elisi: (Storytellers by kathyh)
[personal profile] elisi
in ex·tre·mis: in extreme circumstances; especially: at the point of death


Welcome to the meta café, one and all. Make yourselves at home, this is a long one. ETA: Now dedicated to [personal profile] maia - Happy Birthday! ♥

First of all a few points that don't fit anywhere else:

- I adore Nardole. Not just because it's v useful having non-human companion w/greater knowledge of technology/the wider universe, but of course also his [not so] secret Badassness. <3

- Bill continues to be a delight, and her interrupted date is one of the funniest things I have seen. (Check out Tumblr’s ‘Interrupting Pope’ meme!) She is smart and bewildered and scared and the Doctor is so gentle when they are finally reunited, and he has to explain what is happening.

- Generally assume that I liked everything. Everyone at CERN drinking wine. Missy's snarky asides. The way the episode was structured. How the plot unfolded. Etc.

- Quick point however, re. the Doctor calling Bill and telling her 'Call Penny tonight.' As you are probably aware, episode 11 is called 'World Enough and Time', which is obviously taken from Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress. (But at my back I always hear/Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near - the Doctor can hear it very keenly indeed...)

But. This episode tapped into so many things, that I have been forced to somehow narrow them down…

However, since it is not actually physically possible to take into account 9 years worth of storytelling & meta, this will be me touching on certain aspects that particularly stood out… Because in this one, not surprisingly, we are going all the way back to The Library. In many many ways. Let’s just start with the silliest one first. :)



A Cry For Help

cryforhelpx

withakissx

Alldonethatx

Savethemx

It's funny, but also ties in with the larger themes. From Oxygen:

DOCTOR: The universe shows its true face when it asks for help. We show ours by how we respond.

The Doctor asks for help - with a kiss. :)



FORGIVENESS

The Doctor has used his reputation/history/death toll before:

DOCTOR: Because this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to rescue her. I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet. And then I'm going to save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky!
DALEK: But you have no weapons, no defences, no plan.
DOCTOR: Yeah. And doesn't that scare you to death?

Bad Wolf

DOCTOR: Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I liked. That is not a safe place to stand. I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up.
(There is a pause, then the shadows withdraw.)

VASHTA NERADA: You have one day.
Forest of the Dead

DOCTOR: Could you all just stay still a minute because I am talking! The question of the hour is, who's got the Pandorica? Answer, I do. Next question. Who's coming to take it from me? Come on! Look at me. No plan, no back up, no weapons worth a damn. Oh, and something else. I don't have anything to lose! So, if you're sitting up there in your silly little spaceship, with all your silly little guns, and you've got any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight, just remember who's standing in your way. Remember every black day I ever stopped you, and then, and then, do the smart thing. Let somebody else try first.
The Pandorica Opens


There are different reasons for the grandstanding - warnings, buying time etc.

But here the context [of the episode] is different than what we have seen before. Allow me to demonstrate:


fatalityIndex

Makethemsoafraidx

worsethingsx

dontweall1x

The offer standsx


The Doctor wants forgiveness (“Don’t we all?”), but as he is not a believer (“Funny, I don’t believe much. I’m not sure I believe anything”) the Church’s offer is not something he can avail himself of.

However this is probably one reason why forgiveness (living without all that guilt) is something which matters to him greatly, something he wishes for, knowing it is impossible, and something he offers to others freely:

IforgiveyouFinalFINAL

LKHFinal

caresolittleFINAL

Clara’s story in the S8 finale - and the Doctor’s response, as shown above, helped throw this into fresh light, and it’s something especially pertinent wrt Missy. He knows Missy will betray him if she gets the chance. She’ll never ‘turn good’, no matter how much she pleads, but that doesn’t make a difference to how he treats her here.

Notkill-savex

Just going to keep mex

watchbodyx

But - we need to make a distinction between ‘saving’ and ‘salvation’ - that is, saving someone physically, and saving their soul…



SALVATION

Priest1x

‘Divine intervention therefore is permitted for a maximum of five minutes.’ This might be my favourite line out of all of it. But the key point is the Doctor’s ‘immortal soul and any peril thereunto.’

Of course, the Doctor has been ready to kill Missy before, and she saw the danger too (in the S8 finale when a distraught Clara would have killed Missy in retribution, and the Doctor stepped in and offered to do the deed himself):

Butwhowillsaveyoursx

The Doctor spends his life saving others, but who saves HIM? Often his companions, but again there is the distinction between physically saving and saving someone’s soul. And River was the first one to spell that out… The woman born to kill him, but who instead (repeatedly) sacrificed her life to save him (giving up her regenerations, her freedom, her life). And because their lives were so entwined, she could see very clearly where the issue lay:

Wegetthatwordfrom youx

Clara picked up River’s mantle, holding the Doctor to the mark when needed:

Whatwasthepromsiex

BeaDoctorx

But Clara is of course gone, so it is beautifully fitting that River reaches out once more, this time from beyond the grave, to stop the Doctor from making a mistake:

Diaryx

What her feelings are regarding Missy is anyone’s guess. But we can be sure she does not want her husband to carry the guilt that would come with killing his best friend.

