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Meme-y mood

I feel like talking about something but not like thinking of what to talk about, so you tell me. I am making up my own meme here.

Name an episode (or episodes, as many as you like) from one of the following shows and I will tell you the following about it.

Doctor Who is of course preferable (modern or classic), but also Star Trek: The Next Generation and Firefly are fair game.

What I like about it.

What I don't like about it.

Favorite line.

Best performance.

A scene/idea from it that's particularly interesting to me.

Something I would have changed to make the episode better.

An idea for a fanfic relating to it.

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Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
a_phoenixdragon
Feb. 4th, 2017 12:18 am (UTC)
Ohhh!! Firefly: Out of Gas (one of my favs...yes, I'm terrible).

*HUGS*
shivver13
Feb. 4th, 2017 01:30 am (UTC)
It is so hard to have a favorite Firefly episode because they are all so good! :) I'll note here that I haven't seen Firefly in a long time, so my responses are based on rather shaky memory.

What I like about it: Brilliant storytelling. I love the way that Whedon showed us the crew's backstory woven around the immediate urgent situation.

What I don't like about it: Two things. First, I recall being a little put off by the rather pat way it ended, with the two shuttles going off in different directions and one of them happening to run smack dab into help. My memory could be wrong. It was just a little too convenient. Second, the science in the episode is bad, sacrificed for the story. Neither suffocating nor freezing to death would have been that fast - the ship has plenty of air to support the crew for at least a day or two (same with the hospital in "Smith and Jones" btw), and heat doesn't dissipate into space quickly through radiance (which is why astronauts can walk on the moon without freezing immediately).

Favorite line: I'm going to go with favorite scene. I loved the scene where the prospective engineer is, ahem, making out with his girlfriend in the engine room and she turns out to be the far more competent engineer. Kaylee and Mal were fantastic.

Best performance: Sorry, I don't remember individual performances well enough to answer this. I do remember that Mal's despair was palpable in the end, though.

A scene/idea from it that's particularly interesting to me: I love the idea that Kaylee intuitively understands Serenity, that she hears the ship and empathizes with her.

Something I would have changed to make the episode better: I'd go for what I didn't like about it - I'd change the end so that the salvation of the ship wasn't left to chance.

An idea for a fanfic relating to it: I'd love a setup story, in which something happens to the crew/ship and in the process of solving the problem, they do something and it's implied that it eventually causes the ship's failure in the episode.
a_phoenixdragon
Feb. 4th, 2017 01:54 am (UTC)
Ohh, it has been a while! In the first episode, Kaylee complains that they need to get another compressor coil for the engine before it leaves them stranded. Eight episodes later, it did just that...*beams* but I'll take fic on Firefly anyway. LOVE that show!

*HUGS*
frelling_tralk
Feb. 4th, 2017 12:29 am (UTC)
Hmm how about The Girl In The Fireplace from DW?
shivver13
Feb. 4th, 2017 01:53 am (UTC)
Oo, one of my favorites! It's actually the episode that got me into the whole fanfiction business in the first place - a story popped into my mind while I was lying in bed after seeing the episode for the first time, and I couldn't sleep until I wrote it down.

What I like about it: Reinette's story, told in forty minutes in tiny bites from when she was seven until she died at forty-two, was fascinating to watch.

What I don't like about it: This was Mickey's first trip in the TARDIS and he should have been given a bigger part to play, good or bad. He only got two trips; luckily, he was a studmuffin in his second one.

Favorite line: "What's a horse doing on a spaceship?" "Mickey, what's pre-Revolutionary France doing on a spaceship?"

Best performance: Sophia Myles was fantastic as Reinette, portraying the real Madame de Pompadour's intelligence and strength of character, while still exhibiting a very real fear of the unknown and the courage to face it as she encountered the alien (the Doctor) and the monsters.

A scene/idea from it that's particularly interesting to me: I really like the storytelling concept illustrating a character by glimpses of them all along their lives. I suppose I already wrote a story using this concept; it only just occurred to me that TGitF was similar.

Something I would have changed to make the episode better: In the previous episode, Mickey joined the TARDIS against Rose's wishes and she was pretty upset about it, but in this episode, which began only minutes later, she wasn't angry at all. My understanding is that Moffat wrote it without the knowledge that Rose didn't want him there and therefore didn't add any tension between them. Mickey and Rose got so little to do during the episode that I think adding that tension (without a full-blown conflict) during their brief scenes would have tied this episode in to the arc that continued into "Rise of the Cybermen" (since there, she was upset again).

