Okay, full disclosure: I laugh at horror movies. I don’t get the scary—I have literally sat through terrifying thrillers and giggled hysterically. Therefore, maybe this episode was really scary and cool like everyone said it was, but I just found it funny. It takes a good Weeping Angel episode to actually make me quake.
So, down to business. The fact that I neither rejoiced in the classic Who elements nor the scary stuff meant I really didn’t like it. I also didn’t like it because it had a lot less Clara, and even less Clara-Doctor banter/flirtation. It was a solid mid-range standalone adventure, but I won’t be watching it again.
But I’m not here to criticize, I’m here to analyze, and I’m going to analyze the crazy masculinity stuff happening in this episode. There were soldiers, a giant penis metaphor in the submarine, and a Martian who was all about honor and war. There was a lot of hypermasculinity. That fit the time period pretty well, as the Cold War is sometimes called the longest case of penis envy in the history of time, when masculine posturing nearly blew up the damn planet.
The episode actually seemed design to teach a Very Special Lesson about the importance of ladies. Only Clara was able to get through to the alien, to approach him without getting killed and to convince him to “show compassion.” Basically, Clara fulfilled a traditional companion role in the episode—that of the heart. Her increased perceptiveness due to her femininity saved the world. Again.
Which is cool, but those plots have never been my favorites. While I understand the idea that companions are more in touch with the immediacy of human experience than the doctor—that’s what they’re there for—it’s always a bit irritating that the show considers this a feminine virtue. But then again, what am I complaining about; our whole culture considers that a feminine virtue. Media reflects culture, it doesn’t create it.
But seriously now, low-budget tentacles? A scar 456 voice but with a boring red-eyed face?
Clara mystery update: nada.