Although the ‘priest’s’ opening is telling:

“Greetings sinner. Only in darkness are we revealed.”

‘Sinner’ is not a word heard often in Doctor Who. But it fits here. We are all sinners, we are all on the same playing field. It's a counterpoint to the 'divine intervention' and to seeing the Doctor's actions as somehow god-like. Greetings sinner. He is powerful, but still mortal, still accountable for his deeds.

The line ‘In darkness are we revealed’ is also important - especially since later we have the Doctor confiding in Missy:

Howx

Circling back to the Forgiveness theme… the Doctor in many ways has a confessor already. Not someone who can forgive him, obviously, but someone to confess to.

I sincerely doubt this is a good idea.



EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED

And now for a collection of images (images are a shortcut, as I cannot possibly lay all this out in writing without creating a 10,000+ word essay)...


Guarding Gallifrey, our Childhood, our Home

11byCrackx

DrbyVault2x

The Doctor guarding his people/his childhood friend. And in both cases he is protecting the world from them. Time Lords are dangerous. But he is also devoted, guarding the crack for best part of a thousand years, and committing to another thousand for the Vault.


Women in Boxes

Pandoricax

DrsittingbyVaultx

KnockKnock1x

RiverinStormcagex

River is obviously the odd one out, as she could come and go as she pleased, and wasn’t guarded/protected by a loved one.

But River is also the only one of these who had agency, who chose the box as the price she was willing to pay for the choices she made.

DOCTOR: Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones. But you still have to choose.
Mummy on the Orient Express

Agency could quite possibly turn out to be one of the major themes this season - [personal profile] shadowkat lays it out beautifully in this comment. Missy’s *lack* of agency so far will probably be a feature, as she has never been willing to just sit back and let others decide.



LAKES AND PRISONS AND EXECUTIONS
TWoRS paralells

The Prison rising out of a lake

Astronautx

VaultOutOfLakex


The truth that has to be spoken

needtosayTWoRStext

NeedtosayExtremistex


The execution of a Time Lord

ElevenExecutionx

MissyExecutionx


The twist, where the executioner refuses to play along

RiverSmirktext

12smirktext


And finally, the Doctor visiting the prisoner (a woman in a box)

11Stormcagex

DrEnteringVaultx

There is a sense that the characters have played musical chairs, but the beats of the story are remarkably similar (I’m not saying this is a bad thing - quite the opposite. Day of the Doctor was River’s story in miniature. A good story is always worth revisiting. Indeed, there is only a limited number of basic stories that can be told, the differences lies in the *how*.)

It’s even in things like the fact that it’s more than possible that the Doctor was as unwilling a participant in Missy’s execution as River was in the Doctor’s. Who would *volunteer* to kill someone then guard the dead body for a thousand years?

Ditto we don’t know why Missy was sentenced to death, or whom by. Given her history it could be anything, but remember, the Doctor was going to be killed quite simply for being the Doctor.

So yes - it’s interesting to reflect that the Doctor has been *exactly* where Missy found herself.



THE LIBRARY
If this is all a dream, whose dream is it?

First of all, a couple of links for those who are interested in the philosophical/theological/historical underpinnings of the episode. Well worth your time. (With thanks to [personal profile] enevarim):

Adam Riggio: When a Legendary Fear Is True

One of Descartes’ most famous ideas was first articulated by a woman

(By the way, this is where I ran out of energy & time to make pretty pictures. Imagine them please.)

The Library is, as always, the foundation of all of Moffat Who. Although I did compile an (undoubtedly incomplete) list of times when dreams/virtual realities/duplicates of our characters have been a feature:

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (people being saved to the data core, virtual lives)
Journey’s End (Ten!Too is still the Doctor, despite being human)
Amy’s Choice (alternative realities/dreams, need to die in the dream to take up in reality)
The Big Bang (pocket universe, need to escape/reboot, Nestene!Rory is still Rory)
The Rebel Flesh/Almost People (the duplicate Doctor is still the Doctor)
The Name of the Doctor: All the Clara echoes are still Clara
Girl Who Waited (different time streams, older!Amy and young!Amy are both Amy)
Wedding of River Song (broken time, different reality, mangled memories, still themselves)
The Bells of St John (people killed/uploaded to computer)
Robot of Sherwood (are we more important as people or as stories, is Robin Hood 'real'? does it matter?)
Dark Water/Death in Heaven (dead people uploaded onto Time Lord matrix)
Last Christmas (dream in a dream in a dream - Inception - dream check: book test)
The Zygon Inversion (Clara in dreamworld, dream check: newspaper)

And in the Library the questions of what is ‘real’, and what it means to be ‘saved’ are both at the heart of everything.