An idea for a fanfic relating to it: One of the formative events in Reinette's life (in reality) was the disgrace and exile of her father when she was young (before the events of the episode). He eventually is allowed to return and rebuild his family's reputation. I'd love to see a story where the Doctor goes back to when he was in exile and helps him regain the King's favor so that he can return to Reinette.
frelling_tralk
Feb. 4th, 2017 02:02 am (UTC)
I was curious what you thought about it, because it does seem to be an episode that's either absolutely loved or absolutely hated! And our thoughts are pretty similar, it's one of my favourites too, and yes Rose's excitement at having Mickey onboard is the only part that distracts me
bas_math_girl
Feb. 4th, 2017 11:03 pm (UTC)
Because I fancy seeing you rant, I'm going to ask for The Stolen Earth/Journey's End episodes.
*ducks*
shivver13
Feb. 6th, 2017 03:19 am (UTC)
Hahahah! Well, if you really want me to rant, you'd choose a story from series 8 or 9. :)

What I like about it: Davros engineering a universe-ending event? All of the companions coming together to defeat him? Finally seeing the Shadow Proclamation? What's not to like?

Oh, and Dalek Caan.

What I don't like about it: There's really only one answer here: Rose. Not only did they use Donna's entire season to inject Rose into this story, but when she got here, she didn't do anything. Seriously. What did she actually do in this episode other than complain until she found the Doctor, then stood next to him and looked smug or scared, depending on the circumstance. Oh wait, she did do something: got him shot by a Dalek.

Favorite line: "I saw the Daleks. What we have done, throughout time and space, I saw the truth of us, Creator, and I decreed, no more!" (Did I mention I love Dalek Caan?)

Best performance: Donna, by far, standing up for herself at the Shadow Proclamation, dealing with nearly getting annihilated and then with keeping a leash on Meta, and then ascending to the Doctor/Donna. Catherine Tate did a fantastic job transforming between many different styles of Donna all the way through the episode.

A scene/idea from it that's particularly interesting to me: The whole Dalek plot. It was very interesting that the Daleks actually had Davros serving them, rather than the other way around, and that Caan had been manipulating everything to end the Dalek.

Something I would have changed to make the episode better: I really hated the whole "TARDIS towing the Earth back home" thing, mostly because of the bad science. I don't know how far away the Medusa Cascade is, but if it is anywhere beyond the orbit of Mars, you can't physically tow the planet back to its home within a few minutes without breaking the speed of light. But you know what you can do? You can envelop it in the TARDIS and transport it back that way. It would have added to the mystery of the TARDIS, and you could still use all six pilots to do that family thing and be all spectacular.

An idea for a fanfic relating to it: I think it would be fascinating to witness the visit of the Doctor and Donna from the Shadow Proclamation's point of view, perhaps from the point of view of the creature that gave Donna refreshment. Both the Doctor and Donna must seem so strange to her.
alumfelga
Feb. 5th, 2017 04:27 pm (UTC)
Would you like to tell me about Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead?
shivver13
Feb. 6th, 2017 04:23 am (UTC)
Certainly! That is one wonderful story!

What I like about it: SitL/FotD weaves a fantastic story about a child whose dream is the real world, which is utterly unique, layering it with the story about a woman whose world is a dream and a story about a woman who's meeting the Doctor for the last time when he's meeting her for the first time. It's one of the few times where one of Moffat's stories has more than one significant thread going through it, and he does a masterful job.

What I don't like about it: Three things. First, I didn't like the resolution. The Doctor telling the Vashta Nerada to look him up was cool, but I don't see why they capitulated, why a trillion individuals would fear the single man who poses no obvious threat to them, especially considering that this is the first food they've seen in a hundred years. Second, I know the ending is supposed to be uplifting and optimistic, but I cannot convince myself that River could actually be happy playing Mommy for the rest of eternity within a simulation. Third, the Miss Evangelista in the computer really bothered me - the "brilliant but unloved" thing. I'm not sure I can explain why, but it has something to do with the implication, intended or not, that a person cannot be loved if they are ugly/disfigured. I also take issue with the idea that you must be both intelligent and unloved to see absolute truth.

