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‘Doctor Who’ blogging: “Vampires of Venice”

(all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode! and no comments from party poopers — this is a love fest only / previous: “Flesh and Stone”)
Yes, alien vampire fish people in 16th-century Venice: very cool. But really: all the sexual innuendo! Though we can hardly call it innuendo: it’s just, you know, uendo. It’s all right out there in the open, and it’s all on the Doctor. Busting out of a stripper cake. (And can you imagine his chat with Lucy, in her bikini? How does he find out she’s diabetic? How does that even come up?) He says flat out that Amy is “a great kisser.” The “Moulin Rouge in 1890” — you know, with all the half-naked dancing girls and the invention of the striptease and the high-class prostitutes — is “amazing.” Exchanging naughty glances with pretty local girls in “romantic” Venice. The “slightly scary girls” who make him go Ooo at the prospect of their not letting him go.

Okay: The Doctor owes Casanova, history’s greatest lover, a chicken, over a bet they had. Can we guess what the bet was about? Yes, we can.

Not-at-all veiled jokes about whether the Doctor or Rory might better be able to sexually satisfy Amy: “Yours is bigger than mine” / “Let’s not go there.” Fish from space who are, the Doctor notes, “buxom.” The Doctor explicitly commenting on the alien fish space mom engineering mates for her ten thousand sons: “Eww. I mean, I’ve been around a bit, but really, that’s… eww.” The Doctor wolf-whistling at Signora Fish Lady, and then flirting with her:

And it’s not just us reading into this that he’s flirting. This is the text. With the camera this close, that’s intentionally intimate. His “think of the children” — that’s intimate.

In one episode, we get more of a sense of the Doctor as a sexual being — as a man who is very interested and very experienced; as a man who can use sex as a weapon — than we have across the entirety of the almost 50-year-history of the show.

(My theory: Russell Davies, as a gay man, was in love with the Doctor, and so his tenure on the show was very much from the companion’s/fan’s perspective, because we’re all in love with him, too. Steven Moffat, as a straight man, is imagining himself as the Doctor, and what he’d get up to with all of time and space at his command, not to mention the Doctor’s charisma. The Doctor is a Mary Sue for Moffat. And I think it’s fantastic.)

And of course the subtext of all this naughty, naughty text is: Will Amy choose the Doctor (whom even other people, like Guido, can see is interested in her: “Actually I thought you were her fiancé,” he tells the Doctor)? Or Rory, who genuinely loves her and is very sweet — “You big stupid Spongebob”; who finds it hard to insult even alien villain fish boy’s mother — and might even be able to catch up with all the dazzling life out there?

And then there’s the subsubtext, about the crack in the universe and the Silence…

I still think Amy herself is the crack, and that the Doctor is going to find his hearts broken harder than they ever have before. Not necessarily that he’s more in love with Amy than he ever has been with anyone else before — I don’t think that, though I think he always ends up with a huge soft spot for all the girls who travel with him (insert Moffat-esque line about hard spots, too). But because we’ll going to learn that he is responsible for the crack in the universe in the first place, the crack that brought Amy into his life and created her to begin with.

I’m stocking up on Kleenex for the finale now…

Random thoughts on “Vampires of Venice”:

• Cell phone cameras:

The bane of those trying to police the timelines… and surely the salvation of the Fox Mulders of the world, who are trying to prove weird stuff — like time travel and alien fish people — really exists.

Rory may not have been able to snap this picture, but surely he got some others. Amy probably has, too. Just because we haven’t seen her taking photos on Starship U.K. and during the Blitz doesn’t mean she hasn’t been doing so. And will those images end up on Flickr or Facebook eventually? I bet they will…

• Hydrate me, hydrate me…

• Ooo, I wish we could make out the details of the Doctor’s library card:

Do you think it’s for the Library?

• The creepy pale girls who don’t like sunlight:

are very Hammer Horror, aren’t they?

• I don’t trust Carlo the steward:

Well, actually, it’s more like I don’t trust Steven Moffat anymore. I feel like I have to second-guess everything (and that’s a good thing — I love being kept in my toes by my entertainmen!). When the Doctor ended up unconscious after being zapped by the door at Signora Calvieri’s School for Pale Creepy Girls Who Don’t Like Sunlight, and then the next time we see the Doctor he’s running around doing stuff like normal, I had to think, Wait, is this a wibbly-wobbly Doctor? Because he was just unconscious and now he’s fine…? And it seems to be that that was not the case, that we just skipped over the Doctor waking up.

But it primes me for thinking that Carlo the steward must be more than what he seems. He enjoys his job too much and too easily, for one, certainly for a 16th-century guy who’s serving alien fish vampire people. And so when we see him, toward the end of the episode, dragging valuables out of the Calvieri house as the world is ending (apparently)… well, surely he dragged out some alien doodad that will come back around to bite someone in the ass later (the Doctor, most likely). Or maybe Carlo is, like, some other renegade Time Lord who survived the destruction of Gallifrey (hello, Drax?), or the Black Guardian, or who knows?

