Examining the relationship between River and the Doctor. — January 11, 2016

Examining the relationship between River and the Doctor.

River is really confusing. Here is a flow chart that explains her timeline. Ten meets her first in the Library, where she dies and is uploaded to the library database. We never expected to see her again, she was a mysterious character for one episode, who had the Doctor’s screwdriver and new his real name. But no. That was just the beginning.  We see River again with Eleven and Amy, with no real explanation except it is implied that they have crossed paths again since the Library. This new relationship with River is very flirtive and for the first time it is suggested: is River your wife? O.o IS she? There’s also a deeper explanation of the journal used to keep track of their timelines. They are both time travelers and therefore, their timelines sort of go…in reverse. Try not to think about it too hard. For the rest of season five River remains a bit of an enigma, and sexual, confusing enigma. Things really start getting interesting around Season Six. We learn that she is Amy and Rory’s baby from the future. Yeah. She’s also their childhood friend who they named their baby after. Again, try not to think about it too hard. I’m jumping over that primarily aside from the quick note that this changes the dynamic a lot as it does make Amy and Rory the Doctor’s in-laws.

Through the next seasons, as they become more serious and eventually get married, the relationship blossoms into something really beautiful. There’s been some debate over how much he really loves her, in which case I point you to the season finale of season 7. When the Doctor, talking to post-library River. (dead River) says “I can always see you and I can always hear you,” you know. You know that he lives along side her constantly. She is his wife. For better or for worse, and frankly I don’t think he takes that lightly. Look at the way he kisses her in this scene. Go back and re-watch it if you have to. Look at the gentleness with which he touches her.  Look at the pain in his eyes as he let’s her go. He hold’s back through most of the serious because it hurts him too much, but in this final moment between them he let’s himself go and he’s honest.

There’s another great episode that displays their complex relationship in a really good way in season 7, “Angels take Manhattan.” this is an important episode for other reasons, but for now, this is about River. Important moments to note; when he gets upset she can tell, and she tries to work with him, but he gets angry and yells at her to fix the problem by herself. “It’s called Marriage, Sweetie.” So she breaks her wrist for him. And she hides it. He gets all happy and puppy-dogish and then he realizes. And you see him yelling at her. She takes it, she absorbs it. She does all this for him. Because she loves him. “Oh God yes, she loves him!, absolutely ferociously!” (Moffat) And then he realized that he’s hurt her emotionally and he tries to fix it by fixing her physically and she gets angry and storms off. And there’s this very intimate moment with her mother where we realize how hard it is for river. Married to a god with the face of a twelve year old, who would rather rip out the last page than read the ending. that’s a harsh moment because you see that she’s afraid that if her sees her aging and realizes her mortality, he’ll leave her behind.

Through all this, I’m going to go back to that first episode. Her last moment with the doctor. There’s a moment where she’s trying to comfort him, and she reaches up to his chest as if to straighten his bow tie and then realizes it’s not there and I think that’s a great display of her pain throughout this.

“He looks right through me and it shouldn’t kill me, but it does.”

Looking back on all this, her last day with the doctor and they are strangers.

 

Why Doctor Who is still my favorite show after all these years —

Why Doctor Who is still my favorite show after all these years

Doctor Who. Charming, scary, exciting, adventurous. Funny. Heartbreaking. The perfect entertainment cocktail. But it’s complexity and strong, poignant messages are what have kept me in love with it since I first started watching it when I was twelve.

There are a lot of things I was interested in a long time ago that I still love now, Harry Potter, Merlin, Percy Jackson…but they’ve taken on a sort of nostalgic quality and my interest in them have admittedly faded away a bit. But Doctor Who has stayed consistent, on not just the new episodes either. They are so relevant to my life, to anyone’s life.

Let’s start with the doctor. Classic who is charming and interesting, but right now I’m going to focus on Modern Who, which is what I’ve been watching the longest. The Doctor is a man who ran away and goes on glorious adventures and explores. But the 8th doctor, the Doctor in-between series, he suffered. He murdered two whole species, including his own in order to end a never ending war. No More. He made horrible decisions for the right reasons and he has to carry that weight now. Each incarnation of the Doctor carries that weight in a different way. 9, fresh from the war, remembers his wrong doings and is probably the kindest doctor, the largest pacifist of the post-war Doctors. One of my absolute favorite lines from Doctor Who is when 9 is asked if he wants to be a hero or a coward and he says “Hero, Any day.” 9 might look dark and sullen but that’s where people read him wrong. He is happy and in love and has a strong moral code. Nine chooses to loose instead of causing loss.  I’m going to come back to Ten so bare with me but right now I have to skip to eleven for just a moment to point out something: nine chooses to give up being a god. Eleven pretends to be a god. Nine would be a merciful god. Eleven is a vengeful god. Nine is a puppy in a leather jacket. Eleven is a killer in a fez. What bridges the two is Ten.

