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Breakfast discussion

This morning, during breakfast, my husband and I talked about Doctor Who, as is our wont. We decided to look through the episode lists of series 1-7 to see which episodes we can just sit down and watch and enjoy. Of course there are episodes we don't like and watch very rarely (if ever), but there's also a chunk of them that we don't watch for various reasons. For example, we tend to avoid multi-part episodes because of the mistaken belief that we don't want to devote that much time in front of the TV. This is stupid, of course. I will go, "Oh, I don't want to devote the time to watch HN/FoB even though it's my favorite episode, so I'll just put in Pompeii", then four hours later, after I've just chain-watched through most of series 4, smack myself for not just watching HN/FoB like I wanted to. I'm really stupid sometimes.

But I digress.

There are also episodes that we don't watch for other reasons. Despite it being my second-favorite episode, I've only actually seen "Midnight" twice because it's just too intense. Anyway, my husband pulled out his phone and read off the names of the episodes from the Wikipedia article. And then this snippet of conversation happened.

Him: Oh, "Doomsday"! That's a great episode, not even counting Rose getting punted. I mean, that was a pure bonus, but even without it, that was good!

A little later, we started talking about the ideal show we envisioned, if we could change things magically.

Me: I wish that Eccleston did a second season. I'd have him do two seasons, even if that meant that Tennant only got two, because I certainly don't want Tennant under Moffat.
Him: No, I think I'd rather insert a second season of Eccleston, rather than take one of Tennant's.
Me: But think about it. Two seasons of Nine and Rose, and Rose leaves with him, leaving Ten with Martha and Donna. That would be perfect.
Him: (thinks) That's interesting. But no, I wouldn't touch Tennant.
Me: I would.
Him: (rolls eyes)

We finally decided on an extra season of Eccleston and a second season of Ten and Donna, though I suppose by the end of that, RTD would just be a burned-out husk. Sorry, Russell THE Davies.



( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2016 07:22 pm (UTC)
Extra Nine and extra Donna = all the approval :)
Nov. 8th, 2016 07:23 am (UTC)
Absolutely! :D
Nov. 6th, 2016 10:07 pm (UTC)
I would touch him, too :)
I'm probably the only person who'd give the extra season to Martha, not Donna. Imagine Ten's relationship with Martha without him pining for Rose! They could be amazing together and handle Martha's initial crush on him one way or another. She could be much more than just "the one in the middle" or "the rebound companion". She'd be Ten's first! Oh, the possibilities of what could be done in those two seasons. While with Donna having an extra season, I think we'd just watch more of series 4. Which still would be awesome.

Quel dommage, Russell!

I agree - absolutely no Tennant under Moffat. Day of the Doctor is as much as I can take.
Nov. 7th, 2016 05:41 pm (UTC)
No, no, you are absolutely correct. A second season of Martha without the pining (on both sides) would be perfect. If they hadn't saddled her with that, she would have shone as Ten's companion. So, two Nine, two Ten and Martha, and two Ten and Donna. I'd like to move to the universe where that happened, please!

Your "Quel dommage, Russell!" made me and my husband laugh for five minutes. That was perfect!!

I'm so sad. When "Day of the Doctor" came out, I loved it to death and watched it every day for almost a month. Just last month, I started it up after not seeing it for nearly a year, watched the opening up until the credits and turned it off. I am now so aware of the horrible and hole-y plot, the cheap tricks Moffat employed to tweak the audience's emotions, and his terrible treatment of Ten that I just couldn't watch it. My stomach actually started churning just watching the opening and that was it. :( I think I can put it on as background noise, but actually concentrating on watching it (I was on a plane flight at the time) was depressing.

Edited at 2016-11-07 05:42 pm (UTC)
Nov. 7th, 2016 09:43 pm (UTC)
So, two Nine, two Ten and Martha, and two Ten and Donna.
Perfect! *wonders how many suits Ten needs for four seasons* *and how Christopher would play Cassandra if he had a chance*

Now I want to watch Five Doctors Reboot again.