The Library belongs to a little girl who lives in a virtual world, and she effortlessly steps between the real and the imaginary. Here is the relevant dialogue for those who can't immediately bring to mind the plot of an episode from 2008...

ANITA: It's the little girl. The girl we saw in the computer.
LUX: She's not in the computer. In a way, she is the computer. The main command node. This is Cal.
DOCTOR: Cal is a child? A child hooked up to a mainframe? Why didn't you tell me this? I needed to know this!
LUX: Because she's family! Cal. Charlotte Abigail Lux. My grandfather's youngest daughter. She was dying, so he built her a library and put her living mind inside, with a moon to watch over her, and all of human history to pass the time. Any era to live in, any book to read. She loved books more than anything, and he gave her them all. He asked only that she be left in peace. A secret, not a freak show.
DOCTOR: So you weren't protecting a patent, you were protecting her.
LUX: This is only half a life, of course. But it's for ever.
DOCTOR: And then the shadows came.
GIRL NODE: The shadows. I have to. I have to save. Have to save.
DOCTOR: And she saved them. She saved everyone in the library. Folded them into her dreams and kept them safe.


Donna is ‘saved’, but her life in the computer is a dream… And so are some of the people in it:

MISS EVANGELISTA: Your children are not real. They're fictions. I'm sorry, but now that you understand that, you won't be able to keep a hold. They are sustained only by your belief.
[...]
DONNA: Okay. That was lovely, wasn't it? That was a lovely bedtime. We had warm milk, and we watched cartoons, and then Mummy read you a lovely bedtime story.
ELLA: Mummy, Joshua and me, we're not real, are we?
DONNA: Of course you're real. You're as real as anything. Why do you say that?
JOSHUA: But, Mummy, sometimes, when you're not here, it's like we're not here.
ELLA: Even when you close your eyes, we just stop.
DONNA: Well, Mummy promises to never close her eyes again.
(The children have vanished. Donna is frantic.)
DONNA: No! Please! No, please! No! No, no! No, no!


These children are basically computer programmes. Were they real? (Similarly, were CAL's father and 'Doctor Moon'?) Did Donna's belief make them real? Remember, in the end they join CAL, and River reads them bedtime stories...

Bill says: "I need to know what's real and what isn't real."

The Doctor later (to the Monk) observes: "Oh, you don't have to be real to be the Doctor."

But belief is an important part of this. The Doctor a little later muses: "Funny, I don’t believe much. I’m not sure I believe anything. But right now belief is all I am."

Belief is a powerful thing. One of my favourite lines from the Buffy 'verse was:

'Reality bends to desire'

It's in connection with a ghost willing (believing) himself to be able to interact with the physical world.

As soon as the Doctor started talking about all the issues (and Mario deleting himself from the game) I was reminded of 'Wreck It Ralph', an animated movie whose the plot follows that exact format, except not so much deleting, as escaping from. (It's also the underlying plot of Sophie's World of course.)

The other side is those who go the other way - who come from the real world and become part of the virtual/dream...

DOCTOR: There's always one thing you can do from inside a computer. Even if you're a jumped-up little subroutine, you can do it. You can always e-mail!

Nardole says he came from Darillium. However I have a feeling he spoke with River in the Library when he went to fetch the Diary. I may have been influenced somewhat by still vividly remembering this (created by [personal profile] owlboy back in the day):





Finally, I shall draw on some meta that [personal profile] promethia_tenk wrote a long time ago (April 2010, before Time of Angels aired, and all we knew of River was her Library episode appearance):

River Song, the Moffat, and Myth (analysis/speculation)

So let’s say that the library really is the sum total of all knowledge--ultimate, perfect knowledge. But by bringing together all those books, the creator of the library also brought together all the monsters that would take it over. Why? In myth knowledge is a dangerous thing. The end of ignorance is the beginning of suffering and death, curiosity gets you punished, and perfect knowledge is meant only for the gods. Adam and Eve are kicked out of the garden, Pandora’s box is opened, Prometheus is chained to the rock and tortured. How, then, can the universe allow mortals the infinite knowledge of the library? It can’t. The library is covered in shadows, and those who come to the library either die or become immortals. The Doctor gives the library over to the Vashta Nerada because there are limits to what the living can know.

In Extremis we are taken to the Haereticum, the library of forbidden and heretical texts. Dangerous knowledge hidden, only available to the few. And those who read the Veritas kill themselves. Too much knowledge can be dangerous, but it should be put in the context of the fact that the pursuit of knowledge is generally a good thing. The Vault is positioned below a university, and the Doctor has an actual job as a lecturer, as well as tutoring Bill academically. And running around saving the universe does not stop her from having homework. Learning is applauded, and the Doctor generally saves the day by *thinking* his way of of the situation.


