed to end with her entrance to the Academy, and this - if it were possible - would be a fitting ending for Clara also. And the manipulation is comparable also.

All that said, then yes Clara has an enormous narrative power (the most apart River). I am still waiting to see why this is, but I suspect it is inherent. However treating Clara as if she isn't a victim strikes me as a little bit like blaming Osgood for getting killed.

I hope this all makes sense - I am still trying to process everything, and will write long meta, but this was just so far from my own reading that I needed to say something. Hope you don't mind. Love everything you wrote about Missy, f.ex.

Actually, kaffyr has an excellent post that I recommend wholeheartedly, even if I don't agree with it 100%. But she gets to the heart of a lot of the brokenness of both Clara and Twelve.

ETA: Knew I was forgetting something! Saw the Claire picture on the Moffat Tumblr and flailed a lot. (JEKYLL!!! And oh, Claire...) Didn't realise you'd drawn it, although I guess I should have guessed... ♥

Edited at 2014-11-17 10:21 pm (UTC)
17th-Nov-2014 10:30 pm (UTC)
Hum, it's actually a rather complex issue, both in my understanding of Clara and the Doctor's arcs and my general mind frame regarding relationships. The key idea being: I see Clara as being a bad influence rather than the bad influence.

It all starts with Clara's initial desire to be the right kind of heroine to help the Doctor in a specific situation. Back in series 7. It winds up with her sacrificing herself for the Doctor and supposedly being saved by this condition: Clara jumps to save the Doctor, the Doctor jumps to save Clara, Clara is alive because she needs to keep the Doctor alive in the timestream, the Doctor is in the timestream because he's saving Clara, etc. The Doctor would follow her in death and this binds them together more thoroughly than the S7 game of cat and mouse he had been playing. Comes The Day of the Doctor and the Doctor does as Clara tells him to do and they save Gallifrey together. As well he should. That's the moment where she truly is the Doctor "on the day it wasn't possible to get it right".
WAR DOCTOR: And if I grow to be half the man that you are, Clara Oswald, I shall be happy indeed.

Clara is a good role model at this point. Has a little tendency to tell stories to herself, but it’s harmless.

Clara, as the heroine type she is, would want to save the world on her own. It's natural -and frankly quite logical when you travel with someone as unreliable as the Doctor: she's a confident young woman who is used to building types for herself and this time her attention focuses on the Doctor rather than the feisty nanny or the hacker. He's a hero; he saved his home planet, he was ready to die for Trenzalore. Why not choose to be him?

There is a double mechanism at play. While Clara is preparing to watch and learn, she's also dealing with a completely new Doctor who doesn't interact as she is used to. He's brutally honest; he's much more cynical and skeptic, and most of the time he is unable or unwilling to read her correctly. He's not the hero she used to see him as. Also his old bad habits still linger: carelessness, no explanation, no apologies, too much running (“but it’s’ necessary”, she would add), lying (“but it’s the only thing keeping it together”, she would argue), etc. All that needs ruthless editing. So she tries to correct the course: "No, Doctor, that's not what we just learned." While still learning from him. But her editing is not without flaws.

The Doctor has never demonstrated a great ability to reflect sensibly on his own actions. He buries them or lets them eat him. It’s no wonder that, as series 8 went on, Clara lost the self-reflectiveness that could have prevented her from picking up “lying” as a necessary hero trait. And the Doctor is lacking plain good old human comprehension. He misreads her constantly and since Clara is also trying to be the Doctor, she misreads herself. While still evolving and changing him and herself…

That's Clara's "narrative power". She's actively shaping him AND shaping herself after his re-shaped self and part of his Eleven's self and part of his idealised self, while he is (guiltily) shaping her -which he always does with his companions, nihil novi, and is rarely depicted as entirely positive.

