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Mâvarin and Other Inspirations

A Fantasy Writer's Journal

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More on The Big Bang
Crack, Doctor Who, Cayenne
Cribbed from my GB posts other than the one reprinted below:

My pre-review review:
26 Jun 2010, 2:34 pm
Re: Rate / Review "The Big Bang"

I usually wait until I've seen an episode 2 or 3 times before rating, but I have to go photograph a wedding now and won't see it again until tonight. (Bit exciting - never photographed a wedding and I'm not very good with dark interiors.) But there is no question that I was absolutely thrilled with this. 10/10 - and I'll be back later to figure out why.

On the callbacks to The Eleventh Hour in The Big Bang:
Re: Did we see the "totally obvious" thing from The Eleventh Hour?

It's actually a different take of Amelia in the bedroom. I noticed from the way she said the word "emergency."

I think the shadow on TEH could still be the Doctor, and some of the time weirdness in Leadworth could still be due to the crack, even though it wasn't mentioned in TBiBa. Or the Silence. Or.... Back in a moment.

In short, the fact that some things we noticed still don't match up or pay off doesn't mean they won't - next season. And even if they don't, we have enough timey-wimeyness to explain them to ourselves.

On Matt Smith as old man, and the episode's thematic content:

Re: Rate / Review "The Big Bang"

I often think that Matt Smith looks eerily like the old man he's supposed to be. I think it's a combination of the shape of his face, makeup, lighting and great acting. In this one, it's especially evident in the goodbye scene at the Pandorica and the "remember the TARDIS" goodbye scene with Amelia.

And I agree with those who have pointed out the potency of the themes of story and memory, and the use of humorous elements to convey plot points and help create the serious moments.

On paradoxes and the Doctor's predicament:

Re: Rate / Review "The Big Bang"

For what it's worth (and I'll grant you, it's probably not worth much), I find this kind of causal loop/predestination(?) paradox much less troubling than a purely ontological one, of the sort Moffat has employed at least twice before. Even without a starting point, the handing off of the sonic through time to get the Doctor out of the box makes a certain amount of sense. You can trace the loop, and see where and when each piece of it happens, when the Doctor finds out about each element of it, and how each person got the sonic. As long as you don't insist on a starting point (which some do, but perhaps shouldn't) you're sitting pretty.

But consider the multi-award-winning, poll-topping Blink, and the well-regarded Time Crash mini-episode. In the latter, the Doctor "didn't have to" figure out the trick with the Helmic regulator and the Zeiton crystals. He doesn't have to learn how to do the clever thing. He just passes the knowledge from older self to younger self, becomes the older self and fulfills what he already experienced. Somehow, for me, knowledge acquired from nowhere is more problematic than actions with no starting point. Blink is far worse in this respect, with the Doctor reading a transcript of his own words, conveying exactly what he wants to say in the way he way he would normally say it, sounding spontaneous while being anything but. Freaks me out, that does. And yet people love it. Heck, I love it, despite my freakedoutness.

I think if you can buy into those paradoxes, then the one in The Big Bang is relatively easy to cope with. The Doctor is doing stuff out of order, but learning about it in a linear way along his personal timeline. He doesn't do anything until he's found out what to do, even though from the pov of others he's already done it.

The issue I have more trouble with is, why does the rebuilt timeline have no TARDIS or Doctor in it, when both are integral to the survival of the universe several times over? Is the reconstituted universe imperfect in this "small" way, with the Earth being safe from Daleks and Cybermen and Time Lords and Reality Bomb a mere anomalous artifact of what's gone, like Amy's ring before the reboot? After overseeing the explosion that restores everything, why does the Doctor need to slip out of the Universe through the crack in Amelia's wall in order to finish the job? Claims are made about him being necessarily stranded in the void, but I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around the why and how of it. It doesn't begin to ruin the story for me, but I'd love to be able to put this niggle to rest.