I just don’t trust that anything is what it seems anymore. Damn you, Moffat!

• One thing I would have liked to have known that this episode didn’t go near: What, precisely, is the reputation the Signora Calvieri has for her girls’ school? Because girls either go in never to be seen again, or they’re just walking around the town all mysteriouslike. For a Renaissance girls’ school to have gotten such a reputation, surely it must have a track record of getting rich important husbands for these girls, or positions at court, or something. Right?

• The sonic screwdriver can heal wounds?

This is new.

And in this whole “I don’t trust Moffat” vein — heh: vein — I think the fact that Amy got her blood sucked my alien fish people is gonna come back to haunt her…

• Not just alien fish people: alien fish people with Oedipal complexes:

Eww.

• Again with the beautiful design. I love how the 16th-century Venetian look:

mimics the fish look:

• This is how beautifully the show balances humor and poignancy:

Poor Guido. He’s simultaneously funny, in Rory’s ridiculous T-shirt, and sad, standing there watching his daughter be ripped from him one last time.

• Did you notice the cool alien fish carving on the balcony of the Calvieri house?

Nice touch.

• “Hard to believe it’s the same man who let an entire race turn to cinders and ash,” Signora Calvieri says to the Doctor. Who? What? When? Where? During the Time War, obviously, but… details! I demand details!

And then: “I told you, you can’t go back and change time,” the Doctor tells her. But when did he tell her this? We didn’t see it! Is this a wibbly-wobbly moment?

• All the ten thousand little fish boys are still in the canals, aren’t they? Yikes. I guess they’ll die off eventually…

• This looks familiar:

It looks like the crack in the universe, don’t it?

• Great quotes:

“The life out there, it dazzles. It blinds you to the things that are important. I’ve seen it devour relationships and plans. Because for one person to have seen all that, to taste the glory, and then go back… It will tear you apart.” –the Doctor, to Amy and Rory

“Am I thinking what I think I’m thinking?” –the Doctor

“Gunpowder… Most people just nick stationery from where they work.” — the Doctor

“Your daughter? You look about nine.” –Amy, to the Doctor

“She kissed me.” –the Doctor, about Amy, to Rory
“And you kissed her back?” –Rory
“No, I kissed her mouth.” –the Doctor

“You should be in a museum, or in a mausoleum.” Signora Calvieri, to the Doctor, when she learns he’s from Gallifrey

(next: Episode 7: “Amy’s Choice”)

MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
  • Lady Tenar

    Yes, yes, the sexual, er, uendo! It’s amazing. Although I think the Doctor has been a sexual being for the entire new series, just a more awkward sexual being, while this incarnation seems quite a bit more sexually confident. It’s great and hilarious, but I hope they don’t go too far, because that would just be too abrupt a change in character. And, plus, 9′s woundedness over Rose’s assumption that he never “dances” or 10′s tongue-tied bumbling when he sees grown-up Renette for the first time? Awwww…

    Still though, no complaints yet. I even enjoyed the most obvious jokes. The second he pulled out that giant flashlight thing next to Rory’s tiny one I thought “Ah, a penis size joke.” Initially, I didn’t even think they were going to say anything about it because the image spoke for itself but I guess they wanted to make very sure we got it. Fine with me. :-P

    Glad you agree that The Doctor is, at the very least, attracted to Amy. It seems that there’s quite a bit of disagreement about that floating around on the interwebs. To me it seems undeniable. Not necessarily that he’s in love with her, just that he’s had some non-brotherly thoughts about her and has resolved to control himself for the sake of doing the right thing. The kiss from the end of “Flesh and Stone?” His body language is hilarious. It’s all like “Ooooh yeah…wait, I mean NO! NO!”

  • http://macgamer.com Corey Tamas

    Did you notice the cool alien fish carving on the balcony of the Calvieri house?

    Bears a striking resemblance to Prisoner Zero… another fishy-type alien who changed its appearance. Not to mention another alien with “HOLY CRAP” teeth.

    Connection? I wonder.

  • JSW

    “Hard to believe it’s the same man who let an entire race turn to cinders and ash,” Signora Calvieri says to the Doctor. Who? What? When? Where? During the Time War, obviously, but… details! I demand details!

    Well there was the matter of the inhabitants of that small planet in the constellation of Kasterborous, but they haven’t been mentioned much so I’d understand if you’ve forgotten about them.

  • http://macgamer.com Corey Tamas

    “Hard to believe it’s the same man who let an entire race turn to cinders and ash,” Signora Calvieri says to the Doctor. Who? What? When? Where? During the Time War, obviously, but… details! I demand details!

    One recurring theme in the modern Doctor Who series is that certain malicious aliens want to run a guilt trip on the Doctor when their nefarious plans don’t work out… and that guilt trip’s seed is usually an account of who died during the Time War and an attempt to make it sound like the Doctor himself is responsible. Davros tried it in “Journey’s End”, the Living Plastic monster in “Rose” tried it, the Giant Red Spider Woman in “Runaway Bride” tried it. Once again, a race that is looking to recreate itself at the expense of humanity is foiled by the Doctor and their leader’s parting shot is that the Doctor is killing yet another race. Even the Time Lords themselves tried a variation of that line on him.

