- Susan Sarandon is usually ace, but I love her even more after seeing her on the Graham Norton Show, enthusing about David Attenborough and his sensational shagging slugs. Invertebrate erotica: now Hollywood approved!
- If I were locked in a room with David Tennant, like several people were Derren Brown's show this week, I could think of better things to do than making piles of fruit on the floor and playing with hula hoops. I'm just saying...
And now, some thoughts on Forest of the Dead:
- Kudos to the set designers, for subtly following the forest theme with tree wallpaper in the Little Girl's house, and leaf pictures on the walls of Donna's dream-house.
- Rather like the Doctor (or rather John Smith) did in The Family of Blood, Donna gets to live a large chunk of her life in a flash. On the positive side, it makes childbirth a breeze, and I liked the way she managed to squeeze two different pairs of pyjamas into her ten minutes, but I don't think that could make up for the lack of imaginary nookie with her husband. (We can only hope she managed to get a bit while Little Girl was watching the Doctor on the other channel.)
On the down side, having a stammer isn't funny. It wasn't funny back when Open All Hours was the cutting edge of comedy, and it sure as hell isn't funny now.
- Meanwhile, back in the library, River is about to whisper the Doctor's name in his ear. The way she apologizes so profusely before saying it, I imagine it's actually "Petunia" or something equally embarrassing. He certainly looks like it's a trauma he could have done without reliving.
- Well done to pfeffernuesse for predicting last week that Dr Moon was indeed a diagnostic computer on the moon. You win the lunar landmass of your choice! Please contant NASA if you need help collecting it...
- Oooh, I've got a top like Donna's turquoise one, but mine's mauve. It's from Jigsaw, fashion fans.
- Miss Evangelista's warped face would have had me running for the back of the sofa as a child. (Although it would have been worse then, because in the Classic Who days, they'd have given her a stuck-on plasticine face, which would have been even MORE disturbing, probably.) I also enjoyed the nod to the innate sameness and scariness of all children on TV... or is that just me?
- Poor Anita, the only canon-fodder team member to develop a bit of personality, and ooops, the dark thingies get her.
- "There's only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There's only one time I could." Oh my god, do you know what this means? It means that River must have PUT THE DOCTOR'S BOLLOCKS IN A VICE! You can see why he's so upset, now he knows he's got THAT to look forward to. (But never fear, shippers! I'm sure there's LOTS of time for anyone else of your choice to put his bollocks in a vice too.)
- River had a bit more personality this week, which was just as well. But I can't help feeling that their future relationship wants to have its cake and eat it. The implication is that it was a Time Traveler's Wife-style him-popping-in-and-out non-linear relationship, rather than her travelling with him all the time, but at the same time, it's implied that they DID have adventures and spend loads of time together... so which was it? It's possible of course that it was both, at different times, but that feels odd when all the OTHER signficant relationships he has involve carting people around with him. So this one is marked as different and it perhaps explains why it worked, but at the same time, I can't see how it would work, unless the Doctor gets MUCH better at aiming the TARDIS in the future.
However, I won't spend too much time pondering this, since I profoundly doubt we'll hear from River again. I don't know if Mr Moffat wishes to keep this whole thing canonical, but I can't imagine him wanting to actually SHOW the whole story (or the nation's kids wanting to watch it, more to the point). I can just about stretch to him taking a sudden and frustrating leap forward in time to pretend it's happened and we didn't have to watch it, though...
- Meanwhile, Donna manages to get a surprising amount of feeling into a very short amount of screentime with her dream-husband. But from "I promise you I'll find you!" (very Last of the Mohicans), it's an annoyingly quick dive into "How hard were you looking for him, exactly?"
- "Gorgeous, adores me, and hardly able to speak a word." I am profoundly glad that Lee WAS a real person in the end, and that his existence therefore says nothing about the state of Donna's subconscious, because that would have been a nasty little message.
- "I'm all right too." This is an improvement on the end of Girl In The Fireplace, because the Doctor and Donna share a nice balance at this point. But then, Donna ends up worse off, because she doesn't a feelgood moment of completion, AND gets to leave feeling crap about herself for no reason. Boo.
- Sigmund Freud writes: I notice that the Doctor's final act with River involved him shoving his sonic screwdriver into a hole in the hard drive and making her... well, come back to life. For goodness sake, Doctor, not in front of the disembodied small child!
- River's voiceover at the end was a cheese course too far for me. Still, at least she gets to spend eternity having orgies with imaginary constructs of her former crewmates. And reading the odd bedtime story for variety. Whoop-di-doo. Poor CAL presumably just gets to be a little girl forever, which must get pretty frustrating after a while, n'est-ce pas?
- Overall: Good at evoking a disjointed and dreamlike feel, but intriguing as some of the pieces were, the final resolution felt disappointingly predictable. A good forest is deep and dark, but this seemed more like a pond to me: rather flat and a lot more shallow than it looked from a distance.
As usual, I know nothing about trailers for next week, so your discretion would be much appreciated until Midnight strikes...