Favorite line: You know, finding a favorite line is harder than I thought. :) "And who is the Doctor?" "The only story you'll ever tell, if you survive him."

Best performance: Oh, that's hard. I really enjoyed both River and Donna in this episode.

A scene/idea from it that's particularly interesting to me: I love the idea of a planet that is a library!

Something I would have changed to make the episode better: The whole Miss Evangelista thing. I just feel like the episode misused a mentally handicapped character.

An idea for a fanfic relating to it: I have always wanted to write the story of the day the Vashta Nerada came to the Library.


Now that I've written the above, I want to say that I had to think about the questions without reference to anything that came after. When I sit down to watch the episode, I have to put myself in the mindset that the future hasn't happened and I don't know how River is going to turn out, so that I can enjoy the episode. If I think about River we now know, then the River story in this episode falls apart and ruins the enjoyment for me.

Edited at 2017-02-06 04:23 am (UTC)
alumfelga
Feb. 6th, 2017 06:31 pm (UTC)
The Doctor telling the Vashta Nerada to look him up was cool, but I don't see why they capitulated, why a trillion individuals would fear the single man who poses no obvious threat to them, especially considering that this is the first food they've seen in a hundred years.
Yes, if you don't consider the future episodes, it doesn't make sense. But when you do... Isn't is what Eleven does all the time? He says he always wins, and the enemies don't attack him. (Yes, I find the famous Pandorica scene a bit stupid. Why wouldn't they just attack?) I guess they just read about him and Pandorica and did what others did, "just in case".

Second, I know the ending is supposed to be uplifting and optimistic, but I cannot convince myself that River could actually be happy playing Mommy for the rest of eternity within a simulation.
Yes, exactly! I don't think you can be happy knowing you're inside a huge computer and your "life" isn't real, let alone spending the eternity just talking to everyone about the Doctor.

Third, the Miss Evangelista in the computer really bothered me - the "brilliant but unloved" thing. I'm not sure I can explain why, but it has something to do with the implication, intended or not, that a person cannot be loved if they are ugly/disfigured.
I can imagine CAL - a little girl - thinking it and not being able to give Miss Evangelista a "perfect" life (the life she gave Donna was a cliche, really, and I believe this is what she did to most saved people. They were like dolls for her). If Miss Evangelista was pretty much left alone, she didn't inregrate with the system and started to question that world. This is how I interpret the conditions to "see the absolute truth", in that particular place, not as a general truth.

When I sit down to watch the episode, I have to put myself in the mindset that the future hasn't happened and I don't know how River is going to turn out, so that I can enjoy the episode. If I think about River we now know, then the River story in this episode falls apart and ruins the enjoyment for me.
I do and feel the same. I'm so excited when I see her whispering the Doctor's name to him!

I stuggle with choosing favourite lines, too ;)
shivver13
Feb. 6th, 2017 10:26 pm (UTC)
>> The Doctor telling the Vashta Nerada to look him up was cool, but I don't see why they capitulated...
> Yes, if you don't consider the future episodes, it doesn't make sense. But when you do... Isn't is what Eleven does all the time? He says he always wins, and the enemies don't attack him. (Yes, I find the famous Pandorica scene a bit stupid. Why wouldn't they just attack?) I guess they just read about him and Pandorica and did what others did, "just in case".

Actually, at the Pandorica, it makes sense. The enemies flew off because they were trying to lure the Doctor in to the Pandorica trap without tipping him off it was a trap. They withdrew to make him think that they were afraid of him and that he had won and was in control, when he actually was doing exactly what they wanted him to.

However, the Vashta Nerada scene was an early indication of the direction that Moffat would take the Doctor, that I completely disagree with and actively hate. The Doctor telling them to look him up reveals his awareness - actually, I should use the word "belief" - that he is possibly the most powerful being the universe. This is something new to his personality and is what Moffat's entire run is based on. Previously, the Doctor, as a Time Lord, is always aware that he is more advanced than most of the people he encounters, and that's perfectly reasonable. However, part of the charm of the show is that the Doctor doesn't act on that. He travels to a new place and enters each situation like he's everyone else - perhaps he's just a traveler passing through, or he just happened to stumble upon the situation, but he's nothing special. Sure, he's arrogant and insulting a lot of the times, and depending on the situation, he sometimes has to take charge, but for the most part, he solves the problem with his keen mind, not by exercising either his Time Lord power or his personal power. And, as importantly, he doesn't look back on his centuries of previous successes and go, "Look how awesome I am." The Doctor is amazing not because of what he's achieved, but because he achieves so much and yet continues to maintain a view of himself as unimportant to the universe.