    There’s a lot of allusion to the fact that The Doctor made some decisions at the end of the Time War that weigh heavily on his heart, especially considering that it sounds like he’s the one who pushed the button that ended his own race. What it sounds like (and those evil villains neglect to mention) is that those who died during the Time War made decisions which, in turn, made it impossible for a person of conscience to turn their back on. If the Doctor killed any race during The Time War (and it sounds like he did) then you can be sure of two things: 1. It was necessary for the preservation of countless other races, 2. Those who died made conscious choices which put them directly in harm’s way and all but demanded action be taken against them in the name of justice. As usual, that fell upon the Doctor to mete out.

    I am, however, reminded of the Doctor’s moral dilemma back in Genesis of the Daleks (yes, my fanboyism goes back just that far) and the Doctor had the opportunity to destroy the Daleks as a race and chose not to (even at Sarah Jane’s urging to go ahead). It appears, years later, he changed his mind… thus introducing the sort of morality that we juggle in the real world: Sometimes our feelings about what’s right change depending on what’s going on around us at the time. That sort of morality usually brings some doubt and guilt along with it, so maybe his enemies feel that’s the best way to get under his armor and strike back at him when he’s taken away their power to do anything else.

    In other news, Amy has interesting leggings.

  • http://lannaleemaheux.com/ Lanna Lee Maheux-Quinn

    Loved the episode!

    However, I just want to know who Amy’s aunt is. Is she someone important? (I would think yes.) I think it’s strange that we haven’t met her aunt yet.

    I had a thought today that her aunt might be River Song (that would be cool).

    I’m re-watching The Time of Angels, and have yet to see any interaction between her and Amy that would indicate a definite no (nor have I seen anything that would indicate a definite yes.) If she is her aunt or “aunt”, they could have had an agreement to not talk about it in front of the Doctor.

  • Kary

    Nice review! I don’t think the Doctor was healing Amy’s neck, by the way, he was just taking a reading of it with his sonic to make sure she was okay, because right after he says she is. Okay, I mean. Plus the bite marks are still there.

  • Leslie Carr

    This is just brilliant. I so loved the cake scene and the use of social embarrassment as a cliffhanger moment for the credits. I loved the Doctor tinkering with the Tardis in those goggles (was that a touch of Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka?) I loved Rory not giving the Doctor “it’s bigger on the inside” and his big “you make people a danger to themselves” speech, right before he gets himself in danger.

    And I really, really loved the little off-switch on the secondary control/generator thing. Hah – TAKE THAT Terry Prachett!!

    I loved the way that the space fish people, frightening and abusive as they were, were also sympathetic. You’d think that Helen McCrory vamping it up would have just made them one-dimensional baddies. Perhaps it was all the uendo and the dancing with the Doctor that meant that we cared about the destruction of the space fish people.

    And I’m intrigued by Amy’s “I’ve got my boys” vibe that at the end of the episode. What is this? The Doctor as companion?

  • BBQ Platypus

    I’ve taken a close look at that card. It’s for the Shoreditch Library. He has it under the name “Dr. J. Smith,” and his address is listed as “76 Totter’s Lane.”

    That library card makes me feel so happy inside. So does Rory. I like Rory.

  • http://www.newbspeak.com Newbs

    MaryAnn, I get why you’re posting twice for each episode now (to give us a place to vent our immediate feedback before you’ve had a chance to see the episode), but don’t you think you’re splitting the conversation in half unnecessarily?

    Then again, before you started doing this we all just posted in the previous episode review’s comments section, so I guess I see the benefits.

    However… perhaps you could do a thing where you post a preliminary deal, and then update it with the full review when it is finished? Thus keeping all conversation threads collected into a convenient single post? Just a thought!

    As for the episode: Man, is it me, or did Doctor Who turn from being a show that is Good Despite Its Flaws into a show that is Really Fucking Great and Interesting?

    I’d ask “when did that happen” but I think we all know who is responsible. Then again… is it just Moffat, or is it the new cast? Both? A combination?

    It’s a whole new show, is what it is. And I gotta say: thank the gods. This is by no means a perfect show, of course, but I finally feel like there’s some actual merit to my love for New Who, rather than the sort of guilty pleasure thing we had going on in the Davies era.

    Anyone else feel the same?

  • Isobel

    Loved the episode (and I really want one of those nighties that they’re wearing in the first picture in this post). The only thing I’m not sure about is Rory being along for the ride – haven’t we done this before, with Rose and Mickey? And also I don’t like Rory, so that doesn’t help.

    That said – episode was great, with it’s ominous little everyone disappeared into silence bit at the end, and next week looks great, too.

  • Keith

    The episode was a lot of fun. The cake bit at the beginning had me rolling. The Doctor says, “Thought I burst out of the wrong cake, again.” He’s burst out of other cakes? When? Where?

