ladymercury_10: (SevenAndAce)
[personal profile] ladymercury_10
So I have been watching some Seventh Doctor episodes, but not particularly in order.  I have, however, been sort of saving "The Curse of Fenric" because I knew it was supposed to be good, and I finally got around to watching it tonight.  And it was really good!  And much scarier, I think, than most current Doctor Who, low-budget special effects notwithstanding.  (The haemovore makeup on the girls was really effective.  The fake rain, which fell sideways, and sometimes fell more heavily on one side of the screen, was not.  Especially since they didn't try to hide the fact that it was sunny when they were shooting the "rain" scenes. :P )

I am not sure I have anything terribly thoughtful to say about it, though.  I am somewhat confused by the whole "the baby was Ace's mum" subplot, because I wasn't sure if she realized it before they threw it in her face or not.  Because if she didn't, it seems a bit bad to go, "Hmm, here is a lady with my grandmum's name and surname and wartime occupation, and she has a baby with my mum's name, isn't that weird and kind of awkward?" and not make the connection.  Also I am confused about how much the Doctor actually knew, and how much he said he knew, to mess with Fenric/to break Ace's faith/for other secret manipulative reasons.  Furthermore, Ace seemed to recover from the whole "you insulted everything about me and only apologized somewhat vaguely" incident awfully quickly, didn't she?  

But really, I did like it quite a lot, I am just easily confused and generally nitpicky.  Mostly it would just be nice if people who have had longer to develop headcanons about these things/know the actual answers/etc. could enlighten me.  

Also, I knew going in that there were similarities between this serial and "The God Complex," but it is interesting that Ace also has a "girl who didn't make sense" sort of thing, like Amy, and that she has a mythology background where Amy has a fairytale one.  

Another question: Is "Survival" a good episode?  It seems Important, but the cheetah costumes are slightly lolarious to me and I don't know if I could take it seriously.

Date: 2012-12-02 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Survival is pretty great I think. Well, I like it.

Date: 2012-12-02 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cool, good to know. Thanks! :)

Date: 2012-12-02 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was so confused by Curse of Fenric. There were way too many plots going on. What was with the shell on the beach? The Doctor v. Fenric chess game was interesting, and the whole Evolved Difference Engine (ha, your phrase, thanks!) thing was cool, and there was a glowing pot. I suppose I should try to watch it again and pay more attention.

Date: 2012-12-02 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aha, I found my review of it, and summarily tagged it so I could find it more easily in the future.

Date: 2012-12-02 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, yay, I will go look at that, then. :)

Date: 2012-12-02 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There were an awful lot of plots, even for something with four parts. I think the shell was some cursed thing that belonged to the haemovores or to Fenric's treasure? And lol, yes, there was a random glowing pot, which was also Fenric's treasure? But then the treasure was kind of not very important? Or something. Definitely something. :P

Haha, yes, the Evolved Difference Engine. It must be a very special ENIGMA machine if they can use it to Rosetta-stone random alphabets in addition to decrypting ciphers of known alphabets. :P

Date: 2012-12-02 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Glad to hear you liked Fenric! Although not surprised. :)

I always had the impression that Ace hadn't realized the identity of the baby until she was forced to, maybe in large part because she didn't want to think about the possibilities and deliberately does not think much about her family. But it's been a while since I've seen it.

And Ace, to me, is very much the prototypical New Series companion.

"Survival" isn't the best of the season, but it definitely has its moments.

Date: 2012-12-02 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The part when she tells Kathleen and Audrey to stay with her other grandmother, though, made me wonder if she realized who they were. Because that seemed like an awfully significant thing to do, both in terms of her family history and in terms of presumed closeness to Kathleen, that I thought she might sort of know what she was doing. Although maybe it was just a moment of desperation kind of thing.