This changed under Moffat's showrunning. This is obvious from the solution to the Vashta Nerada problem and from the Pandorica speech, but it's a common theme throughout the five series: in general, he is convinced of his own superiority and invincibility, and has no qualms about using not only to defeat his enemies but also to establish himself as the center of attention. He knows he's powerful and that the universe can't stop him - well, at least he believes it can't, which is why he's so free with messing with his previously-beloved Web of Time and creating anachronisms wherever he wants, and is willing to risk tearing apart the universe to prevent one person from dying. It doesn't help that everyone else in the show actively feeds that perception, notably River trying to convince him that the entire universe loves him in "The Wedding of River Song", Clara with her obsession with trying to first change him and then become him, and every villain who participated in any of the series 5 through 9 story arcs, each of which targeted the Doctor personally. (You might notice that in each of the series 1 through 4 story arcs,. the villains had a primary objective that had nothing to do with the Doctor, though killing/torturing the Doctor might have been a pleasing secondary objective.) This isn't the Doctor I fell in love with, and he is no longer the hero I would want to be. I'm really hoping that Chibnall can bring him back around.

Yes, I'm pretty far off-topic, but it all feeds into my dislike of the solution to the main conflict in FotD. It really was a taste of things to come.

shivver13
Feb. 6th, 2017 10:26 pm (UTC)
Aaaand... I ran out of character count.


> I can imagine CAL - a little girl - thinking it and not being able to give Miss Evangelista a "perfect" life (the life she gave Donna was a cliche, really, and I believe this is what she did to most saved people. They were like dolls for her). If Miss Evangelista was pretty much left alone, she didn't inregrate with the system and started to question that world. This is how I interpret the conditions to "see the absolute truth", in that particular place, not as a general truth.

I suppose I could think of it that way. It's far more acceptable than the alternative.


> I do and feel the same. I'm so excited when I see her whispering the Doctor's name to him!

When I first watched the episode, I wondered what kind of human River was that was able to capture the Doctor's attention like that. I was picturing some kind of dynamic scientist - strong, logical, but compassionate; maybe a cross between Liz Shaw, Ace, and Donna - and was really looking forward to that. I continue to be very disappointed with the River we got, who I feel is a caricature of a female James Bond whose primary purpose is to make the Doctor look foolish, and so I cling to my little dream when I watch this episode.
alumfelga
Feb. 12th, 2017 06:38 pm (UTC)
They withdrew to make him think that they were afraid of him and that he had won and was in control, when he actually was doing exactly what they wanted him to.
Good point. The scene is brought up and described in the fandom so often as a defining scene for Eleven and the example of his power that I completely forgot he wasn't the winner there, that he was going straight to the trap. How ironic.

Oh, I totally agree with you when you talk about Moffat making the Doctor the most important and the most powerful creature in the universe. This is (partly) why I dislike season 6 so much - because it's all about the fact that the Doctor can avoid a fixed point in time. Yes, the whole thing started in season 5 with Pandorica, but I didn't mind making the Doctor the centre of attention for a while. But then it continued, and suddenly everything was about the Doctor. I hoped it would change with Twelve, but season 8 finale was about him, too, the two parter with Davros was about him, and don't even talk to me about the "prophecy" in season 9. So, yes, fingers crossed for Chibnall to change it.

In season 4, River seems to me as a brave, strong, caring person who sees the Doctor once in a while. A scientist who knows how to have fun and maybe likes danger a litte bit too much. A 51th century person who flirts with most people she meets and is good with people in general. Definitely not a person who's obsessed with the Doctor, doesn't do much when he's not around, kills people and steals with no remorse or acts as the Doctor's awful sitcom wife. The worst thing is that Moffat clearly thinks he's being a feminist, while he's being sexist. But let's not start on that, I could on forever :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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