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[personal profile] eviltigerlily
So OK, I've never done these before, but I'm pissed off enough to start now.

Gender politics fail. I believe Chris Chinball has done this before. I don't usually look for such patterns because there is danger of finding problems where none exist, or (to put in in words that actually make sense) your interests colour your perception. But really. All the hostile characters in this episode are female. In fact there is only one female character who isn't (I'm not counting Amy). Apparently, being a mother makes you prone to hysteria and starting world wars. It doesn't even make sense. She's been told the hostage is the only bargaining chip they have for the life of her husband and child, and she still attacks her because she taunted her? And after that roaring success she tries to save the situation by threatening to destroy a whole city. Nice. On the reptilian side of things it seems their males are the statesmen and scientists and the females are warrior fanatics.

Rory. Rory is so good in this episode, taking care of people, trying to keep things from falling apart. However, his death had no emotional impact for me. None. This is obviously very very wrong, as the death of even an incidental character should make an impact, let alone a semi-regular. Moreover, I really like Rory, so something has to suck pretty bad to make me not care at all about his death. Perhaps it's the way the scene is just awkwardly stapled on to the ending of the episode for no reason I can divine. Perhaps it's the fact we had a similar scene just two episodes ago (and despite Amy's realization then, she was still pretty dismissive of Rory this episode). Perhaps it's because I don't feel at all sure it is permanent, with timelines being changed left and right (this may be wishful thinking on my part, however). Killing a major character and then having everyone forget about it is problematic. It doesn't have the right emotional impact. I believe it could still work if done well, playing on the discrepancy between what the characters know and what we know. It does not, in my opinion, work here.

You get consumed if the light of the time energy..whatever from the crack merely touches you, but the Doctor can stick his hand in and have a rummage round? Yeah, the Doctor is different but he is not indestructible. Me = not convinced. And the Doctor pulls out a charred piece of the TARDIS' door (supposedly), because, off course, the TARDIS is made out of actual wood.

Other stuff: I liked the councilor and the scientist (can't remember their names). The latter did some dodgy experiments, but I'm willing to forgive him that. It's a shame that once he's killed he apparently vanishes into the crack and is never mentioned again. Liked Amy's pickpocketing skills (she can pick locks too). I liked Nasreen. Perhaps we can go back and see her again (although successful negotiations don't make for exiting adventure, and they damn well better be successful next time).

Could have been better.

Edit: In a thousand years time humans would have advanced into space, presumably making more territories available for colonization. How convenient.

Date: 2010-05-29 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kohl-eyed.livejournal.com
Hallo, followed your link from the [livejournal.com profile] doctorwho reaction post. Just wanted to say I absolutely agree re: gender politics fail. A class of entirely female warriors? Super cool idea but rather badly executed! And then the human males being praised as "the best of humanity" while both human women and Silurian females were written as though we should see that they were obviously the "lesser of their species"? Not On.

(I also can't forgive the use of voiceovers, haha.)

Date: 2010-05-30 12:06 am (UTC)
ext_80109: (DW: Eleven/Amy/Rory: team tardis)
From: [identity profile] be-themoon.livejournal.com
And then the human males being praised as "the best of humanity" while both human women and Silurian females were written as though we should see that they were obviously the "lesser of their species"?

I really didn't see that. I had problems with how Ambrose was portrayed, but I certainly didn't see the entire warrior race being female, and what about Nasreen and Amy being grouped among the best of humanity and being the ambassadors? I don't think there was quite as much gender politics as you think, though there certainly was some, and I found that distasteful.

Date: 2010-05-30 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kohl-eyed.livejournal.com
mm, I definitely didn't get a close look at the Silurian warriors and should probably go back and rewatch! But when the Doctor zapped their weapons, their shouts of alarm/surprise sounded entirely female.

I didn't really...count Amy, since she's been with the Doctor for a bit now, but yes! you're right. Nasreen was the notable exception.

Date: 2010-05-30 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eviltigerlily.livejournal.com
I think the warriors we see in suspended animation had breasts. Some of them did, anyway. Which is another thing. It's not super important, but breasts on non-mammalian species is a pet peeve of mine.

I didn't count Amy either.

Date: 2010-05-30 12:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eviltigerlily.livejournal.com
I think what really made this stand out to me in this episode in particular, is the fact the driving forces towards war on both sides were women (Ambrose didn't want war, but her actions worked towards it all the same). With Ambrose her role as a mother is emphasized (although she only put her son at greater risk). With the Silurian females, there just aren't any counter examples.

Nasreen and Amy being ambassadors for the species helps (I could have done without Amy falling asleep), but it's like they're not on the same level of storytelling as the other stuff. They are part of the events of the story. The gender fail sort of comes through when you look at the whole thing from the outside, if that makes sense. From within the story this is just stuff that happens. People get stuck in their own points of view, unable to see how their own actions are hurting others. When you look at it a a story, then you ask yourself why it was written the way it was. In short, I don't think it's a conscious decision on the writer's part (unlike letting Nasreen and Amy speak for humanity), but there are unfortunate implications.

*rereads in despair*

I don't think that was actually coherent. Apologies. It's 4 AM.

Date: 2010-05-30 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eviltigerlily.livejournal.com
I don't know if all the warriors were female, but I don't think it really matters as the only ones we saw are.

Date: 2010-05-31 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lifeofmendel.livejournal.com
yeah, pulling out a piece of the TARDIS that looks like a police box when the TARDIS isn't really a police box kind of falls into the same realm of why did whatsherface sister of the water look like she was in pain when the perception filter was broken by Amy when the perception filter shouldn't affect her, it affects how other people perceive her.

a shame that rory's death scene didn't do anything for you, because it was a pretty good scene for me. it didn't hit me in a weeping sort of way, but it did hit me in a sad way, and the sequence of Amy and the Doctor after that was sad too.

Date: 2010-05-31 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eviltigerlily.livejournal.com
Having thought about it more, I think there is a discrepancy between what the episode is telling us and what I can believe. Rory's death is presented as absolutely final, he is completely erased from existence. I can't think of anything more extreme. But I just don't believe it. Given all the playing around with time this series I think it will be undone somehow (and so do lots of other people, it seems). I'll be pretty shocked if it doesn't happen, but it's would be much too late for his death to give the gut punch it should. It's as if he's not actually dead, but is on hold in a kind of plot limbo until the writers decide to let him out of there (just in time for the finale, probably).

I don't know what particular element of this series lead to this reaction (perhaps it's the fairytale thing), but it isn't just me. Many if not most reactions and reviews I've read 'predict' Rory will be back. So something about the series lead the audience to not really believe in this particular event.

Date: 2010-05-31 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lifeofmendel.livejournal.com
i have a pretty strong belief that he's going to come back too. it's because Rory's worse-than-death was fused with the large plot arc. Since the large plot arc is a story that's yet to be complete, you feel like his story is yet to be complete. with the setup that we've had about time being able to be rewritten and the overall timeywimeyness implied by the series so far, it's not much of a stretch.

even so, that doesn't cheapen the twinge of sadness about the scene in general for me, kind of like how rory's fake death in amy's choice was still effective for me because of how that changed the amy/rory dynamic after that.


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