    The goggles scene was for all the steampunk folks out there, which there seems to be a growing number these days. Goggles are very steampunk.

    The sonic screwdriver did heal the wounds on Amy’s neck, Kary. Watch the scene again if you can. We see the holes shrink and disappear completely before the Doctor holds up the screwdriver to examine the reading and tell her she’s fine.

    I’ve been a fan of the new Doctor Who since the beginning. I’ve never thought of it as a “guilty pleasure.” I’ve enjoyed every episode, of course, some more than others.

  • http://johnvoorhees.com John Voorhees

    I can’t help but feel for poor Rory. He grew up in love with his best friend Amelia in the shadow of her bizarre “imaginary” friend. He even had to dress up as the “Raggedy Doctor” to play her reindeer games, and went so far as to become a nurse, perhaps on the way to being a Doctor someday, and win her love.

    “Imaginary” friend finally appears and leads both Amy and Rory through the freakiest most exciting day in either of their lives, and then abruptly departs without a goodbye. There must have been some very difficult discussions over that two-year span. She must have been sure that the Doctor was coming back for a long time, and Rory had to convince her (and himself) otherwise.

    Then months turned into a year, and then two, and Amy finally resigned herself to sweet, mundane Rory. This must have been an incredible relief to him, to have all that weirdness in the past. He’d be able to settle down with the girl of his dreams after all this time!

    Then at his bach party the night before the wedding, Raggedy Doctor pops out of the cake and informs him (in front of all his friends) that Amy is an excellent kisser. And given the size of the town, it’s likely that everyone in that room recognized EXACTLY who that weird guy in the cake was.

    This is all played for tremendous laughs, but lordy, what nightmare material!

  • http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/ Tateru Nino

    Amy is the Doctor’s companion, but Rory acted as Amy’s companion. She Doctor’ed the heck out of him, and the same criticism that Rory had of the Doctor was true of Amy, this episode, I think.

    That’s a fairly interesting dynamic right there.

    Oh, Maryann, I think the crack-in-the-clouds can be written off to apophenia.

    So far I’ve counted five definite incidences of the crack-shape; Two in 11th hour, one in TBB, one in VotD and one in F&S. Also three points where the doctor could reasonably have meddled intentionally with Amy’s timeline; F&S probably, and 11th hour and TBB have opportunities, but whether or not they were taken is another matter.

  • http://macgamer.com Corey Tamas

    I actually think that Rory has some secrets. I can’t help but think that he may well be our villain… with designs on Amy that neither she nor the Doctor are aware of yet.

    But then again, these theories are a dime a dozen. :)

  • MaryAnn

    Well there was the matter of the inhabitants of that small planet in the constellation of Kasterborous, but they haven’t been mentioned much so I’d understand if you’ve forgotten about them.

    I don’t think she’s referring to Gallifrey. Then she might have said something like “Hard to believe it’s the same man who let *his* entire race turn to cinders and ash,” or even better: “Hard to believe it’s the same man who let *two entire races* turn to cinders and ash,” because it seems that the destruction of Gallifrey is infamous because it took out the Daleks (apparently) at the same time.

    I think she’s talking about yet another race. I have no doubt that the Doctor had a hand in many planets and many races being destroyed during the Time War.

    However… perhaps you could do a thing where you post a preliminary deal, and then update it with the full review when it is finished? Thus keeping all conversation threads collected into a convenient single post? Just a thought!

    That doesn’t really work so well, logistically, for complicated back end reasons (as I recently discovered; it has to do with old posts still existing when you change the post date). But I’ll post a link there asking people to comment here.

  • http://vardulon.com Vardulon

    My favorite moment of the episode? The doctor telling the fish-queen, essentially “I’m not destroying you because you did something evil to save your race. I’m destroying you because you didn’t have to ENJOY doing evil so damn much.”

    Look out, the smug and self-satisfied – you’re in for a house call.

  • http://verizon.net innpchan

    Okay: The Doctor owes Casanova, history’s greatest lover, a chicken, over a bet they had. Can we guess what the bet was about? Yes, we can.

    I was thinking this just -might- be an inside joke, in that we all know who has Casanova on their resume…

    Ditto John Voorhees’ remarks; I’m loving Rory, too.

    Hoping MAJ is wrong about Amelia’s ultimate resolution, but I fear she’s right.

  • JohnnyInc

    So the Doctor leaves thousands of man-eating alien fish under Venice and that didn’t change history? Yes, without a female their species would die out eventually but not before killing any people who would go into the water. Seems like a bit of loose string that needed to be cleaned up that the Doctor sort of ignored. Did that seem off to anyone else?

  • Lady Tenar

    Hoping MAJ is wrong about Amelia’s ultimate resolution, but I fear she’s right.

    It’s certainly an intriguing and plausible hypothesis but I’m wondering if we’re not all just a bit traumatized from the way Donna was dealt with at the end of season 4. Are they really going to have 2 companions in a row that are written off in incredibly depressing ways that involve all the experiences they shared with the Doctor being essentially undone? It might be a little predictable. This is what I’m telling myself anyway…

    Oh, Maryann, I think the crack-in-the-clouds can be written off to apophenia.

