R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson
rj_anderson

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DOCTOR WHO: "Human Nature"

If I had just one thing to say about the episode it would be this:

Dear Doctor: If you are going to download your Time Lord essence into a pocket-watch and inform your companion that she is responsible to open it at some crucial moment, you may want to try, y'know, GIVING IT TO HER.

Seriously, my exasperation over that bungled plot detail nearly spoiled my enjoyment of the rest of the show. Of course, if he'd given it to Martha for safekeeping she would probably have put it in some perfectly logical and secure place where it couldn't be lost, found by Timothy or stolen by the Family, and then there would be no Plot. But I think we ought to have at least had some explanation for why he didn't.

It was probably not possible for this episode to be as good as I anticipated, so I don't want to be too picky. The atmosphere is wonderful, and Joan and Timothy in particular are perfect. I also like the Family, though I am sad that Aphasia is not, apparently, Aphasia. And that the balloon appears to be just a balloon. I hope I am wrong about that, especially the last part.

I do think -- guardedly because we haven't seen the second half yet -- that this story was more powerful when it was Seven playing the part of John Smith instead of Ten. Because with Seven you had the sense that he sincerely didn't grok what humans feel like when they fall in love, and that subconsciously (or possibly consciously, you never knew with Seven) he knew he needed to, and when he became John Smith there was this whole new side of him you'd never seen before and it was poignant and surprising and wonderful. Whereas Ten is everybody's boyfriend and we already know he's needy and vulnerable behind the breezy exterior, so there has to be some highly plotty reason for him to become human instead, and when he's human he's actually less sympathetic and emotionally complex, so the whole exercise seems to be designed primarily to torture Martha. (Who handles it very well on the whole, bless her. Have I said lately that I love Martha? Because I really do.)

Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing how the story wraps up next week. Perhaps it will break the tradition of the second part being a bit of a letdown? That would be nice.
Tags: doctor who, reviews, tv
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