Aw, that's cool! :D

Does that mean it is cheesy, but in a fun way? :P
Edited Date: 2012-12-02 07:35 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-12-02 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Does that mean it is cheesy, but in a fun way? :P

I think it is, a bit. There's also some genuinely good moments. I remember some nice lines from the Doctor, including a lovely little speech at the end (which had to tide us over for a great many years). :)

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Date: 2012-12-02 02:57 pm (UTC)
mysticalchild_isis: (dr who 7 & ace)
From: [personal profile] mysticalchild_isis
Survival is pretty fun, though yes, the costumes are a bit silly. But it is fun times, and the final lines are excellent.

Date: 2012-12-02 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, cool! Thanks. :)

Date: 2012-12-02 04:29 pm (UTC)
promethia_tenk: (tv girl)
From: [personal profile] promethia_tenk
Nothing to say, but enjoying the commentary.

Date: 2012-12-02 07:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying it! :)

Also, your icon is v. appropriate. :P

Date: 2012-12-02 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Survival" has people in cheetah costumes riding horses. Then again, it also contains seriously disturbing (real) animal violence. So.

Date: 2012-12-02 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOL, so like, meta-animals? :P

Like, what kind of disturbing animal violence? Is it v. graphic? (Spoilers are okay.)

Date: 2012-12-02 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes! This show! I really did like the episode, btw.

Well, spoilers:

A murdered cat. A little girl crying over it. I can't remember how graphic it was, except it was obvious what had happened to it. It was unexpected and I was... well, disturbed. I don't think you got to see it happen, and since this is DW, I doubt it was extremely graphic -- I've blocked that part out.

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Date: 2012-12-02 05:58 pm (UTC)
clocketpatch: A small, innocent-looking red alarm clock, stuck forever at 10 to 7. (7 Ace up my sleeve)
From: [personal profile] clocketpatch
Survival is one of my all-time favourite Who episodes, and definitely my favourite Seven episode (and I really do love Seven so...). But you do need a high tolerance for bad costumes, because the Cheetah people really do look like they got kicked out of a furry convention.

Feneric is awesome as well despite the whole THE BABY IS YOUR MOTHER! YOUR MOTHER IS THE BABY! YOU DON'T HATE THE BABY! head pounding bit. As for what Seven does and doesn't know in the faith scene... no one ever knows what Seven does and doesn't know, and if Ace recovered a bit quickly, you could take that either as her own trust and faith (or else Seven is hypnotizing her to forget it, because he does stuff like that). One of the reasons I like Eleven and Amy is because of how similar they are to Seven and Ace. Except Seven and Ace are far more dysfunctional and Amy has Rory. But Ace's girl/boyfriends always die as well, though they don't come back so...

Date: 2012-12-02 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Haha, cool. I suppose if I've sat through the Star Trek episode where they had an alien that was quite obviously a dog wearing a little fur alien suit, it can't be worse than that...can it? :P

Those are all very good thoughts. :D

Date: 2012-12-02 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, Fenric is confusing but brilliant--my first time through, I thought I was just too slow to get it, or maybe that it had been written as six episodes and had to be cut down to four and that was why it didn't have time to explain anything. After watching Ghost Light and The Happiness Patrol and reading a bit about that era, though, I realized it's a recurring problem with Cartmel's script editing: someone turns in a coherent script, it gets snipped and trimmed in the wrong places, and you end up with a story where all the pieces are there but a lot of the connecting tissue that fits them together is gone. So a lot of stuff isn't clearly spelled out until it's too late, like "The haemovores aren't actually revenant Vikings, though they might've been what was chasing the Vikings--they are Fenric's hitmen from the future who agreed to be brought back in time to help him secure their timeline" and "Millington is trying to resurrect Fenric because he thinks he can harness Unliiiiimited Cosmic Powar to make it up to Turing--sorry, Judson--for causing the accident that fucked up his life" and "The Vikings exposed themselves to Fenric's influence when they nicked his loot, which is how their descendants can still be susceptible to his control centuries later."

As for how much Seven knew, I think he suspected all along that something was dodgy about Ace's past, but he only really put it all together over the course of the episode and he was bluffing when he told Fenric he knew from the very beginning.