    I think it’s probably coincidence too but what drives me nuts is that you just can never be sure with Moffat. You can never count on a rose being just a rose. I have a feeling that by the end of the season, some of these little quirks we’ve caught are indeed going to end up being significant and some of them really are just going to be roses. But the question is, which ones?

  • Dave

    Loved the episode.

    I agree that Amy is either the crack or at least tied to the crack in some fundamental way. That being said I have to believe that the Doctor will find some way of keeping her alive. If Moffat has shown one thing about the Doctor it’s that he always wants everyone to live. (barring Daleks and fish-space things)

    I’d ask “when did that happen” but I think we all know who is responsible. Then again… is it just Moffat, or is it the new cast? Both? A combination?

    While the acting obviously helps I have to give most of it to Moffat. While I’ve only watched his Coupling, Jekyll, and Doctor Who stuff I’d recommend them all. He was the reason why I was never nervous about this season despite the loss of Tennant. In fact all of them seem to have this layering to the story which I just love.

    That being said next weeks episode looks like it’s going to make my brain hurt trying to figure out what’s going on.

  • http://hoopla.nu Stuart

    Sorry if I’ve missed an earlier comment about this, but grasping at future narrative straws (let’s face it, we all are…) did River’s comment about killing the ‘best man’ she ever knew mean she’s going to kill the Doctor (who may well be the best man) on Amy’s wedding day 26.10.2010?

    Has everyone already considered this and moved on? Cos my work colleague and I just got very excited after formulating this theory…

  • VT

    And I’m intrigued by Amy’s “I’ve got my boys” vibe that at the end of the episode. What is this? The Doctor as companion?

    Actually I took that as a little fanservice for all those fanfic writers who like to imagine threesomes in the TARDIS.

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger

    And can you imagine his chat with Lucy, in her bikini? How does he find out she’s diabetic?

    He saw the needle marks on her arm and came up with the most charitable explanation?

    Hydrate me, hydrate me…

    MaryAnn, I’m surprised to see you waxing so enthusiastic about a ritual that looks so much like part of the traditional Catholic Communion ceremony. Indeed, that vessel she’s drinking from looks more than a little bit like a Communion chalice. Then again that part of the ritual does traditionally involve wine…

    Anyway, that scene reminds me of a bit in the Tom Baker episode “The Face of Evil” in which Leela performs a ritual that looks suspiciously like the Sign of the Cross, which the good Doctor then identifies as being part of the pre-flight procedure for alien space travelers. Who–no pun intended–ever knew that Catholicism could be so inspirational? ;-)

    Ooo, I wish we could make out the details of the Doctor’s library card:

    Heh. The doctor’s psychic paper forgot to update his visual I.D….

    However, I just want to know who Amy’s aunt is. Is she someone important?

    Well, it’s unlikely it’s any of the characters RTD created, but apart from that, anything goes. It could be Sarah Jane, the Rani, Jo Grant, Liz Shaw, Tegan, Ace, Peri, Nyssa–or if Moffat has an especially pitch-dark sense of humor, the title character of “The Doctor’s Daughter.”

    Let us hope he doesn’t have a pitch-dark sense of humor…

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger

    My theory: Russell Davies, as a gay man, was in love with the Doctor, and so his tenure on the show was very much from the companion’s/fan’s perspective, because we’re all in love with him, too.

    I’m not. I like to think we’re just good friends.;-)

    I will admit to having had die-hard crushes on more than a few of his female companions. Though not on Rose and Amy.

    The creepy pale girls who don’t like sunlight are very Hammer Horror, aren’t they?

    Paging Kate Bush! Paging Kate Bush!

    All the ten thousand little fish boys are still in the canals, aren’t they? Yikes. I guess they’ll die off eventually…

    …And Alien Fish-Mom commits suicide by jumping into a canal–even though it’s been established that she and the rest of her kind can breathe underwater?

    What?

    Oh, well. At least the writer didn’t make any illegal alien jokes…

    And I really, really loved the little off-switch on the secondary control/generator thing. Hah – TAKE THAT Terry Prachett!!

    Actually that top photo with the “vampiric” girls in white looks like a direct steal from a scene in Pratchett’s Carpe Jugulum. So take that, Terry Pratchett scoffers! ;-)

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger
  • http://www.facebook.com/englerp englerp

    [quote]It could be Sarah Jane, the Rani, Jo Grant, Liz Shaw, Tegan, Ace, Peri, Nyssa[/quote]

    My guess is that Amy’s Aunt will stay unseen, but if it would be a known character, personally i doubt it will be SJ, simply because she already has been reintroduced into the Whouniverse. Peri is canonically married to Brian Blessed, Nyssa is marooned on Terminus. The status of Ace depends on which bits of the expanded universe Moffat takes as canon, same for Romana. The others are possible, though, although i don’t really can’t imagine any of them being negligent towards their hypothetic niece. (Ok, the Rani maybe).
    Personally, if we will see the aunt at all, i doubt it will be a known character.

