It Takes You Away

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  • #66155
    thane16 @thane16

    @bluesqueakpip @tardigrade

    True. That’s a good point. But I liked the frog -I think it’s very ‘Daniel’ from Rectify. It wouldn’t be that would it @cathannabel? Except there was no actual frog – just mentioned by Daniel and Tawnee. I’ll ‘ogle it 🙂

    I was concerned it would be a real ominous talking person, all ‘received pronunication’ and filled with mysterious phrases. This seemed more fairytale and just more Dr Who to me anyway.

    T16

    #66156
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @thane16 –  def not Rectify as I haven’t seen that!

    #66160

    @ichabod

    No betrayal at all – there is nothing to indicate that The Doctor was insincere. But once her hands started to go all kaleidoscope, she knew the situation and explained with compassion. It was a sweet sorrow parting.

    @cathannabel

    Talking animals crop up a lot in Studio Ghibli animations, and this story had a bit of a Ghibli feel to it, with an ending that was honest, rather than shoe-horned in sentimental. Spirited Away? Princess Mononoke?

    #66166
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @pedant Ashamed to say Ghibli is unknown territory to me.  I know.  I must address that!  Still mystified by the connection that’s niggling away in my head.

    #66167

    @cathannabel

    Dead Like Me (although it wasn’t a talking frog)?

    @thane16

    I wonder if anyone moaned at Yaz’ “that’s shocking parenting” comment?

    I don’t actually hunt it, but happily spray ’em in a drive-by if Youtube throws it at me, so don’t know (never forgetting to hit Thumbs Down). It wouldn’t surprise me. She is after all, an assertive woman, and an Asian woman at that, who probably only got her job in the Police as part of some PC SJW Liberal Agenda so shouldn’t be lecturing White Women.

    #66168
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @thane16  But to me, the baddie was the solitract: luring people with promises of “forever.”  Or not even the solitract, but the refusal to accept reality, let go of the past, and let the dead rest.

    @bluesqueakpip  Just for a couple of seconds, as if the Solitract had thought it might try taking the Doctor back to the barn and becoming someone in her past – and then decided against it. I like this, because I was definitely expecting it to do that. I like @miapatrick‘s point that the Doctor found the solitract more relatable when it wasn’t trying to deceive. The solitract might well have gotten that sense of the Doctor, that she would be better dealt with honestly.

     

    @ichabod  Did the Doctor ever really consider spending some time telling the Solitract stories of her adventures in our universe?  No . . . not really.  It was a trick, to escape a trap.  That’s what I found sad.  I’d like to think that the Doctor’s offer was more of a “take me instead”, spur of the moment attempt to save Erik, and that she only realized afterward that she wouldn’t be able to stay.

    #66169
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @miapatrick  The fact it doesn’t work on the daughter makes me wonder if it simply doesn’t work with family members    We’ve already seen that Hanne is very sensitive to lies. She knows immediately when Ryan is lying to her.

    Btw, I just love this take, regarding the Doctor and River: I think what seemed like a good idea when he had only just met her and only knew that she would become important to him and she had given her life to save him, felt like less of a good idea once he got to know her and love her   

     

    #66174
    amd @amdamiri

    come on!
    the story of this episode was full of bugs! although the concept wasn’t original!
    i have seen this concept (conscious universe) 3 times before : 1-solaris from andrei tarkovsky 2-solaris from steven spielberg (both based on a novel) 3- guardians of the galaxy vol.2.
    every actions and effects by doctor was silly and stupid! for example every one knows He had 2 knifes ! or using a string as a route mark??are you kidding me??!!
    how the doctor didn’t recognise the source of the roar sound!!?? even they were near the speaker if you focus!
    a totally clever and healthy man , left his blind daughter in the middle of a cold place with the scary sound nearby !? and the most dump answer by him: the fridge is full:/ really why? He could tell her doughter a simple lie with assurance of coming back. why did he put his daughter under that pressure??!!(my answer: to make it more stupidly dramatic )
    every artificial characters were in love with the real characters until that Frog:/ that frog could be rose tyler, dr river song or even the war doctor.. which all of them have a kind of connection with the doctor character as well..

    #66175
    ichabod @ichabod

    @arbutus    I’d like to think that the Doctor’s offer was more of a “take me instead”, spur of the moment attempt to save Erik, and that she only realized afterward that she wouldn’t be able to stay.

