but i found this 'ship' and i was like 'this is perfect i will make a gifset for her about it'!!

As a new era starts, we’ll never forget Doctor-Clara

Later today, a new era begins. Of course, the Doctor-Clara era technically ended some 16 months ago on TV, about a year ago in other media like comics and audio books, and we’ve already had two post-Clara specials since she left in her TARDIS in “Hell Bent”, but, as we enter into the Bill Potts and Nardole era (which I’ve seen referred to on Twitter as “Life After Clara” 😢 ), this is one of my last opportunities to post an appreciation of this remarkable, and I think we’re going to have to start calling it underrated, pairing before this new era begins.

Right now, we do not know if we’ll ever see these two together on screen again before Peter moves on. It should happen. It may happen. Or it may not happen. There are just as many reasons why it might not happen as it may happen. Some are creative - Jenna herself has said she doesn’t want to pick away at Clara’s finale and Steven Moffat may not be able to come up with a suitable return scenario; some may be logistical - Jenna also may simply not be available due to her Victoria commitments (timing, her contract may not allow it, etc).

But even if it doesn’t happen, we will still have had close to 40 amazing episodes of the Doctor and Clara (including minisodes). Were they all perfect? Of course not. I feel Twelve and Clara were separated far too much in Series 9 and I think the powers that be did make a few mistakes. I am of two minds with regards to Danny, for instance. On the one hand I think it was a mistake attempting to break up the Doctor and Clara in this way; on the other hand - Danny was a catalyst for two of the season’s most remarkable episodes, “Listen” and “Dark Water,” and was indirectly responsible for Whouffaldi shooting into high gear at the end of “Mummy on the Orient Express.”

There were also moments that I felt at times the powers that be displayed a bit of a tin ear to what the fans wanted - and despite the attempts to rewrite history by the media and some fan critics, a lot of people were pulling for them - such as building up Clara and Eleven into a full-fledged romance and then seemingly falling victim to ageism attitudes and taking that away with Twelve. Remembering that at this point as far as everyone was concerned River’s story was done, with Eleven even agreeing to River being described as his ex in “The Name of the Doctor” - the show all but had Clara on the fast track to become for all intents and purposes the Doctor’s next wife. (Watch the “She Said He Said” prequel and listen to what Eleven says about Clara.) It took them to Series 9 to start building that back up again, just in time for Clara to leave. In his interview with Wil Wheaton, Capaldi said depicting the romance this way was “more fun”. Perhaps, but it was “more frustrating,” too, remembering that once Danny was out of the way there were only six episodes, out of the 13 including Last Christmas, in which the Doctor and Clara were actually together for a substantial length of time: Last Christmas, Under the Lake, The Girl Who Died, Sleep No More, Face the Raven and Hell Bent (even if that wasn’t Bonnie in the Zygon story, the two would have only been on screen together for about 5 minutes out of the 90 not counting the speech). The rest of the time they were split up.

But that’s yesterday. Today, we look back on things like the Hammer pastiche “The Crimson Horror,” the modern-day remake of “The War Machines” that was “The Bells of Saint John,” the uber-romantic holiday specials “The Snowmen” and “Last Christmas,” “Listen,” “Mummy on the Orient Express” - which even had skeptics saying “Get a room, you two!” - “Dark Water’s” amazing volcano scene, “The Caretaker” and “Robot of Sherwood” showing the Doctor in full green-eyed monster mode, the Second Doctor throwback “Under the Lake”/”Before the Flood” (except Zoe never challenged the Doctor to prove his love for her by changing history), Jenna’s BAFTA-worthy villain turn in the Zygon storyline, and of course the Raven Trilogy which needs no further introduction.

And I could write forever on the towering chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, and between Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. This wouldn’t have worked if Steven Moffat and his team hadn’t chosen perfectly when they cast Clara, who clicked so well with Matt that I remember the rumours back in 2013 that they were dating, and they later found in Peter an actor who managed to match and exceed the chemistry shown between Matt and Jenna, to the point where if you didn’t know he was married, they could easily have been mistaken for a real-life couple.