Edited at 2014-11-17 10:39 pm (UTC)
17th-Nov-2014 10:31 pm (UTC)
I won't take it away from Clara; she knows she is doing it, just as much as the Doctor. The manipulation is mutual. And if it makes it look like I'm blaming her for what happened, I must confess I am a bit confused. A relationship between someone like Clara and the Doctor had to include a fair share of manipulation. (And I'm not saying that only because I've watched a lot of Leverage lately and one of the relationships is built on mutual manipulation) It was bound to happen. And this is actually exactly what Missy used against the Doctor.

Missy chose Clara for what I referred to as her huge con. The control freak and the man who should never be controlled. Clara is not a pawn; she is a move, pulled by the Mistress to get the Doctor precisely where she wants him to be. Believing in Hell and by her side. She bet on Clara influencing him and him influencing her. As I said, it's a scam. Was Clara used by the Doctor? Yes, as most of his companions are. Was she used by Missy? Yes, but, remarkably, less cruelly than by the Doctor with his companions, whatever his body. Did she use him? She did, to build a hero she wanted to be and even if it dangerously disconnected her from life as not a narrative.

And to me, that's what makes her remarkably adult and fascinating. That's what makes her one the most intricate characters Moffat has written for this show. It's certainly cynic of me, but I enjoyed it.

I hope I somewhat clarified my point of view –which is that I refuse to see Clara as a sole victim of what happened to her. She was not his creature of clay that lashed out back at him.

Pffeew, I was not planning to write that much and I apologise for it. It seems I have a LOT of meta to catch up with, thanks for the heads-up.

Edited at 2014-11-17 10:42 pm (UTC)
17th-Nov-2014 10:45 pm (UTC)
Saw the Claire picture on the Moffat Tumblr and flailed a lot. (JEKYLL!!! And oh, Claire...) Didn't realise you'd drawn it, although I guess I should have guessed... ♥
♥♥♥ THANK YOU! It means a lot! So few people seemed to have watched Jekyll, which is a shame. Because meta everywhere!

Did you have time to leaf through some of the Moffat entries? The meta produced is WONDERFUL. The graphics are not so bad either...
19th-Nov-2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
The Doctor president: god, yes. That was all comic relief (his face + his line to Missy) but REALLY! Presidents get elected, for one…

Missy's lines, oh yes. Immensely quotable. ♥♥♥

I still cannot believe [Osgood]’s dead? I thought her mind would be uploaded in the Nethersphere and that she would be somewhat saved.
I have trouble believing it, too… We never trust dead people to stay dead with Moffat, do we?

The Doctor diving into the TARDIS River-style. Come on, Moffat, you wanted us to think about her!
Whee, that's true! :D

“Kill some Belgians. Might as well, they’re not even French.” The French heaved a collective sigh.
ROFL. That and the line about Americans…

Re: zombies and the Cyberman conversion being unrealistic: good point well made, sister.

Good points about Twelve's speech. *ponders*

Moffat spends a disproportionate amount of time in cemeteries.
God, yes! My thoughts exactly. Yes about the lighting too, I saw a pretty good Twelve/Missy vid, nicely edited, but it emphasized the darkness and they just looked like their features were carved and shadowy or something, too bad…

Sentencing Missy to die: pretty much exactly what you said, completely contradictory to his previous epiphany. He needs to stop Clara, but ends up completely stuck. 100% believing he would not have killed her but what else might he have done?

OKAY, EVERYBODY GOT BURNT IN THE SKY! Have you any idea what will be snowing afterwards? That’s right, carbonised bits of your deceased relatives.
This is true and I love you.

Danny saving the kid: god, yes. Beautiful sacrifice. ♥ And interesting points about the Danny/Clara story.

GOD I LOVED THAT. You know me and heartbreak. Also, I had that really insane shippy moment when I hadn't realized Gallifrey was not there, and wondered why the huge breakdown and thought it was because Missy had told him the truth, amazingly, but was now gone—the real thing made a lot more sense, obviously, but that was a weird moment. XD

MISSY DRAWING! Oh, that was perfect and I love you for it!

