karenor: (dw-10 sad-betterwithtwo)
[personal profile] karenor
So there has been some tumblr discussion on Ten's exit and character arc and season satisfaction pre- and post- Season 5.

(Go read this post and the preceding comments, if you want to follow along)

So, instead of reblogging again. I figured I'd try a response here. Because I find actual discussion on tumblr or twitter clunky/unsatisfactory.

Okay, so. To me... Ten's incomplete arc feels more... realistic. He learns, then forgets the lessons, needs a companion to show him a different version. It's who he is. And the sort of silly farewell tour did seem to indicate that he realizes he needs people. He LOVES and needs his friends, but never wants to get too close because they all break his heart. Is it frustrating (and selfish and short-sited)? Hell yes. But I think he does learn in the end. He feels that Rose showed him that (see HN/FoB and JE), Martha spelled it out plainly by walking the earth, and yes, he was still totally lost without Donna, but she sees him through. And yeah, her end is devastating and unnecessary.

But I don't feel that "I don't want to go" needed to be about looking forward. I have very few excuses for the cafe speech, except that the emotion seems to be coming from the idea that he might really DIE. And yes, he dispels all that we know is true about regeneration, but I think he's just scared. I KNOW this is ridiculous RTD fuckery, but from a character standpoint, it's not impossible to reconcile. Anyway, point being, I'm okay with his final words. I find them tremendously in character and reasonable for the situation. I think if he WAS looking forward to his next life, I'd have been very disappointed. He had no one (yes, by his own design), unlike Nine, who knew he'd just carry on as he had been, Rose by his side.

Now, I should say, I've not rewatched any Eleven episodes. In point of fact, I don't rewatch much of anything, but with all the fic I wrote re: Ten, and research for it, I'm more intimately acquainted with the Ten era in general. I found a lot of S5 ultimately forgettable, remembering the big arcs, and then only partially, because they're so convoluted. I should also say that I love all Eleven era major CHARACTERS (with the notable exception of River, who I might love if her story made even a little bit of any sense...I went from hating to quite liking to being mostly indifferent to and so over her) but the characterizations and stories drive me so batty I... very nearly gave up, more than once.

Each season is SO problematic, so much more so than Ten's continued angst, that they do indeed feel like different shows (if still the same man). The crack, the two (or more) realities, the reset buttons, River/Melody, the astronaut, the Ponds and their departure. I cannot claim anything near satisfaction (quite the opposite) with the resolution of any of these story arcs or seasons.

And Eleven's development? I too found his effervescence refreshing (though I found this entirely in keeping with previous regenerations, not in opposition to), but the way his story is told... All upside down and 'gangers and robots and past and future, and I have NO IDEA what to make of anything like character development. I like him most of the time, I don't know what's going on more of the time and it's hard to be bogged down in that and judge character...independently?

Subsequently... Clara. I really like her (apart from being yet another vehicle for her creator's snark [i may never ever forgive that "Eleven's the best" moment]), despite the fact that by design, she's not terribly well-rounded (she's fractured?) and I think that gives her short shrift. But her whole conceit, and what it's led up to... that 7b finale... I can't even. I was SO angry. Even if her purpose is to heal the damage being done by the Great Intelligence and the past remains (becomes again) unchanged, I can't be on board with this level of character assassination/exaltation...on all fronts (hers, the Doctors, presumably other companions).

Anyway, I've meandered. My point was (and rereading I feel I've not made it very well) if we're comparing Ten and Eleven's eras for consistency, satisfaction of trajectory of character/story arcs and handling of characters themselves... I have a lot of trouble (despite well-thought out arguments by people whose opinions I value tremendously) seeing how the last few years have in any way accomplished that better than the proceeding years. And personally, I find them supremely lacking.

My two cents, grain of salt, etc. and so forth.
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