    I like that better, too.  What I missed, though, was some — sense of connection between Doctor and the Solitract — it’s a being from an old Gallifreyan story told by the granny to the child-Doctor, so that’s a pull to the dead past for the Doctor right there — only nothing’s made of, not even a fleeting reference: gran told me about you but I thought you weren’t real — what you been doing all this time since — a long, lonely time looking for friends, which also describes the Doctor herself, looking for that “mate” to travel with.  *Damn* it.  This Doctor now has some memory of her past, but I’m just not getting any sense of emotional connection to any of it, and I think that’s both the writing and the actor.

    This was a good story, mysterious and unpredictable, but — the Doctor has rules she’s trying to live by (and to convince others to live by too), but with no palpable past, only flitting memories referred to in quick one-liners, there’s no emotional depth.  For me this Doctor seems to have no soul.  It’s probably more my failure than Whittaker’s, but so far, speed and shallowness are keeping the character flat, for me.  The others all have more depth than she does . . . It makes no sense, because I, as viewer, know much more about how the Doctor’s long life has been so full of emotion, positive and negative than *she* does, and feel it more than she seems to feel it.

    Here there was a chance to really look back, even for an instant — to gran, Gallifrey, that long-ago childhood on a distant planet — to *touch* that time (like, a clearer reference to the Barn on Gallifrey?).  But no.  Must rush on, action, action!!

    I think maybe RTD and Moffat have ruined this for me.  I like the companions, but the center, the Doctor herself, is unrooted and empty, for me.  Maybe I’m just missing cues here, because of the change in style . . . but I think I’m talking about what some others have been referring to as a lack of “gravitas”, in the sense of the weight of past experience (so much of it), both positive and negative.

    It’s okay — it’s clearly working for others, so carry on.  Strokes and folks.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #66176
    amd @amdamiri

    @ichabod im totally agree with you.
    also i think the new doctor don’t have any iconic postures and hobbies..above that almost every doctors in specific situations, become angry except in new one.( even if a child is in danger )
    i mean at least It isn’t an iconic flat character .

    #66177
    nerys @nerys

    @amdamiri 2-solaris from steven spielberg

    Not Spielberg. Steven Soderbergh directed the 2002 film. There are countless other examples besides the three you named. The story doesn’t have to be an original idea to be engaging. This story drew me in because it’s told in the structure of a fairy tale, and is based on a fairy tale the Doctor was told.

    #66178
    amd @amdamiri

    @nerys sorry, my mistake about Stevens:)
    I never meant to say it have to be original and I understand what you mean but In my humble opinion, that’s not truly a structure , that is only a tiny pushing to make a connection between an not original story and the doctor character.you know why? Because we had nothing but the grandma story in almost one minute.
    there was nothing tangible and historical to become a structure..

    #66179
    nerys @nerys

    Sorry, @amdamiri but I disagree. Several posters here have laid out a strong case for how this story follows a classic fairy tale structure. I have learned much over the years from the posters in this group, who spot things I completely miss. I suggest reviewing those posts to see what you can take away from them.

    #66183
    thane16 @thane16

    @amdamiri I am with @nerys. Also, kinda looks like you’re complaining. Have you seen Rectify? I mean, you can complain ! 🙂 That’s alright! Maybe there was something you liked in the episode too?

    @ichabod

    As a 17 year old 🙂 I think “gravitas” doesn’t have to be all “old” and “parchment” and “maaaa story iz  soooo long, maaaa memories are soooo saddd” (I’m trying to do Smith and Capaldi) because it could seem as if  gravitas comes only from the old, only from the men in bow ties and suits and never from a white woman wearing long pants??

    She’s a new regen now. She’s completely a new person but she still has, deep inside, those memories, that sadness and that loss. It isn’t front and centre. This world is not just about the Doctor anymore. It’s like she steps back to serve. Or, almost, like she’s an idiot in a box, stepping in and out to help when she can 🙂

    Thane.

    #66185
    thane16 @thane16

    was it said by people that the Doctor “ate shit”

    She’s a shit eating grinner even?

    I love that. Almost as if in the chaos of time the writer knew people would be complaining. On one of our other threads a person is saying the last doctor and companion were the best ever. Or was it….Can’t remember. LOL. That might learn them. As mum would say.

    I don’t understand the triangles everywhere. A maths thing? Or a pyramidy thing? Like meditation. Or some weird triangle universe. Who built the mirror. Was the house always part of the solitract or did it feed off Erik’s depression?