The Doctor has to leave River--and her book--hidden beyond the shadows of the library because he still has living to do, but now we know that his life is going to be touched by what she represents. Every hero needs a guide to help them on their journey, so we see her, for example, drawing him where he needs to be to find out what he needs to know (the note on the psychic paper). She acts as a brain to his heart (“You need to stop being so emotional right now”/”pull him out of there when he’s too stupid to live”).

And now, she has become the heart to his brain: Don’t kill your friend. Be a Doctor. Be my Doctor.


River's death, however, is really a transcendence as she is absorbed into the library. Now all-knowing and eternal, I don’t think we can really continue to think about her in human terms--she’s become a symbol. She’s also become a storyteller--*the* storyteller. Maybe she is meant to seem maternal in that final scene, but more importantly she’s the wise woman telling the children (and telling us) the tales that give shape and meaning and redemption to our lives.

I'm sure you can see how relevant this is to our current story...

Diary2x

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 01:23 pm (UTC)
enevarim: (christmas)
From: [personal profile] enevarim
Far, far too beautiful to absorb and reply properly to on a single reading. Also, at some point, one of us is going to have to do the River Song and Beatrice meta. Possibly not today. But the only immediate thought beyond a loud and singing joy was thinking that I remembered in Battlefield that the Doctor's note to himself with Arthur's body was signed “Love, the Doctor”, but transcript suggests I was misremembering:

(The Doctor removes Arthur's helm, and sand pours out. There is also a note.)
ANCELYN: Where is the King?
ACE: Doctor, this is for you.
DOCTOR: What does it say?
ACE: Dear Doctor. King died in final battle. Everything else propaganda.
DOCTOR: Who signed it?
ACE: The Doctor.
DOCTOR: Ah well, that sorts that out.
ACE: PS, Morgaine has just seized control of the nuclear missile.


or at least it is unproven. (“Or perhaps it doesn't matter either way.“) Still, Ten might have been remembering backwards as well as forwards with his “Oh, we've all done that.”

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 01:55 pm (UTC)
enevarim: (twelve-that-betraying-me-would-make-a-di)
From: [personal profile] enevarim
Oh, I meant “and”, rather than “as”. They are entirely separate. But it certainly feels like there's a link between Nardole’s “Your missus wouldn't approve” in Extremis and this from Sayers's introduction to Dante's Purgatory, which I might have been reading last night., which felt like it grew stronger as I was reading your meta:

Certainly the tone of Beatrice's reproaches wakes an echo only too desolatingly familiar in the days of our childhood: “What have you been up to? … Why? … Have you any excuse? … Come now, be your age – look me in the face and speak the truth. … How many times have I told you? … The moment my back is turned you get into mischief. … Are you sorry? … Really sorry? … Very well, then, stop crying and wash your face, and we will say no more about it.” … We may infer that Dante recognized, and did not dislike, a certain maternal quality in the woman he loved, … One explanation is that “Dante's love for Beatrice, the Florentine maiden, seems to have had an infantile character“ – or, to put it more bluntly, that he was a milksop. Another possible explanation is that he was one of those rare men who know what their wives … really think about them.


And, okay, on a different and trivial level, the Doctor calling Nardole “Mum”.

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 03:33 pm (UTC)
maia: (Maia)
From: [personal profile] maia
Also, at some point, one of us is going to have to do the River Song and Beatrice meta.

Just friended you for that!

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 04:52 pm (UTC)
maia: (Maia)
From: [personal profile] maia
I will also happily dedicate the meta to you, should you want it. <3

I would be honored.

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 05:44 pm (UTC)
maia: (Maia)
From: [personal profile] maia
Thank you so much!

♥ ♥


(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 09:39 pm (UTC)
enevarim: (punting)
From: [personal profile] enevarim
Excellent. And a careful look backwards suggests you've written quite interesting things too (careful because I'm technically not on the internet at the moment because I won't be able to see this week's Who until my season's pass catches up tomorrow sometime), so consider the gesture as cheerfully returned, and thank you, and hello! Hello and happy birthday, I should say!
Edited Date: 27 May 2017 09:39 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 31 May 2017 09:45 pm (UTC)
maia: (Maia)
From: [personal profile] maia
Thank you!!

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 01:30 pm (UTC)
promethia_tenk: (bigger on the inside)
From: [personal profile] promethia_tenk
LOOK AT IT. SO PRETTY. SHHOOOOOOWWWWWWW <3

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 02:43 pm (UTC)
beer_good_foamy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] beer_good_foamy
So much to think about here, but just two things that struck me during the ep:

Virtue is only virtue in extremis

Critical Incident Technique is a way of measuring how well an organisation or operation works by seeing how it acts when it doesn't work according to script. How do pilots act when the autopilot malfunctions, how do hotel clerks act when the guests start yelling at them, how do doctors act when the patient crashes... How well does the narrative of Doctor Who hold up in extremis, in its last (sort of ) season? Will it stick to the script, or will it have to improvise?

