Doctor Who, Flesh and Stone: Matt Smith comes into his own

This is really more of a 'memo to self' than it is anything else, a blog entry at nearly its shallowest level (well, perhaps not that close to under-basement's cellar; I'm not tweeting about either the nature of my dinner or its ultimate end — as it isn't. But I digress), namely, some rather inchoate reactions to the most recent episode of a children's television program.

But yes, if you click the link below, you can have access to whatever insights and reactions I have to Matt Smith's fifth outing as the good Doctor Who, "Flesh and Bone."

The Doctor is "in" but Young Geoffrey is "out"

Stores Online, Inc.'s Michael Douglas doppelganger
Karen Gillan's eyes are remarkable — and she's proving to have at least decent acting chops as well.

As I'm fairly sure I've mentioned before somewhere or other, I've never been a joiner. As a chess-playing, comic-and-science fiction reading, Star Trek and Star Wars loving teen who'd probably read The Lord of the Rings a dozen times before I turned 20, I doubt I visited sudbury's chess club more than a half-dozen times; I let Judy Merril drag me out to meet with some of the SF folks she knew possibly twice but more likely once and in truth, dropped Judy at one science fiction convention and another friend at another but never set foot inside myself.

I've never been sure what Groucho Marx meant when he (and think it was Groucho) said he would never join a club that would have him as a member, but that seems to be the way I'm built. I've always felt my interests were too broad to feel much interest in hanging out with people whose only points of commonality with one another were an interest in, say, SF or comics or even a particular brand of politics.

Or maybe I'm just a dilletante, which might explain why my fourth novel remains in a drawer, second draft un-written ...

But I digress.

Despite the above, I've recently been reading and occasionally cross-posting to the Livejournal community Doctorwho and, probably not surprisingly, have alternately been bored and intimidated by the sometimes obsessive qualities of the posters there.

Compared to many of them, my "obsession" with the good doctor is in fact a passing fancy, a quirky will-o' the pop-cultural wisp. I don't generally and didn't this time out notice such things as the incongruous time-change on Amy's digital clock, nor the Doctor's apparent change of clothes when he had no time, apparently, to so much as undo a single button on his shirt.

(For the record, now that such possible gaffes have been pointed out to me, I fall firmly into the Steven-Moffat-is-having-a-grand-time-dropping-hints-and-clues-for-the-fans school of thouoght, and not that which suspects continuity errors. It's a show about a time-traveller, they only make a baker's dozen or so a year — they're not going to bugger up a close-up on the Doctor's hands, let alone of Amy's clock jumping from 11:59 AM to 12:00 PM. But I'm not about to argue about, not about to pipe up in a discussion that has racked up nearly 50 comments in only a few hours.

As I type this, I'm reminded of William Shatner's famous "Get a life!" schtick on Saturday Night Live — but I only "know" these people in that Doctor Who forum. So who am I to presume they don't in fact have lives at least as meaningful as my own.

Anyway. Not sure where I'm going with this (that being the nature of more or less stream-of-consciousness blogging and, of course, the reason I don't intend to plot this on's from page.

Screw this self-justification. Onwards.

The truth is I do love this damned children's television show and I do want to babbled on about it a little, even if quite a few others are going to do a better job of playing spot-the-clue, while many who might be reading this are rolling their eyes and wondering when the hell I'm going to start talking about politics or the written word or even my love-life again.

Stores Online, Inc.'s Michael Douglas doppelganger
The Weeping Angels are still creepy and still scary, but some of their power was lost when Moffat opted to let us see them move.

So, Young Geoffrey, after all that babbling, how was the god damned "Flesh and Bone" anyway? Did it live up to its excellent first part or did it suffer from the tendency Doctor Who's writers have a placing their hero into pits so dark and dire that only an impossible "mighty leap" can save the day?

Happily (especially after the 31st season's pretty lacklustre begining), though "Flesh and Bone" didn't quite hold up to part one, it was a more than satisfactory conclusion.

The Steven Moffat who's "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" made for just about a perfect diptych seems to be back and with a vengeance.

As the second half of a two-part story, "Flesh and Bone" provides thrills and chills a-plenty, in-character humour and even pathos. As usual in Doctor Who the supporting character body-count is pretty high.

As well, Moffat continued to build up the mystery of season-long arc and just who and what River Song is without leaving the viewer feeling in any way cheated.

Rather, and as intended, our appetites are sated for the week. But we'll start getting hunger again sooner than later.

And if we're unlikely to learn much about the bigger questions next week, vampires in Venice looks like it could be so much (scary) fun that it won't matter a whit.

Right. I'm done, and I ain't even gonna proof-read this sucker.

2010/05/04: Edited to fix egregious error in the title line. Sheesh!

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