Ten. By far the fan favorite. He is joyful and adventurous but as time has pasted and the sting of his decision has worn off, he has grown bitter and angry and I do think Ten is the most depressed Doctor of the lot. He has continued to loose and to make mistakes and in a very human way, the Doctor feels injustice.  This Doctor, this Doctor is still in love very much with Rose, and he holds himself back, he restrains himself, and as the universe treats him, it takes her away. And the man who deserves so much ends up again with nothing. “You gave me hope and then you took it away, and that’s enough to make any one dangerous.” Ten has a lot of scary moments. One that is genuinely terrifying is when we see him stumble in Water On Mars. That bone chilling moment when he says “The Laws of Time are Mine and they will obey me” and “For a long time now I thought I was just a survivor. but I’m not. I’m the winner.” And again when he points a gun at the head of the man who killed his daughter and you think for just a second that he’s actually going to shoot.

“He Never Raised His voice. That was the worst thing. The fury of the Time Lord. And then we discovered why. Why, this Doctor, who had fought with Gods and Demons, why he’d run away and hidden. He was being Kind.”

That gives me chills every time  I hear it. He was being Kind.

I have to acknowledge Tens soft side thought, as it was absolutely amazing. Mr. ‘Always take a banana to a party” was an absolute joy for four long seasons. He was great at making people feel special. The best example of course is Donna.

Donna was a brilliant move on the writers part because who can’t relate to the ‘I’m not special I’m not important” feeling.Donna. Ugh, I can’t handle Donna. Over and Over and Over again he re-affirmed to her that she was so special, not just to him but that she mattered in the universe.  And that is the Doctor we know and love. We know the Ten who, when asked “help me” responded kindly with “two words I never refuse.” Ten was angry, and bitter, and he regretted his mistakes constantly, but that is what kept him human. He made mistakes, he made bad decisions, he had lost Nine’s wisdom in that way. But he recognized them and regretted them.

And then came eleven.

Eleven is my favorite Doctor; I want to clear that up right now. But I do think he is widely misinterpreted so here’s my say: A killer in a fez. Ten regrets; Eleven forgets. Two alternate endings to the same story. Here’s this fresh face, this new version of the same man, younger, no companion to tie him to his old self. And he makes a decision, from the moment he lands in Amelia Pond’s garden: he decides to forget.To ignore.  Eleven is the silliest Doctor, the most joyful. . Most people see him as having a childlike innocence but I choose to see it as recklessness. He’s having adventures and lying to his friends as he destroys lives. Eleven did some good things, most definitely, (the Van Gogh episode draws tears every time) but I think it’s important to recognize that this new Doctor is not innocent. He is the most fearsome incarnation of them all. Demons run at the sight of this doctor. Without even realizing it, he’s relapsed. He’s brought back the killer.

That depressing note aside, the whirlwind ride Matt gave us was an unforgettable experience. He’s the one who says “something new and dangerous; let’s poke it with a stick.” He’s the one who says “Technically, no. In reality, also no. Still, let’s give it a go.” He is the Doctor who came back twelve years late and spent the rest of her life making it up to her. This new Doctor’s story isn’t science fiction; this story is a fairy tale.

The Doctor once again holds that magical quality of reminding it’s audience that everyone is special. When I was feeling depressed, these were messages I really needed to hear. I know I’m not the only one who got hit hard by lines like “In all of time and space I’ve never met anyone who isn’t important”, “the way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things”, and “Why be happy when you’re going to be sad later? The answer, of course, is that you’re going to be sad later.”

Eleven may be deceptive and destructive, but he is also the Optimist, the hoper of far flung hopes, the dreamer of improbable dreams. His story is a fairy tale, and it’s a good one.

Review: The Abominable Bride (spoilers) — January 6, 2016

Review: The Abominable Bride (spoilers)

 

So…Sherlock. There’s kind of a lot to say about this episode, so I’m just going to go chronologically.

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Let’s talk opening scene: the parallels between a study in pink and the first ten minutes of the Abominable Bride were ingenious. It helped to familiarize our audience with the story and remind them this is the same Sherlock, in a different setting. It was a perfect blend of the Sherlock Holmes traditional style and the modern adaptation. tumblr_inline_o0b38c5oJg1tve0ow_500tumblr_o0dvz4s9QT1rpby98o1_400

The story was fishy from the very beginning. My mom pointed out that it felt a bit like Scooby Doo. Except with a tad bit more pure terror. A crazed bride kills herself, then comes back from the dead to commit vengeful murders on bad husbands. (more on that later.) This was also quite clever because it paralleled Sherlock’s Moriarty puzzle really well. Sherlock was very emotive in this episode, all things considered, and it really showed how frustrated he was that he couldn’t figure his enemy out.

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Moriarty. Yep, he’s back. can I just say greatest reveal ever (next to the pool scene.) the scene that shorty followed is one of the most well acted scenes I’ve ever watched. Andrew Scott and Benedict Cumberbatch are masters of their craft. In this scene in particular though, I have to sing the praises on Andrew Scott in particular, who has done a great job and being eccentric and terrifying, yet oddly likable. I don’t think anyone has ever conveyed complete insanity as well as he does.