Women in boxes

But also Timelords in boxes. In a way, isn't the TARDIS - the thing that enables/forces the Doctor to keep travelling, keep getting into situations, keep having to make hard choices - a prison of a sort? Is complete freedom to also complete freedom from, or the opposite? That which gives power is also a trap.
Edited Date: 27 May 2017 02:44 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 04:16 pm (UTC)
beer_good_foamy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] beer_good_foamy
”But it was my last chance to see how far you can bend this show before it breaks. Forgive the indulgence.”

Heh. I hadn't seen that. Thanks for the serendipity! :)

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 03:35 pm (UTC)
maia: (Maia)
From: [personal profile] maia
Critical Incident Technique is a way of measuring how well an organisation or operation works by seeing how it acts when it doesn't work according to script. How do pilots act when the autopilot malfunctions, how do hotel clerks act when the guests start yelling at them, how do doctors act when the patient crashes... How well does the narrative of Doctor Who hold up in extremis, in its last (sort of ) season? Will it stick to the script, or will it have to improvise?





But also Timelords in boxes. In a way, isn't the TARDIS - the thing that enables/forces the Doctor to keep travelling, keep getting into situations, keep having to make hard choices - a prison of a sort? Is complete freedom to also complete freedom from, or the opposite? That which gives power is also a trap.

YES.

Edited Date: 27 May 2017 03:36 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 04:51 pm (UTC)
peasant: sweet pea (Default)
From: [personal profile] peasant
Thank you. So many, many things here that I need to think about before I can begin to reply properly. But my immediate thought is one I had during my own review and which has been brought into much sharper focus by this one: This whole episode explores the philosophical condition when cogito ergo sum is not enough. It goes beyond that to wonder what the reality of 'I am' actually means. And I think the answer it gives is a very religious one: that when cogito ergo sum is not sufficient, love can be the answer.

(no subject)

Date: 27 May 2017 05:43 pm (UTC)
maia: (Maia)
From: [personal profile] maia
Now dedicated to maia - Happy Birthday! ♥

Thank you so much, [personal profile] elisi!!!

♥ ♥

(no subject)

Date: 28 May 2017 12:12 pm (UTC)
kass: Tardis. Something old, something new... (tardis)
From: [personal profile] kass
Oh, this is SO YUMMY. Thank you!!!

(no subject)

Date: 28 May 2017 04:24 pm (UTC)
peasant: sweet pea (Default)
From: [personal profile] peasant
the library come as soon as you can x

The note on the psychic paper in Silence in the Library, do we know if that from River or from the Doctor himself or was it just the paper showing what the Doctor needed to see?

(no subject)

Date: 29 May 2017 07:49 pm (UTC)
watervole: (Default)
From: [personal profile] watervole
FAscinating post.

(no subject)

Date: 2 June 2017 10:50 am (UTC)
purplefringe: Amelie (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplefringe
Super, SUPER late to this party (though I did read it the day you posted and have had it open in a tab ever since, I’ve just been so unable to think lately…) This is wonderful, as ever <3 I’ve really missed all this – am so glad the meta café is back! Some random, utterly incoherent responses, due to aforementioned lack of thinking:

-Nardole has really grown on me! I resented him at first for taking time and attention away from Bill (why should the queer black girl have to share her companionship with Matt Lucas?) but I’ve really warmed to him, as I feel like the show is using him well. Also, I suddenly realised that he is effectively K9 – he is the tin dog. And that helped me contextualise him.

-BILL <3333333 god I don’t even have words for how much I love her, and her and Twelve’s relationship.

-Loved your whole section on forgiveness/confession. Nothing to add, but it is beautiful. I remember that line, ‘Do you think I care for you so little…’ made me cry the first time I watched it, and I love how you’ve tied it together with River and Missy here. (Confessing to Missy is DEFINITELY NOT A GOOD IDEA). Stray thought: he should confess to the Tardis. Isn’t the confessional a box?

-Allll the parallels and nods back to the Library/The Sound of Drums/The Wedding of River Song etc are wonderful, of course, but I particularly like the return of the Guarding Gallifrey/Guarding *from* Gallifrey thing. The Doctor’s relationship with Gallifrey by this point is SO layered and complex.

-With the TWoRS parallels, it really does look like this week we’re getting a version of that alternative universe/The Year That Never Was from The Sound of Drums. I really want to have interesting thoughts on this, but my brain is just a big blank gaping hole at the moment /o\

-‘Bill says: "I need to know what's real and what isn't real."’ – it’s interesting that this theme of reality vs non-reality is continuing, because it’s something I associate so strongly with Clara. I mean, I know all the companions experience it to some extent, especially Donna and Amy – your list is v useful! – but Clara is associated with a ‘state of dreaming’ (thinking of niyalune’s lovely vid) since her first episode, and so in my mind this question is really linked to her. Her need for control and categorisation – Real vs Not Real – and how this is continually slipping from her grasp.

