It was one of my favourites if not the favourite espisode from S2 the first time around, and I adored it once again. Maybe even more now that I know what's coming. It's the first time we get more emotionally complex stuff from Ten, with having to face that he pretty much abandoned Sarah Jane, and hurt her, and Rose now fearing what's in store for her for the future, and him not being able or even willing to reassure her. And really, this gets right to what seems to be the deepest, most painful and twisted and knotted thing about Ten: how he loves his companions but can't face all the difficulties involved, all the pain and the human mess, the loss and the sadness and his own guilt, so he just runs away, leaves things behind and pretends it's for the best. And when you try to confront him about the consequences, it gets hard, and he doesn't quite seem to get why it's so damn hard for the humans who care about him. Now that I know what happens in Utopia, Sarah Jane seems to foreshadow a bit what we'll find out about the Doctor's treatment of Jack. It's different, of course, since the whole "you're wrong" aspect is missing. But that ability to abandon someone you once cared about and not let them know why, and to pretend it's fine, while their whole lives are turned upside down by the abandonmen... Uh, Sarah Jane and Jack need to have a heart-to-heart some time. I'll need to find out if anyone's written that.
Interestingly, I just realised that Sarah Jane and Jack both end up being offered to travel with the Doctor again, yet making a choice to turn it down. Another similarity.
It's good and healthy for the storyline that Rose has to realize at this point she's not the first person to ever travel with the Doctor, and that she will not be the last, and that at some point she'll just stay behind and not have those amazing things anymore. Since her relationship with this Doctor is mostly so… oh, you know, it's good to get another point of view to it. That it's not so lovey-dovey all the time. And while I originally hated that she and Sarah Jane did the clichéd fighting-over-a-man thing, I love it that they then resolve it, realize they've got more in common than they've got reasons to be jealous of each other, and develop a bond. It's a pity we never do see Rose finding her later in the story, but I love it that they part as friends. And the scene where they're laughing over the Doctor together is just priceless!
And K9! I adore K9! Cried a bit when he met his end, even though I knew he was going to come back as a new model. Thank goodness for that. And it's such a sweet ending for him and Sarah Jane. I should watch some of the Sarah Jane Adventures some time. And I guess I should watch her in the classic series some time, too.
And Anthony Head as the evil Krillitane headmaster is one of the most enjoyable villains I've seen in the show. Also, got nostalgic for him and want to watch Buffy again. But anyway. I love that bit where he's trying to tempt Ten to his side. It's also one strong character moment for The Doctor. His desire to do good is exactly what can tempt him to go very wrong indeed. I loved Ten right from the start, but this was the first episode that really began to show the depth and complexities and conflicts I would come to enjoy so much about him. Finally, I love it that it's Sarah who makes him see what is wrong about the reasoning. Especially since she must have understood it right at that moment and arrived to that conclusion about herself, too. After spending so much time grieving over losing what she had, she realizes that things do have to come to an end and our loss and pain defines us, too. It's an important realization. Also an important theme for the story.
It's probably not just me and the creators of Sherlock referenced that confrontation-by-swimming-pool scene on purpose? Cause it sure looked familiar.
I should write about Mickey some time. One of the things that's really enjoyable about watching the series again: observing Noel Clarke's wonderful acting and how he brings across Mickey's subtle changes and hidden depths. I did enjoy the character the first time around, but now I catch a lot more, knowing what's coming. This was of course a defining episode for him, since it's when he decides to join the Tardis crew and change his life forever.