So in some respects for me this is a “final” goodbye to Whouffaldi, Whouffle, and any of the other shipping names associated with these two, and to Doctor x Clara in general - the best pairing this show has seen since Tom Baker and Lis Sladen were in the TARDIS, but only because as of tonight it becomes the Doctor and Bill (and Nardole) show. Which is as it has to be as this is Doctor Who, where even the lead actor is only around for a few years. But of course it won’t be the end. Just as Steven Moffat couldn’t let River Song rest in peace (with the repeated references to her sounding more and more forced as we go along), I have no intention of letting Doctor/Clara fade away. Even as I watch and hopefully enjoy the Bill Potts era, I still hope to find more things to write about here on Tumblr about Twelve and Clara, and I have no less than a dozen Whouffaldi fanfic stories in some form of progress for eventual uploading to AO3. And I know the fan artists, the gifset makers, and others will continue to find new ways to commemorate this pairing. Whouffle/Whouffaldi is going nowhere.

And who knows, maybe sometime in the next 12 weeks - or 8 months from now as the Christmas special approaches - we’ll be pleasantly surprised. I mean, after all, John Simm, a well-known actor, apparently managed to film his return as the Master without anyone knowing about it, right? 

Review - 13x24

Hey guys, @jordan202 here. This is going to be a quicker one. Since it’s the last installment of the season, let’s wrap it up assessing the entire episode, but keeping the focus on Omelia of course.

I have to say that, compared to 13x23, this episode didn’t excite me as much. Sure, we got amazing moments, especially for Omelia, but I think this whole thing probably would have worked out better as a two hour season finale. In all honesty, I thought 13x23 was a bit more exciting. I could be biased by the fact that we had a huge Omelia turning point from ep 22 to 23 and a much smoother transition to 24, but I think the pace of last week’s episode was more intense.

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A Case for Jane/Michael: The Storytelling Perspective

People read stories because it shows us a new way of looking at life. In rom-coms and the like, we often see how life should be. That’s why the ending of HIMYM left so many sour, because though what unfolded is quite realistic, it wasn’t satisfying. When you consider the format of that show (the focus of  A STORYTELLING BASED show always being the Mother and how the dad changes and progresses to be that person that can finally meet and marry the Mother), you expect a clean ending appropriate for the story. The best tragedy, according to Aristotle’s Poetics, is a mistake that comes by the hand of the character that unfolds with horrific consequences. It’s never merely Fate thinking its toll on the plot because that would be shitty writing that takes away the agency of the characters. That’s why the Mother dying didn’t feel right. When you write, you make the characters earn their happy ending and earn their tragic ending as well.

So, bring that into the context of JTV. My biggest conflict with J@fael in season one was that their relationship did not feel merited. It felt like the only things to substantiate it was a baby and an overlooking sense of fate. Sure, most stories cater to what life “should” be. But the question here is, is J@fael really what the ideal romance looks like? Storytelling serves an important connector, whether it be mythic tradition or the trials of growing up (even if you are a wizard-turned-Chosen-One). While I can acknowledge the chemistry between Gina and Justin, it’s difficult for me to find any connection with the ship. I have never experienced a romance that seemed so predestined, so meant to be. I doubt many of you have either. There’s the disconnect: Here we have this seemingly perfect, destiny-ish romance and … I, as a viewer, can say “jolly well good for them” but that’s all I can do. What more can I take away from the story except for what it is? 

Love stories, especially, are the ones that are supposed to connect with viewers because of how universal love is. Even if you don’t identify with the characters, you root for them to jump through all the plot hurdles to the point where they can be together. Certain writing is meant to inspire emotion and certain writing is meant to inspire meaning. But I think the most effective love stories create an emotional connection through a semantic one. Otherwise, it’s just biochemistry or fate and it’s all out of our narrative control. So I regard J@fael as a story of Fate rather than a story of Love. Their arc existed to deconstruct this conception of Fate-as-King. Jane and Rafael came together and broke up so that Jane would have that heart-knowledge that “no, the best romance isn’t this sweeping mountaintop, predestined experience”.