-I’ve enjoyed the Doctor’s continual grapple with the nature of ‘belief’ – reminded me of The Satan Pit, waaaay back in the day, when Ten said something like ‘if I believe in just one thing, I believe in her’ (Rose). Ties in also to Eleventy’s lines about his companions – ‘you are all I ever remember’, and ‘my friends have always been the best of me’ (another of my favourite lines). What the Doctor believes in above all else is the essential goodness of the people he loves. And, as we’ve seen on multiple occasions, that continues to be true in any version of reality.

-This meta reminded me (as did a comment above about the Tardis and freedom to/freedom from) of a lovely Vienna Teng song that I’ve associated with DW ever since The God Complex – do you know Augustine ? ‘Lead me now / I understand / faith is both a prison / and an open hand’. Feel this applies v strongly to the Doctor.

-That's a wonderful bit of meta from Promethia - shows just how coherent and consistent the show has been, that it's even more relevant now, years on. The thing about knowledge, as I think someone in another context pointed out, is that it's really not much good sans context - what you really want is WISDOM. A very simplistic definition could be knowledge + context. Or perhaps knowledge + experience. You can know *all the things in the world* and still make stupid mistakes and terrible decisions if you don't know how to *use* that knowledge ('the context is all' - a quote from The Handmaid's Tale I think about a lot) ...again, my brain WANTS to go somewhere with this, and apply it properly to DW, and specifically to Bill, but it's just stalled.

-aaaaAAAAAAAAAaaaaaargh this is so fucking FRUSTRATING, I feel so utterly incoherent and unable to expand on any thought /o\ it’s like my brain is stuffed with cotton wool :-(

(no subject)

Date: 3 June 2017 02:49 pm (UTC)
purplefringe: Amelie (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplefringe
A+ sassy Nardole! Heh. I think I was just thrown initially because out of aaaall the random one-episode characters we've met in New Who, he was not the one I would have immediately picked out to be a full-time companion! But you're right about how well he serves his purpose.

Except, say Clara throwing all the TARDIS keys into a volcano
True, that is not her finest moment (though I LOVE IT and one day I will make a vid about Clara and Willow Rosenberg, and their parallel spirals into addiction and sketchy behaviour and hidden wells of rage and how much I love them both and am scared by my own over-identification with them) er anyway what was I saying? Oh yes - I actually meant that the Doctor's *belief* in his companions' essential goodness continues into any version of reality. :)

VIENNA TENG <333 I don't understand how all her songs are about DW but they REALLY ARE. (What I want more than anything, as I think I've told you before, is for someone who isn't me to make me the River/Doctor vid of my heart to 'Eric's Song' but nobody's obliged yet)

And aaaaah yes I love that KatrinnDepp vid! She is soooo talented.

(no subject)

Date: 3 June 2017 06:32 pm (UTC)
promethia_tenk: (clara moon)
From: [personal profile] promethia_tenk
though I LOVE IT and one day I will make a vid about Clara and Willow Rosenberg, and their parallel spirals into addiction and sketchy behaviour and hidden wells of rage and how much I love them both and am scared by my own over-identification with them
I would watch this. Hard.

Just sayin' ; )

But then my slow-burn love for Willow Rosenberg was basically cemented by her deciding to destroy the world and I think that volcano scene just might be my favorite Clara scene of all.

(no subject)

Date: 3 June 2017 07:57 pm (UTC)
purplefringe: Amelie (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplefringe
Friend, if you can think of a song I will absolutely make it! I've been on the lookout for two years and have nothing but I'm very open to suggestions!

(no subject)

Date: 3 June 2017 08:36 pm (UTC)
promethia_tenk: (lily ugly sobbing)
From: [personal profile] promethia_tenk
Hmmm. I shall think on this.

I've done a very large amount of planning on a season 7/8/9 vid set to the Take Me To Church/I Put a Spell on You medley, with the I Put a Spell on You part focusing on Clara with requisite Doctor and Missy mirroring. That, however, feels slightly on the nose for a vid about an actual witch.

The think that always intrigued me about Willow is that she ended up having the classic mad scientist oversteps their bounds storyline, except with magic instead of science. Not that there are an abundance of songs about mad scientists, but that's always kind of how I've thought of her.

I'll let you know if anything comes to me.

(I don't have a Willow icon right now. Lily will have to do.)

(no subject)

Date: 5 June 2017 08:46 am (UTC)
purplefringe: Amelie (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplefringe
I've done a very large amount of planning on a season 7/8/9 vid set to the Take Me To Church/I Put a Spell on You medley

omg I was not aware of that medley and it is amaaaaaaaazing and I will watch the HELL out of this vid! I love love loved your radioactive vid, and can't wait to see this!! aaaaaah.

The think that always intrigued me about Willow is that she ended up having the classic mad scientist oversteps their bounds storyline, except with magic instead of science. Not that there are an abundance of songs about mad scientists, but that's always kind of how I've thought of her.