    Concerning the possible happenings in the season-finale: I wouldn’t worry too much about Amy.
    Even if she is connected to the crack, and the cause of the timeywhimey happenings, the whole thing can still be solved without writing the character out or wiping her memory. Charley Pollard comes to mind. (At least for the R101-Paradox).
    Doesn’t Karen Gillian already have a contract for 2 seasons anyway?.

  • http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/ Tateru Nino

    That we have not seen Amy’s aunt so far either means that we’re in for a reveal, or the character just isn’t important.

    Or… possibly, doesn’t exist.

    In any case, adult Amy has (or had) a job, prospects and all that and was quite capable of holding the place herself, one would expect. Her aunt may have died already, moved away, gone to Australia.

  • allochthon

    *sigh*
    I’m still not really enjoying this season, not even River Song, who I think is one of the best characters Who has ever produced.

    And the cake bit? Hated it. Humor by humiliation. I really expect more from Moffat. Still, fingers crossed…

  • bronxbee

    Oh, Maryann, I think the crack-in-the-clouds can be written off to apophenia.

    yes, but remember all that Silence at the end of the episode, and the brief glimpse of the abandoned baskets by the waterside? i think we don’t have to worry about all the boy fishes in the water… they’ve gone into the Silence, together with all the other creatures of that Venice. the Silence that descended when Amy entered the TARDIS.

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger

    And the cake bit? Hated it. Humor by humiliation. I really expect more from Moffat.

    True. That bit proved little more than that even the good Doctor could be a twit every now and then. And that Moffat’s writing staff has been spending way too much time watching Farrelly Brothers movies.

    I realize Rory isn’t everybody’s cup of tea–especially on this site–but he has yet to do anything that would indicate he deserved that humiliation. Plus in this episode he did his damned to save Amy. Gotta give him props for that even if he does at times seem like too much like Mickey Smith II. Besides, Mickey Smith wasn’t all that bad a character so perhaps there’s hope for Rory too…

  • Alli

    …And Alien Fish-Mom commits suicide by jumping into a canal–even though it’s been established that she and the rest of her kind can breathe underwater?

    She didn’t drown, she was eaten by her sons. Earlier in the episode her son told her to change her perception filter or her boys would think “they were eating twice today.” So she was eaten alive.

    I’d ask “when did that happen” but I think we all know who is responsible. Then again… is it just Moffat, or is it the new cast? Both? A combination?

    I think that’s a good question. Obviously Moffat has made a huge impact, but I really enjoy watching Matt and Karen interact with each other. I even love watching all the behind-the-scenes stuff with them. This is probably why I’m not a big fan of Rory. I didn’t see any chemistry between Rory and Amy. I’m really interested in seeing what happens next week though. That episode looks awesome.

  • Isobel

    That’s true about there being absolutely no chemistry between Amy and Rory – their kissing scenes were excrutiating, like they’d been asked to kiss their brother/sister or something.

  • Katie

    I must say I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying Matt Smith. I honestly didn’t think I would after being so enraptured with DT.

    Does anyone else think that the picture on the Doctor’s library card looks like Patrick Stewart?

    And Tonio Kruger MAJ was referencing Casandra from S1 and her continual need to be “hydrated”. Though I’m sure the image was meant to resemble communion.

  • Dave

    Does anyone else think that the picture on the Doctor’s library card looks like Patrick Stewart?

    That’s the Doctor’s first incarnation as played by William Hartnell.

  • Dan

    Afraid I haven’t been enjoying this season much, and that includes this episode. All the bad plotting and characterization was at least minimized last two episodes because of the breakneck pace and suspense–you just didn’t have time to think much about anything. Not this time around, though. Why hide in a cake instead of walking through the front door? Why does one brother think and act normally but the others are mindless eating machines? Why would fish care about sunlight, but not air? Why did the daughter not recognize her father, but remember everything when Amy talked to her later? Why did the screwdriver heal Amy? Why was there sunlight for Amy to reflect with her mirror when the sky had been clouded over by the weather machine? Why didn’t the sunlight blow up the alien earlier when he was in it during the first scene? Why did the mother commit suicide when her sons were still alive and all she had to do was escape and make some more brides for them? Why did her perception filter keep working after she took it off and it had stopped working anyway, before she threw herself in the water?

    Also, I am not totally thrilled with the personalities of these characters. There are too many insults and barbs traded, it’s tiresome. The Doctor was pretty unpleasant when he ordered Amy back to the Tardis. And the tone of the series is like a screwball comedy now. I’m afraid Amy’s sexiness is the only highlight of Moffat’s tenure for me, so far.

  • Alli

    Dan, did you like the Davies era?