    #66190
    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane16  She’s completely a new person but she still has, deep inside, those memories, that sadness and that loss. It isn’t front and centre. This world is not just about the Doctor anymore. It’s like she steps back to serve. Or, almost, like she’s an idiot in a box, stepping in and out to help when she can.

    Agreed — that’s clearly the intention here, and it’s perfectly legit, IMO; but I can’t just take that on faith (there’s so little sign of any of it in her current demeanor).  So it’s not working for me, so far, so it’s my problem, not a general thing.  Without some present influence of that past, some conscious awareness of who and what she’s been, Whittaker is indeed a “completely new person”, but a one-dimensional and not very interesting one.

    Maybe that will change.  If not, not; she’ll be lots of fans’ Doctor anyway.

    But part of this, I think, for me personally but not *only* for me, is what I think is a cultural meme that male characters get to carry, but female ones very rarely do: I mean The Person With the Past, a past with very dark patches that can’t be forgotten, but a person self-mended to be functional and even light-hearted in the present.  *Like real, normal people*, most of whom have had their sorrows and transcended them *without* just pushing them down and making them invisible (to others but also to self).  I agree that gravitas doesn’t have to be, “I am a man of constant sorrows, I’ve seen trouble all my days” (folk song; do you know it?), but more like — those blow up figures that bob around if you hit them, but have some weighty stuff (sand?) at the bottom that makes them swing back upright again after you’ve smacked them down.  No sand, no effective *sense* that there’s that weighty grit in there someplace, and the thing is just an unanchored balloon — a cartoon figure.

    Okay, I have to go away and think about this some more.  It’s getting away from the episode, too.  To the Sofa, then, in a bit — I’ve got some work to do, off the computer for a while.  But I want to come back to the subject, cuz its bugging me.

    #66193
    ichabod @ichabod

    @arbutus  @thane16  But to me, the baddie was the solitract: luring people with promises of “forever.”  Or not even the solitract, but the refusal to accept reality, let go of the past, and let the dead rest.

    Oh, yes; it is our clinging to the past that can never be authentically re-created again for us in the present, that is what’s being declined here by our heroes.  I guess I wanted some such temptation for this Doctor included too — not a chat with a frog, but perhaps just a quiet and sober and polite refusal of some significant person from the past (any of those the Doctor, in all his forms, has had to “let go” one way or another), and clear-eyed acknowledgment that *this* lesson is one this Doctor remembers learning, and doesn’t need to learn again.

    Huh; it really is “about time”– about how having the mean for Time travel and a very long string of lives does not in any way suspend the or de-fang the meaning of that one-way Arrow: losses are real, however you treat them (and that “however” will also change as time rolls on).  Letting go is being a grown up, understanding the necessity of acceptance.

    #66194
    thane16 @thane16

    @ichabod

    I am a man of constant sorrows, I’ve seen trouble all my days” (folk song; do you know it?), but more like — those blow up figures that bob around if you hit them, but have some weighty stuff (sand?) at the bottom that makes them swing back upright again after you’ve smacked them down. No sand, no effective *sense* that there’s that weighty grit in there someplace, and the thing is just an unanchored balloon — a cartoon figure.

    I am afraid I don’t know that folk song? Maybe songone else will post it?  🙂

    I do think the Doc has those memories and isn’t an unanchored balloon -or, balloon light, for example.

    Years ago we had the episode with the red and blue balloons in the flesh episode (a double) with Smith, Rory and Amy. I think this was a callback to that. In that in this episode  there was a red- lit balloon light. Other flashes of memory have dotted all the episodes, from the organic tardis, to the comment about “have  I told you about Agatha Christie and the wasp?” to the fez by Kerblam! I think every episode has had a comment or reference. Thing is, these companions don’t know any of that. Oh and “pockets” which goes back to Tennant and Donna companion.

    These companions don’t have that memory access. Also the Doctor did A LOT of timey whimey, loss and memory from the Time War, millions of years in the locked away gallifrey game where he had to punch thru glass. He did A LOT  of “my Clara my Clara” and I think A LOT was enough. It was time to rectify the balance and have a Doctor who’s thousands of years old, and to function, has to leave it behind. That’s grown-up. But it’s different for her. She’s alien. Very alien. So, our way of holding onto things because we want to isn’t going to help her or new companions or the people in whatever episode she’s going to be in to save.  Still, though she does refer to her grannies or her bed-time story “only when she couldn’t sleep.”  We saw a hint of the barn in this episode so I think Chibnall has those references for all of us who need them. If not, we have the DVDs and we can watch and tape these ones too

    We had SO much in Listen, in ALL the Capaldi episodes where serious, was really serious and rarely light and airy and this is supposed to be for new viewers and new children-viewers too. I think it’s a very smart move.