That is a v good point, and something I'd never really thought of! Hmmmm. Shall ponder that and see what I come up with...

(no subject)

Date: 5 June 2017 11:59 pm (UTC)
promethia_tenk: (lynda bitch editor)
From: [personal profile] promethia_tenk
omg I was not aware of that medley and it is amaaaaaaaazing and I will watch the HELL out of this vid! I love love loved your radioactive vid, and can't wait to see this!! aaaaaah.
Thank you *g* I really, really want to do at least one vid after this season is over. At this point, though, I'm not sure if that'll be the one? I've got, like, six that I'm letting marinate and I'll see which one feels like the winner at the end of the season. Right now the front-runner is probably a vid about all the Moff companions and their influence on the Doctor set to Taylor Swift's 'State of Grace.'

I originally thought of the Take Me to Church/Spell on You one because I'd been considering a Doctor vid (with a River focus) set to Take Me to Church when season eight was airing and we seemed to be going hard on church imagery (finally--I'd been waiting). And then it was like Missy crashed the party and suddenly I didn't know what the show was about anymore? And was basically watching in a haze for all of season nine so nothing happened. Then my sister shared that medley with me and it was like ANNIE LENNOX CRASHED THE SONG LIKE MISSY CRASHED THE SHOW. HOW SO PERFECT? So I started planning it out and figured it would be a good way to come to terms with what 7/8/9 were doing. Except by the time we'd gotten even a bit into season 10 I realized 1) the vid was now (probably inevitably) about everything. Stupid show i love you never leave us. And 2) there was no room for Bill in it. Which I would probably regret after the season was over because like hell I'm going to vid a six minute song about all of Moffat Who and leave out the last season.

So yeah. Waiting and seeing.

--------------------------------

Anyway, I've been sifting through a lot of songs and I don't think I've really found anything particularly right, but let me run some stuff by you and you can at least tell me what does and doesn't appeal? Put me on the right track? [ETA: Ooff. This ended up being a lot. Certainly don't expect you to respond to all of this, but like I said, let me know if anything is feeling in the right neighborhood and I'll try to focus.]

On the one hand, I suspect it would be desirable to have something with a long, slow build-up? Like Bolero but with lyrics? (Linking to Torvill and Dean because it's not 17 minutes long. Also because the flow of figure skating reminds me of vids).

'Hidden wells of rage' says to me rap or opera or possibly something playing on one of the two mash-up style, like sounds soft and gentle AND THEN SUDDENLY RAP. OR EPIC ANGRY CHURCH CHOIRS. The thing that came to mind is this from The Matrix. I think probably the sound is all wrong, but I love the cuts between driving club music and the soft piano/orchestral stuff and I could see something like that working?

(I was talking with elisi of the appeal of screechy angst vs. bass-y angst. I am solidly in the latter camp and, given that you co-created 'Howl,' which is still my coping mechanism for dealing with season six, I suspect you are as well, but let me know.)

Anyway, my basic argument for considering rap is [livejournal.com profile] beccatoria's Intelligent Design, about Olivia from Fringe. If you've never watched Fringe, Olivia is this deeply passionate yet outwardly extremely controlled person who was experimented on as a child to make her into some kind of supernatural super-soldier, and the vid is about her buried rage over the matter. And, oh, it works beautifully. (This is the other vid that got me through season six. I just decided it's about Olivia and River and then I watch Olivia punch a lot of things.) I don't really know as much rap as I should, but I think it's something to consider.

I bring up opera because another vid in my marination vat is an epic River vid to Casta Diva from the opera Norma. The lyrics and background of the song are actually incredibly appropriate. (Basically Norma is singing a prayer to Athena to prevent a war because she is in love with one of her people's enemies.) But I didn't actually know that when I decided it would make a good vid: I was just listening to those soaring 'crying' sections and seeing River's face in pain and it was like, yes. Anyway, nothing does raw emotion quite like opera, if you can find the right thing, and there is something deeply operatic about Moffat Who. *ponders* Buffy too. The story logic isn't always there, but there are a lot of idiot people with epic feels.

Sia strikes me as a deeply appropriate singer/songwriter for Clara. All that drive. All that fury. That sharp edge. Somehow impeccably controlled and abandoned at the same time. I love the way Broken Glass just keeps going up. And up. And up. And up. Sadly the lyrics don't really work. And most of her other songs start hard and stay there, so not gonna work if you want a build. Something like Chandelier or Bird Set Free works for late-stage Clara/Willow, but not earlier.

Rihanna (who Sia also writes for) also has a tone sometimes that is tempting? I'm thinking particularly about Russian Roulette, but, again, the problem of build.

Watched You Fall has great build (and I love the sense of spinning). Also I think it is actually meant to be about an addiction? But then it really is about two people in a relationship. I could see it working for Clara/Twelve, but not really for something focused specifically on Clara and Willow themselves. (Apologies for the video--there doesn't seem to be an official one.)