I also kind of think, in my fluffiest of headcanons that wants everything to be all right for Ace, that after Seven revealed he hadn't meant a single thing he said in the "break Ace's faith" scene, she realized it was kind of a backhanded compliment: like their recurring "Ace, you haven't been bad and brought along any explosives, have you? Excellent, now blow that thing up" banter, he was actually picking on the things he loves best about her. That speech was crushing because it was about all the stuff that other people judge about her, and she'd thought the Doctor was a refuge and a mentor because he actually celebrated the things she was insecure about: not quite fitting in, being strong-willed and mouthy, being rubbish at tests and formal expectations but great at practical stuff where it really counts. So all he had to say was "I was lying through my teeth because I had to" and everything snapped back into place: "...couldn't even pass a chemistry exam" becomes "and quite right too, I loathe exams, did I ever tell you I only scraped by with 51% on my second try?"

Date: 2012-12-02 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, thank you for the explanations! I got that the Ancient One or whatever his name was got brought back by Fenric, but I think I thought the other haemovores were just...hanging out underwater randomly, and I didn't really think about how they got there. I had to do some internet research to make sense of them, especially the bit about how humanity supposedly evolves into them in the future. I did not understand how Millington was related to Fenric at all, really, except that he wanted to use the cursed slime to kill the Russians. The Viking thing makes sense, though, although I don't think I quite made that connection.

That makes sense about the Doctor suspecting and only figuring it out on the spot. That's sort of how he usually does things, isn't it? :P

That is a very good headcanon and I like it very much. :D

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Date: 2012-12-03 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ha, okay, all of this talk is making me think I need to watch it again. Like, maybe about 4 times again... I didn't get any of that when I watched it!

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Date: 2012-12-03 08:45 am (UTC)
ext_23287: (tegan)
From: [identity profile]
Fenric! ♥ ♥ Seven using his faith in his companions to hold off the haemovores gets me every time. (I think some of the rain was real, though - iirc Seven has a line about Fenric affecting the weather that was added on the day to explain the really erratic weather they were getting on location!)

I like Survival: it's my least favourite of season 26, but it's got some wonderful moments. I don't mind the Cat-people costumes, but there's some really terrible animatronic cats in there you may need to brace yourself for. ;)

Date: 2012-12-03 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had heard about the part where he chants their names, but I think I missed the part where he actually does it because of the loud chiming "faith" noise they played over it. :/

LOOOL that was actual weather?

Oh dear, animatronic cats? That sounds truly cracktacular. :P

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Date: 2012-12-03 09:55 am (UTC)
lost_spook: (dw - Seven Ace border)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
Here via [ profile] who_daily (and mutual flisters) and since everyone has explained the important bits - I am pretty sure they said on the commentary that the rain was added in post-production like that for the simple reason that it poured down while they filmed it, but real rain doesn't show up on TV. (It does quite often rain heavily while the sun shines here, at least for a brief storm).

And I love Fenric, so ♥, but then I pretty much love all of Seven and Ace - they were my childhood team TARDIS (which was lovely and then tragic after Survival, because the BBC never actually said it had stopped and I waited patiently for them to come back for two years; there wasn't really an internet in 1989-1991 to tell me). Survival is an odd one because despite the Cheetah costumes and the animatronic cat, there's quite a lot of serious stuff going on (again). But if you're enjoying Seven and Ace, you should definitely consider giving it a try because it does round off Ace's arc - and the end speech is one of the best bits of DW.

Date: 2012-12-03 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hello! Yes, I've seen you around. :)

Oh, that would explain the truly ridiculous appearance of the storm sequences. :P We do occasionally get sun/rain combinations where I live as well, but I don't expect to see them filmed, so I was very confused as to why they hadn't at least waited for a cloudy day. Haha.

That must have been so sad, not knowing they weren't coming back! And thanks, from what everyone's saying, it sounds like Survival is worth a look, at least. :)

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