    Unfortunately youtube thinks otherwise but the majority of clever viewers don’t go there and don’t have time for Forums because their lives are busy and so they come in -or out -for an episode and move on. Sherlock’s still there for a re-watch as is all of Doctor Who now when once it never was all available.

    T16

    #66195
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just watched it. A story about loss. Actually, very moving. For me, it got better as it progressed. And…the frog shall come back. Actually, I really think it will.

    Time to sleep on it. More thoughts later.

    #66196
    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane16  You make a good case; and I’m not really looking for an extension of the Moffat/Capaldi tone.  I agree that that was taken as far as it could go within the parameters of the show, and wrapped up pretty well in Season 10.  I don’t miss it, certainly not pining for a repeat; I’m just missing a sense of emotional continuity between that and this, I guess.  It’ll fade with time; and we do want new kids jumping on board the fun train.

    I got sidetracked over to YouTube, and oh boy, it’s a proper Whine-Fest over there!  Best to steer clear of them; which is nothing new, really.  Does anyone do any moderating on YouTube at all?  It seems pretty much a free-for-all, no matter how nasty some posts get.

    #66199

    @thane16

    @ichabod

    Does anyone do any moderating on YouTube at all?

    No.

    #66205
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @ichabod

    …a lack of “gravitas”, in the sense of the weight of past experience (so much of it), both positive and negative.

    I know what you mean.  I won’t go into it at length here, since you’re planning to take this to the Sofa, but I think our perception of no gravitas may be related to how this Doctor doesn’t pause.  She keeps talking.  Nothing wrong with that approach, but when someone never hesitates and just keeps talking, it can seem like nothing is making a deep impression, and that they have no experience they need to stop and deal with.

    #66213
    ichabod @ichabod

    @kevinwho  Yes, I think that’s part of it.  I’m not picking up cues of reflection; thinking (except about how to solve the immediate problem); or really remembering rather than just ticking off a box from the past.  So maybe it’s more a matter of the pacing of the episodes (for those who share this reaction).  They’ve set it for youth, newness, high energy, but there seem to be no moments of quiet, no pauses (although sometimes the dialog has some odd little lags  where something ought to be coming across, but isn’t).

    Well, that’s it for now for me — busy weekend!

    #66214
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Not sure if anyone has already noted it, but the reference to the “frilly bits” and the fjords is clearly a nod to Douglas Adams.

    #66217
    Rob @rob

    My take on the frog is

    Has large slurp of double strength cappuccino

    Granny 5 told a fairy tale to The Doctor

    In fairy tales when you kiss a frog it turns into a prince and “happily ever after”

    The Solitract wanted a kiss to seal the deal, but was doomed to ever be the amphibian of unrequited love.

    Hmmm more coffee needed on this theory I think

    #66218
    swordwhale @swordwhale

    Wow…cool!

    I suppose one could get all mythic and pick this apart, well, mythically. Yes, it is very faerie tale.

    The sentience that was in opposition to the regular universe, and gets kicked out echoes many religious legends of Fallen Angels and Tolkien’s Morgoth (who famously sang along with the creation but horribly out of key, because he wanted to be a rock star and they were doing classical).

    The frog was a hilarious “didn’t expect that, did you?”… and then you start to pick apart the mythic implications of frogs…

    fertility, harmony, and licentiousness, in a few cultures…

    also primeval gods, creatures who dive into water to retrieve Important Stuff, and symbols of cluelessness if sitting in a well…

    Of course I’ve been painting frogs lately for an art project: a pamphlet on Creatures You Find Along The Codorus Creek… green frog, bullfrog, pickerel frog…

    I do like moths and illustrated a few of those for an animal alphabet… what else are you going to find for v (in Pennsylvania) but a vine sphinx moth…

    and it’s the caterpillars that eat stuff, but, hey, alien dimension and all…

    I really thought they’d fallen into the Norse Dark Elf realm Svartalfheim…

    and the sheep thing…. bwaa haaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… it occurred to me A. this is Doctor humor… B. the rebellion didn’t necessarily mean revolting sheep but the people associated with them… I mean here in the Chesapeake Bay we had the Oyster Wars…

    Of course might have been bionic sheep…

    Ultimately about the character relationships without needing a “monster”..