  • Daniel

    I think plot holes are, for better or worse, an integral part of the modern-day Doctor Who. People either choose to go with it or they don’t. Interestingly, “Blink” didn’t make a lick of sense, and neither did “Planet of the Dead”: people have embraced “Blink,” anyway, because the Weeping Angels are the scariest thing ever. I actually like the flying tour bus in “Planet of the Dead,” but there’s a lot of hatred for that episode. We each have the God-given right to hate any episode we choose, and hate it with the white-hot passion of a fiery volcano. You can’t prove that an episode is good or bad, any more than you can prove that your significant other is the most beautiful person who ever lived. You can only say, “I love it, and it doesn’t make a lick of sense.”

  • http://macgamer.com Corey Tamas

    Interestingly, “Blink” didn’t make a lick of sense, and neither did “Planet of the Dead”

    I’m sorry. I can’t agree with this. Yes, it was science fiction, but still perfectly understandable.

  • bronxbee

    Interestingly, “Blink” didn’t make a lick of sense, and neither did “Planet of the Dead”

    corey: I’m sorry. I can’t agree with this. Yes, it was science fiction, but still perfectly understandable.

    i agree with Corey… and Dan and/or Daniel, you’re getting dangerously close to violating the blogging rule laid down at the top:

    and no comments from party poopers — this is a love fest only

    ;-)

  • http://dreamsanddragons.blogspot.com/ Jeff Moore

    It’s a whole new show, is what it is. And I gotta say: thank the gods. This is by no means a perfect show, of course, but I finally feel like there’s some actual merit to my love for New Who, rather than the sort of guilty pleasure thing we had going on in the Davies era.

    Anyone else feel the same?

    I only saw the Davies era as a “guilty pleasure” as the series went on … I thought the majority of the first season with Eccleston and even the second season were awesome Doctor Who. It seemed to me like Davies simply ran out of steam, which I felt was understandable given that he shouldered the lion’s share of the creative responsibility for the show’s relaunch.

    As for Moffat … I remember watching the Doctor Who movie, and although it had some elements that I really enjoyed. (I actually thought the Doctor’s “I’m half-human on my mother’s side.” reveal was brilliant. It explained so much to me … the Doctor’s decidedly un-Gallireyan attitudes and defiance, his obsession with the earth, and his difficulty in regeneration (that Romana didn’t seem to have.) Unfortunately, the movie just didn’t “feel” like Doctor Who for me.

    Then Moffat wrote that little comedy thing: “Curse of the Fatal Death.” And, even though it was a parody, it “felt” like Doctor Who. Moffat somehow understood what Doctor Who was supposed to “feel like” and he was able to bring that to the screen. I remember at the time saying, “Why can’t ‘this guy’ (I didn’t know who Moffat was at the time) bring back Doctor Who? He understands the show… it would be brilliant!” … It seems I have gotten my wish. I couldn’t be happier.

    Oh, I also had a thought about the Doctor jumping out of the cake (and that, “thought I jumped out of the wrong cake… again.” comment) is that Moffat is setting us up to see a scene later where the Doctor does in fact jump from the wrong cake… I am reminded of the “cell phone” episode of Coupling where the story is told from three different angles and with each new layer of story the other aspects all take on new meaning. Moffat did this a few times in Coupling … so, I am expecting that sort of fun here too.

    In fact, the Doctor has dropped that ” … again.” word a couple of times now. I wonder if these are clues to “timey whimey” bits to be on the look out for? (Now I want to go back and watch all of the episodes.)

    Jeff

  • Jim Mann

    I only saw the Davies era as a “guilty pleasure” as the series went on … I thought the majority of the first season with Eccleston and even the second season were awesome Doctor Who. It seemed to me like Davies simply ran out of steam, which I felt was understandable given that he shouldered the lion’s share of the creative responsibility for the show’s relaunch.

    I thought the series got stronger as it went along. Series 4 was the best series of the Davies era. And season 3 had some great episodes. Season 2 and Season 1 also had strong episodes, but also had a few of the weakest episodes of the new series: Fear Her, The Idiot’s Lantern, Boom Town.

  • Daniel

    But…but…I do love “Blink”…and even “Planet of the Dead.” That was my point. Actually, I probably like “Planet of the Dead” better than MaryAnn did, if you read her original post about the episode. I really want one of those flying red buses. I’m just saying that both episodes are full of plot holes. I mean, you can destroy a stone. I love the show dearly in spite of that.

    And I thought my post was so clear and direct. Oy.

  • http://macgamer.com Corey Tamas

    But…but…I do love “Blink”…and even “Planet of the Dead.” That was my point. Actually, I probably like “Planet of the Dead” better than MaryAnn did, if you read her original post about the episode. I really want one of those flying red buses. I’m just saying that both episodes are full of plot holes. I mean, you can destroy a stone. I love the show dearly in spite of that.

    And I thought my post was so clear and direct. Oy.

    I didn’t take it as you hating on those episodes. :) I only made mention of the fact that I thought they did make some sense.

    Obviously the Angels aren’t made of stone as we know it. If you saw their stony little heads turning in Flesh and Stone, you’d see that this isn’t just the kind of stone you pick up when walking on the beach. Space rock, man! SPACE rock!

