Saturday, March 08, 2008

In Which Things Get Temporarily Derailed

Right, so I'm interrupting the scintillating-I'm-sure account of my ill-advised foray into e-rotica to bring you this equally useless information: I've finally caught up with Doctor Who. Watched all the episodes of season three, watched all the video diaries, watched all the Confidentials.

You know how hard it was to negotiate the tangled morass of my emotions about this show. It didn't help that I watched it all askew. I think I watched the middle third of S.2 (Tennant/Piper) before knocking off the whole of S.1 (Eccleston/Piper). By the time I finished S.2 for real, I was feeling things very deeply, children. You know that I am very sensitive. I might have shed a tear. I might have felt the stirrings of real human emotion in my cold, dead heart. I might have.

Of course, my boo-hooing was tempered by my exhilaration at the impending arrival of Freema Agyeman as companion. Let me come out the gate and say that, before I watched a single episode of S.3, I knew I was going to be Team Martha. I liked Billie Piper as a companion, but frankly, I like my Doctor to maintain a little psychic effing distance from his companions, and by the beginning of Tennant's tenure in S.2, the audience were being sold all this malarkey about the Doctor being in love --in serious Time Lord love--with Rose. Unlike some of the other haters out there, my irritation was not thinly-veiled classism. I couldn't give a good gatdamn that Rose was 19, a former shopgirl, or looked like she ate mayonnaise sandwiches. Rose could have been the dean of Merton College; the Doctor is supposed to be aloof, family. He maintains a little bit of the ol' aristocratic hauteur. I like my doctor wry, maybe a little moody,

or even a little loco.

Tortured and lovestruck doesn't work for me on the whole.

So I was very excited by the change in companion. I liked Rose, but I was getting tired of the wistful looks and grand gestures, frankly. Sadly, a change in direction was not to be. We spent all of the third season watching Martha unconvincingly moon over a slightless hopeless Doctor. And when I say that she was unconvincing, I don't mean to cast aspersions on Agyeman's acting. I loved her to death. But her hopeless crush on the Doctor just seemed so completely forced.

The Martha Jones who existed in every scene not involving the Doctor would have blanked his tired behind so fast for pulling some of the monkeyshines he got up to with her. Just ridiculous. Martha deserved better. Actually, what she deserved was something different. I can't help but feel that the chemistry that I was supposed to see between Eccleston and Piper didn't actually manifest itself until Tennant-Piper...but that Eccleston-Agyeman would have been an explosive pairing. Because as much as I love David Tennant and think he's hot to death, Christopher Eccleston brought the noise and Martha could have, too, if he had been her Doctor.

The preceding nerdlinger rant brought to you by Saturday afternoon, Netflix, and Ernest and Julio Gallo.


Admiral Neck said...

But! But! She got her self-respect back at the end and kicked his Gallifreyan ass to the curb at the end of the season! Doesn't that count for anything?

Besides, Martha's love did allow the Doctor to be a jerk for the entire season, treating her adoring self like shit just because he's not really that nice a guy. I like that our hero is an asshole from time to time. Fiction needs more heroic dicks. It's inneressin'.

Now, and forever... TEAM MARTHA!

Adams said...

No, you're right about Martha's exit being a vindication of sorts. And I'm all about a hero who's got a little grit, a little grime, a little jerk ne sais quoi. I'll tell you what finally pushed me over the edge. The specter of Rose that hung over the entire season's adventures like a vague moldy funk. I just got so old, so fast. I love the Doctor. I love Martha. I love the Doctor and Martha. I do not love the Doctor, Invisible Rose, and Martha.

So, even though I think that the choice to conjure a companion for the Doctor who has the characteristics of our Mizz Jones has everything to do with her having been preceded by someone like Rose, I honestly feel as if Martha might have really shone if she had come before Billie Piper. Agyeman and Eccleston could have been single seasoners together, and blown everyone's minds.