    #66372
    Arch @arch

    So I rewatched this episode and it’s still good but something about the resolution rubs me the wrong way and I can’t put my finger on it.

    I’m a sci fi guy and their is some big sci fi elements here but they seem to fall flat. The frog at the end is certainly whimsical but a disembodied voice would have worked better for me or anything really. Not that I hate frogs, just the imagery could have been more significant.

    I feel throughout this season that I’m being lectured to more than previous seasons. I prefer my entertainment free of agenda and it’s obvious chibnall has an agenda. While I think Jodie is a terrific actress, the scripts are forcing her in a particular direction.

    now I still love who but I just hope it gets back to fantastical story telling on alien worlds, with high concept season wide story arcs and monsters, who are just monsters and not statements.

    #66382
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @arch I get what you say about Sci-Fi. As @bluesqueakpip has pointed out, it’s a very fairy tale take on sci-fi in this episode. Proper fairy tales, and the solitrect is of a particular take of fairies, that is, sometimes they’re evil, sometimes they’re just powerful and wistful, and want to play but don’t understand and are dangerous.

    The show has, since the reboot been accused of having an agenda. Mostly ‘The Gay Agenda’. The current series has dealt more in detail with racism, I think. But it’s been a lot more nuanced than people seem to have realised. (The baddie, of sorts, in the second episode wasn’t white. The primary conflict in DOTP was between people of the same race but different religion/culture. There’s only really been one proper, completely evil character).

    Kerblam, as people have pointed out, was surprisingly pro-corporation/wage slavery, or at least, surprisingly not as opposed to these things as people might have expected.

    To me the high concept of this series is that the monsters are not just monsters.

    #66390
    nerys @nerys

    For me, the little niggle is less that the show has an agenda; as others have noted, it’s always had that. But I have found this season very “talky” … more or less ignoring the “show, don’t tell” rule of storytelling. I rewatched “Midnight” the other night and still find it so satisfying. We viewers are not told all the details, yet we are acutely aware of the tension and growing menace, and we can fill in the blanks with our imagination because of what we are shown. I’m missing that element this season.

    #66436
    ichabod @ichabod

    @miapatrick To me the high concept of this series is that the monsters are not just monsters.

    Yes, that seems to be a theme here — consistent with a Doctor who’s “heroic” on a deliberately smaller scale, so her companions can share in the heroics on a human scale, instead of having to stretch hard to help rescue a  planet, a species, a universe.  So the “bad guys” (except for the Tim Shaw & co) are also “bad” not on a Davros scale, but on a more personal (the one in Rosa) and human scale too.  I like that.

    Haven’t seen the latest one yet — been traveling — but soon!

    #66465
    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    Just back from holiday and caught up with episode 9, and what a corker it was. I loved this. Taking the fairy tale right back to its grizzly folkloric roots. (I really enjoyed your post detailing the fairy tale elements @bluesqueakpip.)

    I can’t believe how quickly my reservations about this series have melted.

    Hanne: from the Hebrew Channah, which means Grace 🙂

    The Doctor’s previous nod to Norse mythology saw him bring a dead Ashildr back to life and make her immortal. This episode’s somewhat similar nod is the polar opposite (or mirror image?) of the last. This time it is heartbreakingly clear that the real Grace cannot come back.

    I think there might be a similar parallel with the Pandorica story. Like the Solitract, the Pandorica is a fairy tale that turns out to be real. It’s also a trap drawn from a companion’s memories/desires, and involving the simulation of that companion’s lost spouse. And in the Pandorica storyline we have another character (Rory) returned from oblivion like Ashildr. Again, death-as-temporary-obstacle (Rory/Ashildr) can be contrasted with death-as-permanent-and-irreversible-loss (Grace).

    I hope I’m not finding connections where there are none. I feel like these choices are deliberate recalls (the Germanic myth/fairy-tale to recall Ashildr, and the fairy-tale/trap/lure/fake-revived-spouse to recall the Pandorica.) I feel like Chibnall is making a point of signposting times when Moffat has un-deaded characters. And I suspect the point is that on his watch there will be no un-deading. No fantastical alien repair kit; no miracles; no elaborate cheats or life lived between heartbeats. Chibnall will honour the simple, inevitable and painfully real truth of death: It Takes You Away.