*hugs you tightly* ♥♥♥
16th-Jan-2015 10:35 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, never answered your message. Which is a shame because: I had that really insane shippy moment when I hadn't realized Gallifrey was not there, and wondered why the huge breakdown and thought it was because Missy had told him the truth, amazingly, but was now gone
You need to write this though. Not necessarily as an alternative universe, but as an insight. Imagine the Doctor realising the Mistress was gone, when she was his best chance at the moment to find Gallifrey again... The feeling that he allowed this execution for Clara, and what he had lost then. Also there is a quite terrifying parallel to make with Clara being threatened by the cyborg in Deep Breath and escaping precisely because she had information. But she did not grant life to the Mistress for the same reason. Part of me is angry Clara ended up there; it's certainly not an enjoyable development to her character. But it's an interesting one, and certainly daring for the show -even if I doubt they will push it further, which would be hilarious, because great evil women are rare. I'm curious as to where Moffat is bringing her next series. Just a teensy bit afraid he will sweep up this whole part of her uncovered personality under the rug with another leap in time.

MISSY DRAWING! Oh, that was perfect and I love you for it!
THANK YOU! She was quite fun to draw. I realised past the joy of having her in the show, I have some difficulties envisioning her characterization-wise. Need to write her.

*hugs you tighter*
22nd-Jan-2015 08:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is a good idea, true. Mmm, I need to write things. *ominous silence* Since NaNo this is not a thing my brain wants, lol.

I really wonder where they will go next with Clara, too. Fingers crossed that character development erasure won't happen =P

I'd love to see you write Missy! ;)

*hugs you breathless*
27th-Jan-2015 11:52 pm (UTC)
Me neither, since... too long. We should get T-shirts.

Part of me wants to consider any kind of writing mistakes, as very deliberate and meaningful, like the fact we never got to see the aftermath of Clara's breakdown in the timestream being a embodiment of Clara's own inability to look back on herself... But then I write a little, and I have done my share of text analyses. The audience/reader puts a lot into fiction. You can make a lot of things work if you consider it as whole as life; life doesn't make sense. So unlike my trust in Elementary's writers or Leverage's, the one I put in Who's writers is... probably the same as the trust I would put in the Doctor. Which is meh, and I mainly trust myself to make it work afterwards. It's still enticing and ambitious; it's just a bit careless. And it's not just leaving space for headcanons and Big Finish: Leverage and Elementary do it quite a lot, huge chunks of backstories and stories we won't see, because it's the characters' and the show has adopted a certain POV. Who seems to simply go 'nope you don't need to see that because'. Especially concerning Clara, and it's frustrating.

Okay, I can probably find a place for Missy in my faith giant of a fic... She's so wicked, she would get on like a house on fire with River.

*hugs you tight* I hope you are doing okay. I was under the impression you updated your journal less often. Or maybe, it's simply me being less here.
4th-Feb-2015 07:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if it'd help, but yeah! *starts designing a T-shirt*

Haha, yes, we can always come up with reasons in hindsight but we can't just pretend it was meant to be this way and it all smoothly falls together. "Careless" sounds like the perfect word. Some things just get dismissed and it's a shame…

the fact we never got to see the aftermath of Clara's breakdown in the timestream being a embodiment of Clara's own inability to look back on herself...
Ohhhh, I really like that. Clever!

I'm quite thrilled about the prospect of Missy in your fic now! :D

*hugs back* I'm doing fine, thanks! I've been a bit MIA, yeah, but it's mostly because I just don't bother with journal updates. I don't feel like I've got anything interesting to say, and I keep hectic with work and keeping up with fandom, or rather trying to. So at the end of the day, I can't think of a single thing to put in a journal update and prefer to run away rewatch s1 so my brain can unwind a little. XD

I hope you're well, too ♥ Love.

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