Bottom of the River: I epically adore this song. The build is amazing. The base is amazing. The drive is amazing. The rage is amazing. But I think, essentially, it is a song about external pressures, rather than internal.

Best American girl is amazing in its 'sweet good girl breaks into wells of rage.' But, again, lyrics not really right.

Sometime Around Midnight, improbably, reminds me of an opera aria. The build is amazing. And the sense of rising addiction. I almost feel like the emotion of this is right, but the lyrics are so narratively specific, you'd never make them work.

And lastly a bit of a wild card: Chasing Shadows. I love the way I can't decide if it's cheerful or furious? And the (admittedly exceedingly hard to hear) lyrics are kind of amazing? I love especially 'You are here' it says. Well, at least someone knows where I am.

ETA2: apologies for really unforgivable over-use of the word 'amazing.' I'm pretty tired . . .
Edited Date: 6 June 2017 12:07 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 8 June 2017 01:04 pm (UTC)
purplefringe: Amelie (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplefringe
I've got, like, six that I'm letting marinate and I'll see which one feels like the winner at the end of the season

That's how I vid too. I have an epic Googledoc where I plonk all my vid ideas, (there's about 100 there at this point) and they sit there - sometimes for years - and then one will rise to the surface and demand to be made.

I would probably regret after the season was over because like hell I'm going to vid a six minute song about all of Moffat Who and leave out the last season.
Ha, I understand this feeling too! I am *such* a completist. I really hate vidding open canon for this reason - things need to have definite boundaries!

---

OK, WOW. I really did not expect you to get back to me on this! Certainly not so fast, and with so many recs! Thank you thank you THANK YOU! I haven't had a chance to listen to most of them yet because my evenings have been v busy this week, but I'm going to sit down and go through these tonight and get back to you ASAP. Some of them sound v promising. And yeah 'bass-y angst' is definitely more my thing. Also, 'strummy angst' (The Gilmore-type things). I often find with vidsongs that the *feel* of the music can be even more important than the lyrics. Especially if the lyrics are sufficiently vague/meaningless/easy to re-interpret, then the sound has to *sound* like the show. It's why I made things like 'Devil's Spoke' (my Wash/Zoe Firefly vid) and 'Idiotheque' (Iron Man) and 'Feather Moon' (Only Lovers Left Alive). No idea what any of those songs are actually about, but they sounded like the show/films.

ALSO, I've been thinking more about this vid over the past week, trying to crystallise what it is I really want to express with it. And I've realised, it's this: The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart. That's a quote from 'Memory' by Lois McMaster Bujold. Have you read it? Bujold is AMAAAAAAZING beyond amazing, and has approx. a million fantastically quotable lines, because she's a brilliant writer, but that's one of my very favourites, and one I think about a LOT. The full quote is: 'Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.' I think that really fits for what Willow and Clara both go through, and eventually come to realise - they both lose something impossibly precious to them, and then briefly lose themselves in trying to get it back.

(no subject)

Date: 11 June 2017 10:39 am (UTC)
promethia_tenk: (clara moon)
From: [personal profile] promethia_tenk
That's how I vid too. I have an epic Googledoc where I plonk all my vid ideas, (there's about 100 there at this point) and they sit there - sometimes for years - and then one will rise to the surface and demand to be made.
100! *shudders* Ok, I feel slightly better about myself now *g*

I really hate vidding open canon for this reason - things need to have definite boundaries!
*nods so much* I don't know if I'm more dreading the end of Moff Who or desperate for it to be over so I don't have to constantly re-adjust to shifting ground!

Also, 'strummy angst' (The Gilmore-type things).
LMAO. Yes, that is solidly a thing. I guess I was thinking more of angry angst.

I often find with vidsongs that the *feel* of the music can be even more important than the lyrics. Especially if the lyrics are sufficiently vague/meaningless/easy to re-interpret, then the sound has to *sound* like the show.
Absolutely.

It's why I made things like 'Devil's Spoke' (my Wash/Zoe Firefly vid) and 'Idiotheque' (Iron Man) and 'Feather Moon' (Only Lovers Left Alive). No idea what any of those songs are actually about, but they sounded like the show/films.
I don't think I've watched any of those. I'll have to go back through your back-catalogue a bit.

ALSO, I've been thinking more about this vid over the past week, trying to crystallise what it is I really want to express with it. And I've realised, it's this: The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.
Oh, that's lovely. Yes, that makes perfect sense. I don't think I've read anything by that author, no.

*ponders* I'd been trying to think of a song that could fit 'rage,' but if you'd like to go more Gilmore-y, there's always Rhiannon. Mournful, and plenty dark. Very usefully vague. And birds! I've thought of it in connection with Clara before.

ETA: there is quite an unfortunate amount of aimless instrumental dithering towards the end, granted. You'd been a really strong meta framework to sustain it, but somehow I'm guessing you'd not be lacking for ideas.
Edited Date: 11 June 2017 11:36 am (UTC)

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