    I realise I haven’t yet watched the finale. And I realise if Grace has already come back in that, then I have already smeared figurative egg all over my stupid face 🙂

    One fairy tale motif that I don’t think has been mentioned so far is the string. As you said @ardaraith, the string functions as a way to get home, like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs. It’s also an allusion to the tale of the magic spindle, I think. (Briefly: a peasant spinner gets her prince by sending out an enchanted thread, which he follows to reach her.) Wrong part of the world but I think it evokes the Ariadne/Theseus myth aswell.

    Agree with your concerns @tardigrade and @ichabod about the Doctor’s motives at the end. Staying with the Solitract would mean abandoning the others to fend for themselves in the Antizone, and I just can’t see the Doctor being prepared to do that. But the alternative (that she is manipulating the Solitract with an insincere promise) doesn’t seem very Doctory either.

    @whisht A nod of appreciation for your “The Actor Kevin Eldon” footnote. Made me chuckle 🙂

    There was a nice (ahem) symmetry between the speaker wire in our universe, which Ryan follows to discover one deception, and the string in the Antizone, which Hanne follows to discover another.

    The Doctor, Graham and Yas are powerless to help as Ribbons is devoured by the moths: another situation in which Team Tardis have no choice but to stand by and let bad things happen.

    I was rather teary-eyed when Graham and Ryan finally had their lovely “Grandad” moment. I hope Ryan will continue to leave Graham hanging when he goes in for a fist bump though. I’m a big fan of the unreciprocated fist bump.

    #66492
    nerys @nerys

    @idiotsavon Wonderful observations! Thank you for sharing them here. Now I must watch this episode again with your comments in mind.

    #66494
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @idiotsavon YES to the Ariadne’s thread motif (both in the Antizone and in our world).  The Antizone certainly shared some characteristics with the labyrinth, and Ribbons perhaps the Minotaur – although I think it echoed many 20th/21st century retellings of that story by making the Minotaur rather less terrifying, and locating the threat elsewhere.  In Andre Gide’s version the danger is that within the labyrinth there are fumes which sedate/seduce those who enter, sapping their will to leave – so perhaps the Solitract too is a kind of labyrinth, which traps people through creating the illusion of their loved ones.

    You say, you hope you’re not finding connections where there are none, but that’s where so much of the fun is, seeing these connections whether to popular culture or myth or whatever.  And after all, who can say whether or not there was a connection subliminally in the mind of the writers?  Frankly, even if they were to say there wasn’t, I’d just quote D H Lawrence: Trust the tale and not the teller!

    Oh, and YES to this:

    Chibnall will honour the simple, inevitable and painfully real truth of death: It Takes You Away.

    We accept in fantasy that not all deaths are permanent, but some need to be, and as in the Buffy episode The Body and its sequel Forever sometimes that reality needs to be addressed without the false comfort of a reversal.  Just as Buffy and Dawn turned back from the possibility of bringing their mother back from the dead, Graham has to turn back from the possibility of life with ‘Grace’, in both cases because they know, deep deep down, that the person they loved is truly gone.  On a more personal note, over the 23 years since I lost my mum, I occasionally dream that she’s still here.  I’ve never found those dreams comforting, they’re just troubling, because there’s always a sense that this isn’t quite right – rather as Graham sensed something not quite right with Grace, even before she gave away her true nature by being indifferent to Ryan’s fate.

    And a great call as to the real import of the episode title.

    #66497
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @idiotsavon – Brilliant post, and please don’t worry about finding nonexistent connections.  I say when you find them, that shows they exist! 🙂

    @cathannabel

    On a more personal note, over the 23 years since I lost my mum, I occasionally dream that she’s still here. I’ve never found those dreams comforting, they’re just troubling, because there’s always a sense that this isn’t quite right…

    I lost my dad even longer ago than that.  I only dreamed once that he was still here, and felt nothing wrong at all, only joy, incredulous joy.  And then I woke up…

    #66498
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @kevinwho  Ahhh – do I envy you that dream?  The joy, yes, but the waking up….

    #66499
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @kevinwho @cathannabel

    I’ve written about this before. I lost my wife 16 years ago but I still feel her presence every day. In many situations I think “What would she do?” or “What would she think?”. Sometimes I even talk to her to ask her.

    And thankfully I frequently dream about her – those dreams only bring me pleasure (even after waking up although I know they’re only dreams).