:( It's sad how this episode could be best of the best but was just Eleven, OOC Ten and out-of-nowhere War. I was grinning the whole time when I was watching it for the first time, just because I could see David Tennant again and for a moment I really thought they were going to push that button (I know, stupid!) and thought wow! There's so much wrong with this episode I wanted to write about it, but I get emotional and never manage to finish my posts. There are some little scenes that I liked, though.
Nov. 8th, 2016 07:15 am (UTC)
Oh, I can just watch The Five(-ish) Doctors Reboot over and over again. To me, it's the real 50th celebration - it captured the show so well. It's followed very closely by The Light at the End, which was just a wonderful multi-Doctor story.

I've wanted to write an essay (more like a whole book) on "The Day of the Doctor", but I agree, like you said, I get very upset the more I think about it. Maybe I should write it in bits and pieces and finally get all my thoughts down very slowly.

The moment where Ten and Eleven join War and place their hands on the button made me cry the first time I saw it, and I still tear up a bit, because it was so beautiful, and it was finally going to bring closure to their pain, as they finally acknowledge War and his sacrifice... And then they had to go and undo everything. The confluence of all the Doctors was exciting and triumphant, and yet it ruined so much.

I also recently realized that that scene actually ruined the very next episode. Twelve shows up to assist, which means that Eleven saw his future self and therefore knew that he wasn't going to die on Trenzalore, in Christmas. It completely trivializes his sacrifices.

Argh. I need to stop ranting about all the poor story choices made in the quest to film something "cool".
Nov. 9th, 2016 09:40 pm (UTC)
If you write that essay, I'd be here to comment.

The moment where Ten and Eleven join War and place their hands on the button made me cry the first time I saw it, and I still tear up a bit, because it was so beautiful, and it was finally going to bring closure to their pain, as they finally acknowledge War and his sacrifice...
Oh, that scene is absolutely perfect (until they withdraw). It's even more powerful if you replace War with Nine. "I knew you destroyed Gallifrey, but I never pictured you doing it" - and all viewers who only know New Who have to face the fact it was their Doctor who destroyed Gallifrey. It's easy to forgive a deed made offscreen and by a man with a different face from your "hero".
And I agree, the Doctor could have started coming to terms about the Time War after that.

Twelve shows up to assist, which means that Eleven saw his future self and therefore knew that he wasn't going to die on Trenzalore, in Christmas. It completely trivializes his sacrifices.
I've never thought of that. Neither did Moffat, probably. Oh, I know - Eleven forgot who turned up, because... reasons. *shrugs*
Nov. 10th, 2016 01:36 am (UTC)
I've been starting to write notes a bit. If I ever do write it, it'll probably be way too long to post, because I already know I have a lot to say and I usually underestimate how long it takes me to say things. Maybe I'll have to post it in chapters. Woah.

Oh, if Nine had been the one, that would have been beautiful and horrifying. On a tangent, if Nine was the one fighting in the Time War, that would make Nine's scene in Rose's flat striking, as he looks in the mirror and sees himself for the first time, after hundreds of years of denying his identity as a soldier. I'm not sure it works (I don't remember the entire scene) but it's interesting to imagine.

I'm not sure that Moffat thinks about that kind of thing at all. There are so many disconnects like that that I suspect he just puts in things that are "cool" and moves on.
Nov. 29th, 2016 07:19 pm (UTC)
On a tangent, if Nine was the one fighting in the Time War, that would make Nine's scene in Rose's flat striking, as he looks in the mirror and sees himself for the first time, after hundreds of years of denying his identity as a soldier.
I imagine him having longer hair and wearing different clothes during the war, so when he comes to Earth after pressing the button, he chooses to change, but he ends up looking a bit like a human soldier, because he feels like one. It works with War Doctor, too.

I've been starting to write notes a bit.
*is very happy*
Nov. 7th, 2016 01:12 am (UTC)
I'll definitely agree with your last comment!

Another Eccleston season; it seems he was just coming into his own, it usually takes about a season. Although I did enjoy watching Tennant, he seemed to have such fun with the role, yet he could express so much darkness with just his eyes. More Donna, I cannot argue with that! Her time on the TARDIS was way too short, and she was just so good for Ten. That was the healthiest relationship I've seen in NuWho! He was good for her, and she was very good for him, they were truly at their best when in each other's company. And this is no matter whether you ship them or not....

