Season 7, Episode 10: Hide
– Posted by Sage
To be perfectly honest, the convoluted plotting of Series 6 left me exhausted and more than a little frustrated with Doctor Who. I was missing the standalone episodes that pluck the Doctor and friends out of their own serial dramas and get them busy having a good old fashioned adventure. Happily, the good lord Moffat has heard my cries, and Series 7 has been rich in “Monster of the Week” fun. I was SO looking forward to watching and recapping “Hide,” which seemed to have all the hallmarks of a spooky Doctor Who classic. A huge, fuck-off Victorian manor? Check. Attractive ghost hunters in tasteful 70s fashions? Check. A scary thunderstorm? You got it. It’s ghost time.
The Doctor and Clara show up on the door step of Downton Shabby to meet aforementioned good-looking explorers Emma Grayling (Jessica Raine, who is also starring as Verity Lambert in the dramatization of Who‘s origin story) and Major Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott – Drew Barrymore’s prince – you’re welcome). And then the Doctor does that thing where he meets someone he admires and shamelessly fangirls him. Alec is a seeker of knowledge – a man who bought a huge, fuck-off Victorian manor just so he could investigate its haunting – just the Doctor’s type.
But it’s not all man-crushes and toggle switches. Alec is haunted, not by the Caliban Ghast, but by the ghosts of his past. He has killed and “has caused to have killed” and he really doesn’t know how else to live his life but to keep on reaching out for the next mystery. Sound like anyone we know?
Like the Doctor, Alec is not alone. The lovely Emma serves his project as an empathic psychic – he catalogs the appearances of the ghast, while Emma interprets her emotions. But she also gives him a reason to hold on. The Major is not exactly forthcoming with his feelings about her though, until the moment of crisis arrives. (SOUND LIKE ANYONE WE KNOW?) “You brought me back from the dead,” he tells her.
And here is where I launch into my frantic analysis of the Rose Tyler parallels and allusions in this episode. I know that I am biased, and maybe I’m seeing things that I want to see, but writer Neil Cross (Luther showrunner, “The Rings of Akhaten”) has packed so many references into this episode that I can’t be making them ALL up:
- The “ghost”, really time traveler Hilla Tacorien, is stuck in a pocket universe, not a parallel one. But the term is bandied about quite a bit, with Clara trying to understand the difference between the two. Don’t tell me there isn’t a pang in his hearts when someone says those words.
- The original ghostbusters.
- The Doctor takes Clara to the end of the earth to prove his theory about Hilla’s whereabouts (whenabouts?). At the VERY SAME MOMENT, Nine and Rose are holding hands and watching the planet’s death from Platform One. Stop taking your dates to watch the world end, Doctor. It makes us feel very insignificant.
- When they say goodbye, Alec asks the Doctor what he and Emma should do now. The Doctor tells them to “hold hands.” “Keep doing that, and don’t let go.” I juuuuust…
- In fact, the entire relationship between Alec and Emma is very Rose and Doctor-esque. I wrote in one of my playlist posts about Rose’s deep empathy for the Doctor. More than any other modern companion, she seemed to feel what he was feeling. (“Girl in the Fireplace” is the ultimate proof of that.) And Emma is an empath – very literally able to do that. That skill serves Alec personally more than professionally. He needed someone to bring him back, someone who would only consider his past mistakes in terms of how they still affect him. This is so Rose and Nine that it hurts.
- The moment where everyone in the Doctor/Rose fandom fell apart: “It’s the oldest story in the universe, this one or any other. Boy and girl fall in love, get separated by events, war, politics, accidents in time. Since they’ve been yearning for each other, across time and space across dimensions! It’s not a ghost story, it’s a love story!”
Now that I have that out of my system, let’s get back to the companion at hand. Just because this was a MoTW ep, it doesn’t mean that the Clara mystery was ignored. Quite the contrary. The whole reason that the Doctor came to meet Alec and Emma in 1974 was to learn more about the impossible girl. Emma is sure that Clara is completely normal. But Emma is an empath, not a Time Lord. She doesn’t have the depth of knowledge to explain entities from other worlds or times. She could only feel what Hilla felt, not identify her origin. So: the only way she could explain Clara would be if Clara HERSELF knew what she was. Am I rambling? I feel like I’m rambling.
Besides Emma’s analysis, the other Clara clues in “Hide” were the pops of bright red that are always near her (this time, the umbrella and her signature bag) and the fact that the TARDIS still rejects her. The TARDIS was giving me serious Tinkerbell vibes this episode, especially when she used Clara’s own image for the visual interface. Is she jealous, or does her dislike have to do with the anomaly of Clara? As others have pointed out, the TARDIS also doesn’t like Jack – another impossibility. The Doctor brushes the friction off when she mentions it, but I think he’s weighing it along with the rest of the clues to Clara.
You may have noticed that Kim and I didn’t do our usual red carpet and award show coverage for this year’s Grammys. Why? Because even people who win Grammys know that the Grammys are basically irrelevant.
But let’s just put a pin in that for now. Today, we’re going to use the Grammys for our own selfish reasons, and those reasons are OTP-related. This week’s playlist highlights are all by 2013 Grammy nominated or Grammy winning artists. And being a featured artist on Head Over Feels is the REAL prize.
“You saw my pain washed out in the rain
Broken glass, saw the blood run from my veins
But you saw no fault, no cracks in my heart
And you knelt beside my hope torn apart
So lead me back, turn south from that place
And close my eyes to my recent disgrace
‘Cause you know my call
And we’ll share my all
And our children come and they will hear me roar.”