    It’s true, of course, that you have to forgive so much when watching any kind of science fiction, not just Doctor Who. Hell, you have to forgive huge plot holes when watching 24, Weeds or How I Met Your Mother. Wanna talk about perception filters? Every television comes equipped with one. :)

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger

    i agree with Corey… and Dan and/or Daniel, you’re getting dangerously close to violating the blogging rule laid down at the top:

    and no comments from party poopers — this is a love fest only.

    ;-)

    Well, it should be obvious by now, Bronxbee, that some of us Doctor Who fans express our love in different ways than others.;-)

    She didn’t drown, she was eaten by her sons. Earlier in the episode her son told her to change her perception filter or her boys would think “they were eating twice today.” So she was eaten alive.

    Well, that makes a little more sense. But not that much.

    And, anyway, as Dan pointed out, there is more wrong with that scene than just that.

    However, YMMV.

    And Tonio Kruger MAJ was referencing Casandra from S1 and her continual need to be “hydrated”.

    D’oh! I should have got that reference but apparently more time has passed since I last viewed that episode than I thought.

    Ay!;-)

  • Vanessa

    Okay: The Doctor owes Casanova, history’s greatest lover, a chicken, over a bet they had. Can we guess what the bet was about? Yes, we can.

    Ummm..I can’t…Can someone explain this to me? Does it have something to do with the RTD/Tennant movie of Casanova?

  • MaryAnn

    Ummm..I can’t…Can someone explain this to me? Does it have something to do with the RTD/Tennant movie of Casanova?

    It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything, except as yet another suggestion that the Doctor has not lived a celibate, monkish life, as some fans seem to want him to do.

  • Kathy_A

    Just saw this on BBCA. I think I’m finally in the “love” camp for Matt Smith’s Doctor! It took me a while, but this was really excellent and highlighted him wonderfully. (It took me until “School Reunion” to fall in love with Ten.)

    And as much as I hated it when Mickey joined Ten and Rose in the TARDIS, I think I might enjoy Rory joining Eleven and Amy, because he really does understand the Doctor. That comment he had about how the Doctor is dangerous not because of what he does but the feelings he engenders in others to prove themselves to him is soooo spot on.

  • maureen

    Again this blog is so good and makes me feel so happy inside :) You, Mary Ann, have to eb the Queen of awesome Who blogging. You get the show, you get the fans and the fandom (being part of all that yourself) and it means that you blog about the stuff that fans care about… the crackpot theories, the shipping going down, the notes on Who fandom itself, your fannish thoughts on different parts of the episode. Needless to say; I love it! Keep it up! Your site is the best one around for Dr Who reviews :)

    ps: Loved this episode too. Is it just me or is this season like really fantastic? I’m with newbs this show has become Fucking Awesome and Interesting (that’s not to say that old new who had its awesome moments, but I just personally feel that this season has had more consistently good scripts)

  • CAS

    I thought the Casanova reference was a pretty obvious and clever nod/reference to David Tennant, who played Casanova, right? Didn’t he? (Haven’t seen it, but want to!)

    Speaking of whom, don’t forget the “Still got it,” comment when he got snogged by… was it Cassandra in Rose’s body? a few seasons ago…? And the “Virgin Queen” comment referred back to an old episode as well… Even before Moffat took the reins, there was more implied sex in Dr. Who than in all the previous series combined!

    And yes, loving/hating the Moffetses. This is the guy who gave us Jeckyll, after all! He kicks serious patooty. It’s so perfect that he got Neil Gaiman to write an ep — they are very compatible style-wise. I almost never think of Neil w/o the classic “Damn you, Neil!” and the shaking fist… “Why are you so dang brilliant?” Can’t wait to see that one!

  • Caboodle

    Gotta agree with those who are having a harder time enjoying this season compared to previous ones (both classic and nu). The scripts are riddled with holes, and the heart seems to be gone from them entirely. But I love Matt Smith, and suspect I’d be enjoying the episodes a lot more – cheerfully skirting the holes, as it were – if it wasn’t all rendered nearly unbearable by the presence of Amy.

    Loved little Amelia, disliked grownup Amy immensely. And my affection for her has done nothing but devolve at an ever increasing rate. I actually have to look away from the screen when she’s on at times. Enjoyed the latest ep (The Hungry Earth) mainly because there’s so little of her in it. I understand there’s an “Amy-lite” episode in the offing, which I look forward to with great anticipation, for reasons that can be explained in the phrase “Amy-lite”.

    I’m actually trying to get a grip on my dislike of her character (and the actress who plays at playing her) because I feel sure I’d like what they’re trying to do this season ever so much better if I weren’t being being poked in my mind’s eye the whole time I’m watching it. So I am determinedly reserving any final judgment on either Amy or Karen until the finale, when hopefully explanations will surface and this annoying companion can be sympathetically viewed in retrospect in ways I’m not imagining right now. Since she’s back for another season next year, I either find a way to deal with her, or I have to give up Doctor Who and get a life. Heaven forfend.

  • Alex

    Brilliant catch with spotting what appears to be the crack in the clouds! I never noticed that before.