So really, we had to have Jane/Rafael to happen in order to have Jane/Michael. Jane and Michael are two of the top three characters who have gotten the most development (Petra, I’d say, edges out Michael). Season One was about them falling apart and through time, approaching a certain reconciliation. Season Two was about the complications of this reconciliation drawn out over the course of the season. It took Jane/Rafael six episodes to fall in love in S1 and one episode that sped through 6-months to get to “let’s go out” point in S2. Compare that to the agonizingly long break-up-make-up-break-up-make-up arc of Jane/Michael. All the yearning and patience and sheer DEVELOPMENT they had to undergo to be together again, that’s what makes their reunion feel earned.  If one of the messages of JTV is that the “ideal” romance is one that is rooted in reality and endurance and support, more than just grand gestures or fate, then that’s a damn good message.

Format is everything of course, and I’ve mention this time and again. JTV is a story about the choices Jane makes to get her happy ending. She keeps the baby. She breaks up with her fiancé and pursues new romances. She breaks up with her new romance. She goes to grad school. The Villanueva women celebrate and value hard work. Look at all the conflicts, Jane and Xo have with Rafael about socioeconomics. They don’t accept things as being “just that way” they are because you were born that way or because someone else said so. So of course, of course the show would go with a romance that reflects both Jane’s agency (by rebelling what seems to be fate) and the belief that her choices have an active impact on her outcome in life, whether it be in her personal or professional life. 

This leads into my firm belief that Michael won’t die. Because it just does not seem like an earned tragedy, as far as the story is right now. Most of the people the show has killed off so far have been characters that we have not felt a super deep connection with (Disgusting Tom, Roman Zazo, Emilio Solano). Then, there’s Rose, who does have a connection with Luisa and the viewers too. But I think is a different situation entirely for these reasons:

  • Aristotle says it’s a mistake made by the character that causes their own undoing. Rose’s weakness is her love for Luisa. Visiting Luisa t the hospital is what led to her death. Tragedy earned.
  • Luisa and Rose are not presented as a healthy couple. There has always been something tragic and delirious about their relationship. Being stepmother-stepdaughter for one, being a bat-crazy drug lord for another. The show could’ve gone either way. If they had a happy ending, it would be “aww, look at those two ax-crazy lesbians who found love!” If they had a sad ending, it would just be another comment about how tragic their love story was. It’s in the DNA of the relationship from the start.
  • Because Luisa and Rose are not a healthy couple, we were given an alternative. This came in the form of Barnett, who had been established several episodes prior as a potential love interest. The reason I and a lot of people were able to accept Rose’s death was because we knew that it would let Luisa move on and to finally lead a happy and stable life, the possibility of a future with Barnett.

So yeah, we’ve all hypothesized that if Michael had to die it would be through protecting Jane. That I think would be an earned tragedy for him, but not for Jane. The show has now established that Jane/Michael is THE romantic ideal. Jane herself has recognized this and she firmly declares that Michael is HER choice and rejected Rafael. He doesn’t fulfill the role of the alternate because to her, right now as she is with Michael, she doesn’t need an alternative. If Michael were to die and Jane were to end up with Rafael, all it would do is make him feel like, in Petra’s words, “a second-class citizen.” That’s not a love story. That doesn’t feel earned.

Do I think the writers could pull an about-face and turn the story around and it turns out that I was totally wrong and the real story is about J@fael? Sure, I’ll accept the possibility of being wrong. Do I think it’s likely to happen? Nah. 

I may not be able to sway you over to the Jane/Michael side through cheering on about Michael’s beautiful character development or gifsets of their insane chemistry. You may actually identify with J@fael completely in your personal life (good for you, I’m not meaning to disparage your romantic life if you indeed are having that soulmate/predestined experience). All I’m trying to do is make you understand, from the perspective of writing a love story, the writers have crafted a ship that is very, very well should be (and is going to be) endgame.

And here is a super salty post about the way a lot of this fandom treats Tobin

That’s what this post is. See look ^^^^^ – it’s right up there in the post title. So if you’re looking for humor or anything but salt, scroll on. You shall not find it here, nope. And while I will be a C@ryl (look at me censoring my own ship tag!) shipper until the end of time, but this is not remotely a shippy post. Okay, good talk.

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