If this 50th anniversary business doesn’t give us some kind of update on TenToo/Rose and their adorable babies, I QUIT. Seriously, I am out. You can keep your bow ties and your sonics and your crippling heartbreak. I’ll have escaped and started a fandom for, like, that new Ron Weasley show from the My Name is Earl guy or something.
“And I love her so
I wouldn’t trade her for gold
I’m walking on moon beams
I was born with a silver spoon
And I’m gonna be me
I’m gonna be free
I’m walking on moon beams
And staring out to sea.”
We all have those friends, right? The ones who prefer their relationships to be dramatic and tragic 24/7? I’ve never understood that. If you don’t have fun together, why is it even worth it?
When Rose tells Nine that life is “better with two,” she’s right. But it’s gotta be the RIGHT two. If Doctor Who were about two miserable people who bicker all the time and then retreat to their separate rooms to write emo-y LiveJournal posts, I don’t think this fandom would even exist.
“Gold” is about the people in this world who, when you’re with them, make you the very best version of yourself. You can practically see the weight fall off of the Doctor’s shoulders as Series 1 progresses. And he never forgets it. He may not have been able to say those three little words on Bad Wolf Bay, but he comes close. “You made me better,” he says to her. And isn’t that basically the same thing?
It’s Playlist Post #12 and we are shaking it up! You’ll notice that the title of the post has been changed to “Rose and THE DOCTOR Feels” to reflect our Time Lord’s enduring love for Rose Tyler in all his reincarnations. We’ve talked Nine, Ten, Eleven, and TenToo here, so it’s only right.
And if that’s not exciting enough, today’s blog is by viewer request. We were challenged to do a post entirely on duets! I’ve picked five such songs from our now 554-track playlist for your reading and listening pleasure. And obviously I made sure to get an 80s movie soundtrack staple in there somewhere. The 80s were all about duets.
“I read your words backwards
And as hard as I try
When the room steams up, I turn in and hide
Been dropped more than once
I don’t claim to be new
I only notice the cracks when they break across you.”
NINE. NINE. NINE.
All Nine, all the time.
Nine is all swaggering confidence and steely reserve before he starts to see himself through Rose’s eyes. He doesn’t think things through and his solution to pretty much any conflict is “kill everything.” Let’s go back to “Dalek,” because my beloved Rose can even make the most hateful creature in the galaxy like her. She’s standing between the Doctor and the Dalek, and the Doctor is ready to shoot.
The Doctor: “Rose, get out of the way now!’
Rose: “No! Cause I won’t let you do this.”
The Doctor: “That thing killed hundreds of people.”
Rose Tyler: “It’s not the one pointing the gun at me.”
Rose was always the most compassionate of all the companions and so best one for the post-war Doctor to meet first. When he sees that she is more afraid of him than of the Dalek, he’s horrified. It’s his worst nightmare. So he has to try to change.
I also love this episode, because it’s a Dalek who’s the first to give the Doctor real talk about his love for Rose. Even the Daleks ship it.
“I know, I’m not alone.
I’m not the only one who is broken.
And I know I’ll never let you go.
I could watch the world pass by,
Just as long as it’s you and I, you and I.
I watch you take over.
I’ll give you this offer:
Take my hand and we’ll run away,
Leave behind our past to stay.
Decaying ’til it’s rotten.
A we’ll have long forgotten
The memories that will haunt your heart.
Let’s tear this town apart.”
Earlier this week, I came across my new favorite Nine/Rose head canon in a Tumblr post. I take absolutely no credit for this theory, but I do now 100% subscribe to it. See if you agree:
“When the Ninth Doctor first asked Rose to travel through time with him and refused, the Doctor accepted that and moved on. He traveled through space and time, saving the universe, all lonely for years thinking “I wish Rose could have been here.” Eventually, he goes back to a few seconds after he left Rose and says “By the way, did I mention it also travels in time?”
Rose never knew how long the Doctor waited for her.”
I MEAN, COULD YOU JUST DIE?
Then, a reply adds to it. To paraphrase: this head canon makes sense, because we see photos of the Ninth Doctor at points throughout history, even though he acts, during the events of this first episode, like this face is brand new. So we know that the Doctor in his Ninth regeneration was at the JFK assassination, but it couldn’t have been before “Rose” or after she ran away with him. It had to be during that amorphous amount of time between Rose’s rejection and “Did I mention it also travels in time?”
He CAME BACK. After ALL THAT TIME. Because he knew he needed her. Excuse while I just…
Season 7, Christmas Special: The Snowmen
Posted by Sage
Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate, and happy Who-mas to all of us!
BBCAmerica treated us to a Doctor Who marathon yesterday, airing most of the Christmas specials from the modern era. They didn’t include “The End of Time,” though. Maybe it’s too depressing or something.
While these event episodes aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be (“The Next Doctor”, anyone?), last night’s new installment was THE. BOMB. My emotions are too sophisticated to be put into words, so this recap will be entirely in gifs.
49 years ago today, the World’s Most Life Ruining Television Show was born. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOCTOR WHO!! Thank you for giving us all the feels, the world’s most flawless OTP, and David Tennant and Matt Smith’s hair.
Life before Doctor Who
Life after Doctor Who
Also, Doctor, any time you want to show up and take us away in the TARDIS…we are ready and we have been training for it. I mean…as Eleven…I mean Matt Smith said to us, on our ultimate Whovian Friendaversary: “I mean…what a thing to say to someone! Do you want to come with me?”
YES. YES WE DO.
“All of time and space…what do you want to see?”