A two-parter which is really just a long episode--the first half was all setup, despite some lovely moments (and my heart skipped when the TARDIS "died"). Once we got the rest of the story, though, I really liked this one. Not as brilliant as GitF, but a fairly solid story, some excellent guest star moments, and Mickey almost made me cry.
I'm getting a little sick of Rose and her emo-ness, though. We already did the thing with her and her dad (although Pete Tyler was definitely one of the highlights of this episode--possible baddie turning out to be basically an undercover spy!), and this felt like a retread. And while the ending did make me tear up properly, I was also thinking that it's about time Rose got a lesson in how she's not entitled to have the universe revolve around her. I'm glad Mickey left, if only for that reason (personally, I would have liked to see him stick around on the TARDIS for a while longer)...I'm just afraid Rose won't actually learn anything from losing him.
This was the first episode this season where I thought David Tennant played the Doctor in a way that reminded me stronly of Eccleston's version. During that desperately tragic and horrible scene with the Cyberman who'd been a girl preparing for her wedding; and when he is facing down Lumic, and Lumic asks him if he's ever known pain, loss, grief.
I love Mickey. He even knew about parallel universes. "That's what it is, I'm right, I'm right, aren't I?" Why couldn't he stay with the Doctor a bit longer? *pouts*
I also thought Mrs. Moore was completely awesome. A guest character with smarts, spunk, a real (if faintly mysterious/unexplained) backstory, and courage. She'd have made a perfect Companion.
Now for the musings, pulled from the Doctor's opposition to the creation of the Cybermen.
The exchange between Lumic and the Doctor, about perfection and imagination and so forth, gave me pause. Not because it's anything new (not if you read scifi, it's not), nor particularly well-phrased, but it struck me for the first time how easy it is to sympathize with Lumic's point of view. The longing for a goal that, once reached, will mean an end to striving, to pain, to failure and uncertainty. The longing for perfection and preservation is, in and of itself, deeply human.
And yet, the Doctor's right. The Cybermen aren't perfection; they're settling for something less than perfection. They haven't reached a goal; they've just stopped being able to look ahead and see how much further they still have to go. Imagination, yes, and creativity, and that straining to continue to go up, to become more than we are--that is the higher form of the desire for perfection.
Some people whine about how the Christian idea of Heaven is so boring. "Sit around on clouds all day and play a harp? No thanks." If that was actually what I thought the afterlife would be like, I'd be first in line to say that. I don't, though. And I don't think that "sickness and mortality" (to quote the Doctor's speech here) are the only motivations for striving, for creativity. They're powerful, certainly, but I can't imagine the God who created this amazingly detailed and huge and gloriously complex universe (es? plural?) letting that kind of growth stop.
I think that when things are set right, death and wrong and evil all defeated, there won't be an end to growth--we'll just be beginning. The limits to what we can become will dissolve, and we'll be free to become more creative and powerful and loving than our brains can imagine right now.
Like in C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle, where the children arrive in Aslan's country, and find that they can run, and run, without getting tired in the least.
I look forward to that.
Wow, that got "deep". Okay then.