    #66500
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @cathannabel @craig – Well, I look on it as adding to my pile of good things and bad things.  Like life.  And since I get to spend time (it’s about time) with him, even if only an illusion of him, it’s more good than bad.  Like life again.

    Ohhh, @craig, that’s hard.  I wonder if I’d survive sixteen hours without my sweetie; I think I’d pine away that quick.  But if you get to revisit her presence so frequently, that’s wonderful.  I’d insert some reference to memory ghosts here, but I’ve made enough Who allusions already.

    #66505
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @kevinwho @cathannabel

    Cheers Kevin. Ah, it’s not too bad these days although I do still miss her. And the dreams aren’t all that great sometimes either as she’s obviously part of my subconscious – so it might be just her telling me I have to clean the bathroom tomorrow, or do a bit more exercise etc. But I’ll take that! 🙂

    I’ll use this as a gratuitous reason to post a pic – so that I may dream of her again tonight.

    Nicola

    #66508
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @craig – Nice!  Very nice.

    And, not that anyone was going to complain, if it seems we’ve wandered too far afield from the episode, all I can say is, like @craig‘s pic, It Takes You Away.

    Man.  Maybe this ep is going to become a personal classic (for me).  More and more seems to resonate with it as time goes on, always a good sign.

    #66512
    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @craig @cathannabel @kevinwho

    I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine how it must feel to lose a partner or parent. I wish I knew the right words to say. Language is rubbish sometimes.

    “if it seems we’ve wandered too far afield from the episode”… or maybe right to the heart of it?

    Such a beautiful photo, Craig. I hope you get your dream tonight.

    Hugs to you all. Xxx

     

    #66513
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @cathannabel

    The Antizone certainly shared some characteristics with the labyrinth, and Ribbons perhaps the Minotaur

    The labyrinth and the minotaur of classical legend are to me firmly rooted in the Mediterranean and sun-baked Knossos, not the North of myth, legend and fairy tale which is evoked here. The Antizone reminded me more of a natural cave system and the caverns of the Troll king and the svart alvar. Ribbons was part guardian of the way, to be negotiated with and placated, and part Gollum, who is also a better fit for the northern setting, given the sources which were the inspiration and foundation of Tolkien’s writing.

    @kevinwho

    I only dreamed once that he was still here, and felt nothing wrong at all, only joy

    I had a similar experience not very long ago. Occasionally I dream of my parents, but vaguely, in a context which is associated in some way with the past when I was young and still living with them. Two or three years ago I had one very vivid dream which was different. The door opened and my father came in, exactly as I remember him before his final illness, and I jumped to my feet, ‘Dad, oh Dad, you’re back!’ and ran and flung my arms around him feeling, as you say, only utter joy.  On waking  I still retained a sense of comfort which has never entirely left me.

    When he died 42 years ago I don’t think I ever went through a conventional process of grieving because at the time I was too preoccupied with supporting my mother emotionally and practically through her grief and readjustment, while holding down a demanding job 150 miles away from her.

     

    #66514
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @cathannabel @kevinwho @idiotsavon

    Many thanks. I actually took that photo – she was an Intensive Care nurse, so saved many lives during her short career – her colleagues say she was one of the best nurses they ever worked with. Then she decided to do drama at university (while still nursing) to see if she could maybe act – that pic was her head shot. She got a few auditions and one call-back, but then she got ill.

    The pic is a bit low res, but if you zoom in very closely, a bit like in the “The Wedding of River Song”, you can see a blurry outline of me in her eyes – which still gives me a kick.

    Thanks again for the hugs. x

    #66516
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @idiotsavon – Losing a close loved one, well, death Takes Them Away, and the loss Takes Us Away from any belief we might have had that the world is a safe, secure place filled with happy storybook endings.  And yet we recover, and regain happiness.  It’s one of the reasons I love Doctor Who so much.  The show does not shy away from the implications of a virtually immortal protagonist, surrounded by mere mortal companions/friends.

    And the love between the Doctor and those she’s close to makes up for the loss, just like in real life.  I will always love this show.

    @mudlark – I’ve lost both my parents by now, and had a vivid dream of my mom, young and radiant, coming to reassure me while I was dreaming that there was an afterlife and she’d see me in it.  The dream would have been a bit more heartwarming if a TV personality hadn’t then stuck his head out of the ceiling and told me he’d be my witness when I told people about it. :/

    But still, the dream left me with a warmth and reassurance a lot like you describe.

