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(Before anything else: ROSE OMFG YAY YAY WIN AND AWESOME AND LOVE!)

It's like RTD read Moffat's scripts for SitL and FotD, and went bitch, please, and then Moffat got TOLD in episode format.

THIS? How you write a damn good, damn scary, damn AWESOME episode, and RTD managed it in forty minutes, as opposed to, what, the 100-ish that Moffat got?

For example: the two different ensembles. I didn't give a damn about any of Moffat's throwaway characters. I couldn't tell the two guys with the same name apart, and I think there might've been another girl other than Evangelista but I don't really remember. I remember Evangelista, River, and jerk-ass who turned out not to be a jerk-ass. There was also a guy who died, and I think two more guys who died. Maybe another? I'm not sure.

This episode? Forty minutes to introduce each character and make us feel like we know them. RTD managed it for... let's see... (if I forget a name it's not because it was forgettable, it's because I simply never remember people's names), the professor, Dee, Stewardess, possessed girl (and she got even LESS time), Jethro, his asshole parents, the two pilots, and I do believe that's it. Unless I missed someone entirely, which is possible because OMG did you SEE David Tennant in this episode? I saw little else.

And you know those characters are memorable because I rattled them off from memory, and I'm usually terrible at that, take it from me. And even though we didn't get backstory for all of them, we got varied and realistic personality traits from them all - you know, like real people tend to have. That Moffat can't quite seem to manage to write. Meek Dee, who I totally identified with, because I'd be the one squeaking in the corner and trying not to draw too much attention to myself. The Professor, and from what we've seen, we can extrapolate a lot of his personality: he's definitely insecure and needs to be right all the time, he's obsessive and really wants to make a big discovery and get a good reputation in the scientific community, and he's probably a little bit threatened by Dee's intellect. Yeah. You could write a fic about him, and he was a random one-off character.

Stewardess, who dislikes her job but puts up with it for reasons unknown, who isn't the best at dealing with unexpected things from people (like her awkward exchange with the Doctor about the word alonzee) and likes to stick to a customer service script. But she definitely has a backbone and is apparently willing to sacrifice herself to do what she thinks is right. She's also not afraid to admit she's wrong, at least implicitly, when she does a heel-face turn from mistrusting the Doctor to saving him.

Possessed woman, who was nearing a breakdown, or possibly just past one, and therefore easily excitable and rather desperate to stick to a carefully planned routine in an attempt to fix herself with vacationing and relaxation. (Also, can I just say here that I fucking LOVE RTD and his pink fuzzy agenda? Pulling this shit all the time takes fucking balls, and I adore each and every one of his little throwaway mentions of people who aren't straight. Also, I love how it's treated as a non-issue by everyone, all the time, because obviously in the future people will be less ridiculous about such things. \o/)

Jethro (my favourite) who is, well, a teenager. He thinks it's clever to make possessed woman say "six-six-six," but he does have a backbone, even if he eventually ends up backing down when his parents put pressure on him. Rather clever, and not too quick to judge, and though probably a bit afraid of/under the thumb of his parents, still disagrees with them, at least at first, when it comes to killing someone.

Then his parents, who seem rather dependent on their son's agreement with them, which is a bit weird, but okay. It makes sense if they're the sort of overbearing parents they seem to be.
The mother especially, the loudest and most eager to take the easiest way out and believe whatever comes easiest. Like when she believed that the Doctor was possessed because she "saw it with her own eyes," which is ridiculous because there was nothing to see, but it was easier to believe the paralyzed trouble-maker is possessed, rather than the mobile, not-helpless woman. Also notable is that when she believes the woman is free, she is the first to offer her comfort and a hug, so clearly she's not all bad, she's just quick to leap to whatever conclusion comes easiest, no matter how ruthless it is. Probably of the opinion that she is always right, no matter what, and her word is law. I'd bet her husband is even a bit frightened of her, though they seem to get along quite well in the episode.

Ok, those were the most memorable. We got a similar to the mother, but more paternal personality for the father. We got a bit of a sense of adventure from the pilots, coupled with wanting to stick to the rules and being tempted by the Doctor, indicating that they probably took their jobs because they wanted to go to a cool, unexplored place, and were probably a bit disappointed that they never really see it. The pilots are interchangeable, but they had the least screentime of all, so it's understandable.

So... that's seven fleshed-out, memorable RTD characters (eight if you count the pilots as one, or half each), and three from Moffat, and there the only character traits we learned were integral to the plot. Especially noteworthy when you consider the fact that Moffat had over double the time RTD had.

...

Also, the rest of the episode rocked. I feel it is necessary to point out the fact that I was slightly distracted from the plot by David Tennant's acting, and also his pretteh. I could go on and on about how good both categories were from when he was first paralyzed to the fade-out before "20 minutes later," but I'm tired. Suffice to say that I was extremely impressed in my pants.

Also, this episode scared me more than any other episode yet, including Blink. During the bit where she was facing away, with her head in her hands, immobile, I had to close my eyes because I was so freaked out that she would look up and her face would be fucked-up. That is my worst fear in horror movies. Turns out her face wasn't fucked-up (which is good, because that would've been stupid, and Moffat probably would've gone there, but I digress), but the tension was extremely well-done, and the entire atmosphere was perfect, even when it wasn't horror-movie scary. Psychological thrillers are better than slasher flicks anyway - take a note, Moffat.

Well, that's about all I have to say. I had absolutely no negative comments (unless you count the preview for next week, which made me extremely nervous, and I'm still freaked out over it), and I think it's the best episode of season 4 so far.
So, yay! Way to help heal the pain from last week, RTD. I LOVE YOU!!!

I AM GOING TO MISS RUSTY SO FUCKING MUCH!! *SOBS* I love you man! I mean, we'll see how I feel after the next few weeks, but dude, right now? I forgive you for that shit you pulled in LotTL. I don't forgive that lightly, you know.

(I really need to stop posting at 3:00 AM, because NO-ONE reads LJ at this time, anywhere in the world. Oh well, maybe next week I'll post at a decent hour.)

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little_aphid

May 2009

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