I do agree with alumfelga, though, too, about Martha. She started off so strong, was really smart and practical, but then he had to go on and on about Rose, and she had to start pining for him. If that never happened, she would really have taken off! Martha was misused by the Doctor, and her only choice at the end was to leave him to his own misery. Fortunately, Donna took over and shook him right out of it! No nonsense for her, and the beginnings of true healing for him!
Nov. 7th, 2016 01:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree that 10 misused Martha. Just look at 1969, 1913 and the year that never was! I mean, she was THE one companion (after the Time War) that ever had more than a basic education: studying for her medical license. She certainly was capable of doing more than menial work. But she was still forced to do so.
Donna would have slapped him into his next regeneration if he tried to push her like that. I mean, the only one working in 1969 was Martha! Donna would never have accepted that! And if Donna was forced to be a maid in 1913 she would have stayed in the Tardis as result or tried to work in a shop but certainly NOT as a maid! And don't get me going about the year that never was! Walking the earth. Yes, it was for a purpose, but I think she would have dragged Jack with her.

Edited at 2016-11-07 01:41 pm (UTC)
Nov. 7th, 2016 02:08 pm (UTC)
Well, there are a lot of fanfic stories about Ten and Donna in 1913, and she wasn't the maid, she was set up as his wife (which you could imagine the fireworks about that!). It seems that the TARDIS never set her up as his sister.... Donna wondered about that.

The problem with Martha was that there was overt discrimination in 1913, so she could never be set up that way, probably could never have gotten a job as a shopkeep (and the TARDIS wouldn't allow that anyway, because she needed to be on the school grounds to try and protect the Doctor). It was very limited opportunities for her.

Right, I'm glad you amended that about Martha; I think several of the Doctor's companions before the war might have had more than a high school level education.

We don't actually know Donna's level of education, except that she was very good with numbers and patterns, but her mother seemed to discourage her from that because she'd never catch a man if she was smarter than them. It's possible she could have had a college education; I did and I worked as a temp for quite awhile! Good training for life with the Doctor. Go in cold, quickly figure out the people and the problem, solve it, and.... move on! That's why they got along so well, she understood that life well.

Edited at 2016-11-07 02:09 pm (UTC)
Nov. 7th, 2016 05:29 pm (UTC)
(Replying to you both) Martha's whole problem in 1913 was a matter of opportunity. Remember that the TARDIS did not create her situation - she only created John Smith's situation and Martha was left to fend for herself. She had to stay close to the Doctor, so she couldn't stay in the village, but because of her race couldn't claim to be his wife or apply for a faculty job. The serving staff was really all she could do.

Interestingly, in the original Human Nature novel that the episode was based on, the science teacher at the school was female. If Donna had been the companion, she could have been a teacher, except that in the middle of the school year, it would be unusual for two teaching positions to suddenly need to be refilled.

But Martha definitely was treated terribly. Though, I'm not sure what could have been done about her time in "Blink". Certainly the Doctor wasn't going to get a job - he has no concept of money and how to support himself, so it really was left up to her, and what trained/professional job would Martha be able to get without any credentials - birth certificate, citizenship, etc.? She wasn't given much of a choice during the Year That Never Was: if she hadn't teleported when she did, the Master would have gotten her, so she didn't have time to get Jack to go with her. So I don't have a problem with her having to do the things she did, but the Doctor never showed enough appreciation for her efforts and I'm sure, in the case of "Blink", he never tried to help her and make it easier for her.

And because I love this kind of stuff, here are the companions that I know of that had more than high school education. I'm not familiar with a lot of One's and Two's companions, and I'm not counting the Time Lady companions.

Barbara Wright & Ian Chesterton (1): teachers
Zoe Heriot (2): Super genius, like, rivaling the Doctor (not exactly sure what her occupation was)
Liz Shaw (3): Scientist
Sarah Jane Smith (3, 4): Journalist
Adric (4, 5): Genius mathematician
Tegan Jovanka (4, 5): Air hostess (not college-educated, but trained and employed)
Nyssa (4, 5): Scientist
Vislor Turlough (5): Alien posing as a high-schooler on Earth, but it's made clear that he was highly educated on Trion
Peri Brown (5, 6): College student in botany
Mel Bush (6, 7): Computer programmer
Grace Holloway (8): Doctor

It's interesting that Five's companions were almost all alien (Tegan's the only human), and were all highly educated or trained.