    @craig – Hugs anytime you want.  Only love makes loss worthwhile. 🙂

    #66535
    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @craig She sounds incredible. 🙂

    @kevinwho Thank you for sharing those bittersweet and beautiful words. I really like your take on Doctor Who aswell.

    #66541
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @kevinwho @idiotsavon

    Thanks for the kind words. And you don’t know the half of how amazing she was. She took a course in trauma rescue (whatever they call it – car crashes etc) and they asked her to become an instructor. When she couldn’t nurse, because she was ill, she became the instructor for the whole hospital on patient resuscitation (which I am now an expert on as I had to go through it all several times while she perfected her lectures – on me.)

    And then she went and auditioned for the University and they gave her a slot on the drama course. And then she also got a callback for one of the leads in a major TV series.

    She could’ve been the Doctor right now! 🙂

    #66543
    winston @winston

    @craig   I wish I could hug you right now because we both need one. Virtual hugs will have to do.

    #66544
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    Hugs back @winston x

    Many thanks.

    #66548
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @mudlark True, the Theseus myth is specifically Mediterranean but I like to think that most of these things have a universal element, and that aspects of that story found their way into this new Norse myth.  OK, I agree Ribbons is more Gollum than Minotaur, and the svart alfar/troll king reference is definitely relevant.  But I do think there’s a labyrinth, or maybe more than one in this ep (labyrinths may be manmade or naturally occurring – probably the latter inspired the former – and the key thing is that they are disorienting spaces where there’s a real danger of not finding the way out or back).  And there’s certainly an Ariadne’s thread!  Anyway, bonkers or not, I like the connection if only because I’ve been obsessed with labyrinth imagery for a very long time…

    Oh, and more generally @pedant @thane16 et al, I think I have finally stumbled upon the connection that I was looking for with the scenes in a white room with the Doctor finding the frog.  Angel, Season 5, various episodes: the White Room, in which they find a Conduit to the powers that be, a conduit which can take different forms, most memorably a panther.  OK, not even remotely a frog, but it was something about the blank bright space and its unexpected & incongruous inhabitant that I was thinking of, I suspect.

    #66549
    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  Talking animals crop up a lot in Studio Ghibli animations, and this story had a bit of a Ghibli feel to it, with an ending that was honest, rather than shoe-horned in sentimental. Spirited Away? Princess Mononoke?

    Gad, yes!  “Spirited Away” sticks with me as the best animated fantasy film I’ve seen — I rarely miss a chance to see it again.  No talking frogs, though, that I remember . . . that would be a “kappa” in Japanese folklore, I think, but the kappa isn’t benign but, rather, feared.

    #66550
    thane16 @thane16

    @cathannabel

    As always, a beautifully expressed post. And coincidentally, I was thinking last night of Buffy’s The Body and what an impeccable piece of writing it is. Possibly one of the finest 40 minutes of television I’ve seen.

    I love this:

    even if they were to say there wasn’t, I’d just quote D H Lawrence: Trust the tale and not the teller!

    @idiotsavon yes, I wholly agree::

    Chibnall will honour the simple, inevitable and painfully real truth of death: It Takes You Away.

    He has an ability to write about death differently -within a series: the tragic, the expected, the shocking ‘suddenness’ of it as well as the grace at the end of acceptance; at the end of truth.

    In this way, he makes his stories very believable and thus his Doctor more human, willing to explore the way we cope with death and how we choose to accept its lessons- if indeed there are still more to learn.

    @winston you are in need of a hug too?  🙁 Then you shall have it -also a malted milk or barley water which eases many pains:  in The Pub.

    @kevinwhoAnd the love between the Doctor and those she’s close to makes up for the loss, just like in real life. I will always love this show.” Absolutely so. I’ve noticed MORE attention to the Adventurers in this season. More joy was added to all the characters so the Tardis was bursting with energy, compassion, confidence and real life. It was a heart-warming series but in the background, Missing Grace. To me, the series spells that out as an arc -others have mentioned this plenty more times than I but I really see it now, more than before. Like Capaldi’s Doctor before: “but you don’t see me.” I think Grace or grace filled this series. It was warm and energetic and perfect for our confused and angry times.

    @craig  I am SO sorry my friend. I know you have put her gorgeous photo up before and please keep doing so. The memories become ours too.  All good memories and more difficult ones are the luggage we can carry for you when the going gets too tough. Sweet dreams, always.

    Puro and Thane

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