There are a few complaints to make. For example, what was that unnecessary, poorly conveyed feminist message? It’s not like the show to put a social commentary into their stories. Or anything human or even socially acceptable, for that matter. Sherlock is an apathetic jerk. And if we’re honest with ourselves, that’s why we watch the show. So anyway, yeah I wasn’t a fan of that. Another problem was that, although it was supposed to be a dream, it did get too cartoonist for me at some points, specifically in scenes with Mycroft. It was also confusing and jarring, almost to the extent of being difficult to watch.

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To switch over to some positives, the visual was stunning and incredibly high quality, as always. Sherlock sets  a seriously high standard for television. The cinimatography was very well thought out and the period clothes and sets were nice. They managed to convey a very sherlockian feel, were London is innovative and clean and sleek, which you don’t see very much in most Sherlock Holmes shows and films, where they prefer the more gritty, grim, jack-the-ripper look. They were very creative in some aspects, Sherlock’s mind palace is a great example. And of course (BIG SPOILER) when it switched to the plane everybody watching lost their minds. That was genius. I love that the show still manages to surprise it’s audience.

 

 

Unsolved Murders Day Three: Lizzie Borden — December 29, 2015

Unsolved Murders Day Three: Lizzie Borden

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Lizzie Bordon took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty one. Many of you have probably heard this very creepy children’s song, but did you know it was based on a real event?

On the fourth of August, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their home. Lizzie alerted the maid alerted the maid of her father’s dead body. He was killed while asleep on the sofa. A search of the home resulted in uncovering Abby’s body upstairs. Both had been mutilated with a hatchet.

Policeman immediately suspected Lizzie, but did not take her into custody. Her sister, Emma, was out of town and therefore, not a suspect. The investigators believed that the ferocity of the crimes excluded female suspects, as no woman could possibly muster the kind of fury and strength needed to commit them.After the murders Lizzie burned a dress that she claimed was stained with paint. It is thought that the dress was stained with blood, and that Lizzie burned the dress to cover up her crime.

Lizzie Borden was arrested on December 2, 1892. Her publicized trial began the following June in New Bedford. Lizzie’s dislike and contempt for Abby was thoughtfully analyzed, with various witnesses testifying to her refusal to call her “mother.” It was noted that relations grew cold when Andrew gave Abby half of the house where Abby’s sister was living, which seemed to have infuriated Lizzie. Borden did not stand in her own defense and her testimony was not admitted into evidence. The testimony provided by others were inconclusive. On June 20, 1893, Lizzie Borden was acquitted and no one else was ever charged with the crimes. speculation about the crimes still continues more than 100 years later.

 

*there is a great episode of the Alfred Hitchcock show that depicts Lizzie’s sister Emma as the real killer. Watch it free here: http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi789577753

Unsolved Murders day two: Jack The Ripper —

Unsolved Murders day two: Jack The Ripper

jack-the-ripper1Its 1889, East London. A twelve week long reign of terror and sixteen dead bodies. This is the story of the most famous serial killer of all time: Jack the Ripper.

Our story starts April 4th, 1888, when the prostitute Emma Smith was attacked on Osborne Street, robbed and beaten. The survived the initial attack but died the next day in the hospital. This was the beginning of the White Chapel Murders, but  it was the 31st of August when the official “Jack the Ripper” murderers began.

Mary Nichols was one of the five Canonical victims of Jack the Ripper. Mary was seen on the corner of Osborne and Whitechapel. At around 3:40 a cart driver named Charles Cross found Mary lying on the ground in Bucks Row. He waited for a policeman to arrive and then left the scene. None of the residents had seen or heard anything suspicious before the body was found. She had been dead for around 30 minutes, her throat had been slit twice from left to right and her abdomen with  several incisions across, and three or four similar cuts on the right side caused by the same knife at least 6–8 inches long used violently and downwards. The surgeon who had been called to the crime scene said there was “about enough blood to fill two large wine glasses, or half a pint at the most.” This lead them to conclude that she had been murdered and then dragged there.

The police investigated and learned that all three attacked or murdered women had nicknamed a man “Leather Apron”, a person who extorted money from them over a 12 month period.Meanwhile, the second victim had been discovered. Her name was Annie Chapman. She was found with her face was swollen and turned on the right side. Her tongue was evidently swollen. Her throat was slashed as well as her abdomen, using the same instrument. The deceased had been dead at least two hours, and probably more. There was no evidence of a struggle.

On the 27th of September a letter titled “Dear Boss” arrived to the news agency, signed Jack the Ripper. It read “I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on (them) and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn’t you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight.

My knife’s so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance.

Good Luck.”

Two more murders of the same style occured within an hour on the 30th of September.  On the sixteenth Mr. George Lusk received a letter titled “From hell” containing half a kidney. Between the 9th of November and the 13th of February, four final murders occurred from the Ripper.

The number of Jack the Ripper Suspects now runs to well over a hundred. Some of them are highly possible contenders for the mantle of Jack the Ripper, others are ridiculous. Each year several books come out claiming that the authors have managed to crack the case and have solved the world’s greatest murder mystery. However, it, too, has never been solved.