Donna is implied to be not educated beyond high school, which in my opinion only contributes to her story, of the nobody who becomes the Most Important Woman in the Universe. But of course that doesn't mean she didn't have any talents or knowledge. The "completely untrained and drifting" companion role was filled intentionally by Rose (RTD obviously wanted a character that didn't really have any skills but helped the Doctor through force of character) and unintentionally by Amy (it was obvious that she had no education or skills until they needed her to have them in series 7). Of course, the queen of "all of a sudden, she's X" is Clara, who was a drifting babysitter until all of a sudden, she was a teacher.

Nov. 7th, 2016 06:18 pm (UTC)
Exactly the problem with Martha in 1913; no opportunities for her, and the TARDIS gave no thought as to her condition, only the Doctor's.

As for Donna... ooh, I could see her as a math teacher! I suppose then that she and the Doctor could have separate rooms. On the other hand, maybe the TARDIS would make fun of the fact that wherever she and the Doctor go, people assume they are married! Bonus for the TARDIS' sense of humor.... and the fact that they keep denying it.

Right... Amy and Clara were interesting cases, weren't they? Plot devices rather than strong interesting women. Especially Clara -- Dalek, bartender, nanny/governess, and suddenly, she's a teacher. Rubbish with computers until she suddenly needed to be a computer whiz. You need a college degree and certification to teach, in just about any country I know. Many of them want more advanced degrees, too.

And Amy... a kissogram, then a high-powered fashion model/mogul? I guess, if she was using the kissogram job to pay for her education, that it's a little more plausible. Rory was at least a nurse, highly educated, I'm sure.
Nov. 7th, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
Hm, a HN/FoB variation with Donna as a math teacher would be interesting. As I think about it, there's nothing that says that both Donna and John have to arrive at the school at the same time. John arrives at the school about two weeks after the beginning of the term (I've had to do a lot of research on the HN/FoB timeline for my stories in A Teacher and a Housemaid, so I know this - you should see the calendar I've constructed for this), but what if the TARDIS places him there, and then goes back in time to place Donna there as an established teacher during the summer? That way, when he arrives, she's ready to protect him.

Oh god, I could go on about Clara. I don't mind the stuff that happened to her before "The Bells of St. John", since those are Clara fragments and not actually her, so they can be very different. But in BoSJ, she's just a "family friend" who's been there over a year taking care of the kids. And then suddenly she's a teacher, a profession that requires years of training. The computer whiz thing was at least explained in canon by her being in that computer network. And then she's just fantastic at everything she's asked to do. I think the example of that that pissed me off the most was in "Nightmare in Silver", where the Doctor tells her to take over the army, and she commands them and strategizes their defense. BS.

And yes, Amy. A kissogram and then, with less than a year living in a stable house with Rory, she becomes such a famous fashion model that little girls want her autograph. I have no idea what education a fashion model might require, but achieving that level of fame requires huge amounts of work and exposure. (Honestly, I wasn't even aware that people know fashion models' names and ask them for autographs.)

But it all points to Moffat's inability to create characters. His companions have no backgrounds - heck, they don't even have families until an episode requires them to - and when they're finally given a skill, they are the BEST at it. RTD does suffer from imbuing his characters with cosmic power, but at least they then lose it. His characters actually live and breathe. Moffat's are just cardboard.

Okay, time to turn off the rant. :D
Nov. 8th, 2016 12:03 pm (UTC)
A discussion!!! Woopie!!!
Ahem... (straightens sleeves)

Well, about the education of the companions.
I only counted the companions after the Time War (and I said so). I'm well aware that the Doctor had higher educated "assistants" before the War. You mentioned a few. And he worked at UNIT. Where he had plenty of well educated people around him and to "help" him.
Doesn't take away that they too could act pretty stupid sometimes, but hei... it was (and is ) a sci-fi series for tv and it's supposed to attract loads of people so things need to be explained.

About Martha and 1913. Yes she is not white, and yes there weren't much opportunities for none white people in those days. But... There were. Not all non whites where servants. And maybe not all non whites did have a good education in the UK, but there were enough countries that where non white and did have good educational systems for their residents. She could have been from one of those countries. Doesn't take away that Martha indeed needed to look after the Doctor, so she couldn't go away and let her brilliance shine. BUT... And I still have that opinion... The TARDIS picked 1913 (like she does with nearly all episodes), she could have picked a somewhat nicer period for Martha. All of time and space and they decide to hide on earth in 1913!!! I mean... take a look at this objectively. They could have gone to 2050, or something. And papers and identification? The TARDIS was in charge of that too, now didn't she?

Up to the next: 1969
You say that the Doctor has no concept of money and how to support himself. But he has. And he even did hold a job in 1969 (and the years before). At UNIT. And don't get me going about all the hours spent at repairing his TARDIS. He can do something for longer times on end. So even if it was only a few hours a day, he should have been able to work. And he knows what to do in several professions. He pretended to be a waiter in Pete's world and didn't stand out, he could have spent his hours earning his money in a repair shop. That would have satisfied his need for fixing things. And yes, he needed to make his timey whimy detector, but that didn't need to take that much time as soon as he had the parts for it. Maybe he would have found those parts sooner in a repair shop. He could have worked as an engineer (not full time, mind you). And he's good at finding things, so might even had done something like being a reporter or investigator.
And now Martha. Credentials. They had the psychic paper hadn't they? And it was 1969, so they would be looking too hard. There weren't any electronical records. Setting up things would have been fun for them.

And yes the Year that Never Was:
I admit she didn't have much choice then. And was practically forced to walk the earth if she wanted everybody to survive. And I'm so sorry about that. If it could have been changed it would have been so nice. That she would have some support during that time.

Continued in the next post, as this became too long...
Nov. 8th, 2016 12:03 pm (UTC)
Continued from previous post:

Now the other companions after the Time War:
Rose: school drop-out, forced to work in a shop.
Mickey: already a computer guy and grows in his own strength. They don't tell us what kind of education he has had, but I think high school. Works as an auto mechanic and does the usual teenage things. Can't face stress though. But he also grows in that and becomes a "defender" of Pete's world.
Jack: drop-out Time Agent. Con man. Has 51st knowledge and tech. Education not known. But knows enough to help repair the TARDIS while Rose tries to seduce Mickey in Cardiff.
Donna: High school and secretary. Now for to be a proper secretary you need to have finished a secretary course. So that you are a secretary and not an office assistent. That means that Donna had some more education after high school. Not much, but still. She reads a lot and watches a lot of movies. Now I know that watching movies may not be educational, but she shows interest in gossip and that is also useful. There's always a bit of truth in there.
Martha: Medical school, we've gone over that.
Amy: As shown in the series, high school (waiting on Mels while she was being lectured on by head master in the corridor). For modelling you don't need education, only a pretty face. And you can learn to do your own finances. As soon as you're discovered as a model agents will take over everything, like photosessions and where to be and ads. And fashion models are sometimes quite famous, yes.
Rory: High school and nurses training. And a head full of questions about if what they are doing is right.
River (not supposed to be a companion): university (archeology)
Clara: High school and who knows if she was following a teachers education before she decided to take care of her dead friend's children. And yes computers: she took on the skills when she was uploaded into that computer network. But other education was not known.
Bill: not yet known. She from the future, that's all I know.

Wow. I think this is the longest post I have ever done here :D
Nov. 8th, 2016 12:11 pm (UTC)
Well that would teach me to read what I have written before posting it:

I wrote:
"And now Martha. Credentials. They had the psychic paper hadn't they? And it was 1969, so they would be looking too hard. There weren't any electronical records. Setting up things would have been fun for them."

And it should be that they wouldn't be looking too hard because of the psychic paper.
Oh well...
Nov. 10th, 2016 04:41 pm (UTC)
Sorry for not responding! Things have been crazy the last two days (as I'm sure you know). I do love a discussion and I'll be back with a real reply hopefully today. :)
Nov. 7th, 2016 05:29 pm (UTC)
Just so you know, I replied to both you and dm12 in my reply to her below. :)
Nov. 7th, 2016 05:33 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, now that alumfelga says it, two seasons of Martha without saddling her with being the rebound companion and without the unrequited love would be fantastic!
Nov. 7th, 2016 10:26 pm (UTC)
LOL!! Love the conversations...and yeah...wish we'd had more 9!

Nov. 8th, 2016 07:17 am (UTC)
Our conversations get either stupid or surreal very quickly. :D
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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