Monthly Archives: July 2013

Episode 9 – Be Careful What You Wish For

Episodes discussed: Buffy 1×8 I, Robot…You, Jane and Doctor Who 1×8 Father’s Day

I, Robot…You, Jane

Written by Ashley Gable & Thomas A. Swyden; Directed by Stephen Posey

Willow strikes up an online relationship. Too bad her internet boyfriend turns out to be the ancient demon Moloch. Discussion Points Include:

  • Moloch the Corrupter throughout history, mythology and literature
  • Devotion and sacrifice
  • Technology and the perils of internet relationships
  • Chronological Snobbery: Old vs. New
  • Magical books and misguided readers
Father’s Day

Written by Paul Cornell; Directed by Joe Ahearne

The Doctor and Rose travel back to the 1980’s on the day Rose’s father died. Unsurprisingly, things go awry when she tries to save him.  Discussion points include:

  • “The oldest thing in the room”: The Doctor’s self-sacrifice and love for humanity
  • Paradoxes and time-meddling
  • Rose: Just another stupid ape?
  • Pete: From disappointment to the best dad in the world
  • The Past: Expectations vs. reality
  • Peter Pan parallels and consistent inconsistency

Next time: Doctor Who 1×9 The Empty Child and Buffy 1×9 The Puppet Show.

Advertisements

Episode 8 – One of Us Has to Go

Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 1×7 The Long Game and Buffy 1×7 Angel

The Long Game

Written by Russell T. Davies; Directed by Brian Grant

The Doctor, Rose, and Adam travel to the year 200,000 where the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire is being secretly controlled via the media. Discussion Points Include:

  • Sci-fi and dystopian elements and allusions
  • The importance of critical thinking and asking the right questions
  • Misleading media and the passive reception of information
  • “I only take the best”: Rose as ideal companion
  • Adam: The Biff Tannen of Doctor Who
  • Rose’s increasing agency
Angel

Written by David Greenwalt; Directed by Scott Brazil

Brooding and mysterious Angel’s secrets are revealed. Discussion points include:

  • History lessons and Chekhov’s crossbow
  • Who is the real monster of the week?
  • Angel the Messenger: Can he change his ways?
  • The dusting of darling Darla
  • Deception and ignorance in Sunnydale

Next time: Doctor Who 1×8 Father’s Day and Buffy 1×8 I, Robot…You, Jane.

Episode 7 – Pigs Are Totes Yum

Episodes discussed: Buffy 1×6 The Pack and Doctor Who 1×6 Dalek

Common Theme: The dark midpoint of the first season
The Pack

Written by Matt Kiene & Joe Reinkemeyer; Directed by Bruce Seth Green

Things take a turn for the gruesome when Xander and a group of school bullies are possessed by the spirits of a pack of hyenas . Discussion Points Include:

  • Allegory, applicability, and the monster of the week
  • Bullying and pack behavior
  • Alpha male Xander’s troubling behavior
  • Xander and Buffy: Lying to save face
  • Disturbing scenes: The pack attacks Flutie and Xander attacks Buffy
  • The first major character death
Dalek

Written by Robert Shearman; Directed by Joe Ahearne

The Doctor comes face to face with his oldest enemy forcing him to confront the grim consequences of the Time War. Discussion points include:

  • Daleks: The quintessential Doctor Who monster
  • Multi-layered parallels between the Doctor, the Dalek, Adam, and Van Staaten
  • Aloneness, seclusion, and isolation
  • Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor: Fear, anger, and PTSD
  • Empathetic Rose’s role as facilitator and humanizer
  • Doctorish conundrums: Does he love Rose? Did he wipe out the Time Lords?

Next time: Doctor Who 1×7 The Long Game and Buffy 1×7 Angel.

Episode 6 – Save the World, Lose You

Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 1×5 World War Three and Buffy 1×5 Never Kill a Boy on the First Date

World War Three

Written by Russell T. Davies; Directed by Keith Boak

The Doctor, Rose, and Harriet Jones (M.P. for Flydale North) battle the wicked Slitheen while trapped within Downing Street, and the Doctor is faced with a difficult choice. Discussion Points Include:

  • The silly Slitheen
  • Terrorism, modern warfare, and protocol
  • Harriet Jones as a model of good government
  • The Doctor’s alien arrogance and human compassion
  • Mickey the Idiot, juvenile Jackie, and Rose’s growing pains
  • The Doctor’s dilemma: Save the world or save Rose?

Never Kill a Boy on the First Date

Written by Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali; Directed by David Semel

Giles finds it difficult to keep Buffy focused on vampire slaying when she begins a relationship with her shy, sensitive classmate Owen. Discussion points include:

  • Buffy’s dilemma: Can she do both?
  • The outrageously sensitive Owen
  • Owen vs. Angel: Buffy’s brooding, Byronic boyfriends
  • Confident Cordelia and Xander, the perpetual third wheel
  • The Anointed One and Whedonesque red herrings
  • Giles’ watchful mentorship

Next time: Doctor Who 1×6 Dalek and Buffy 1×6 The Pack.

Episode 5 – Big Bugs and Gassy Guests

Episodes discussed: Buffy 1×4 Teacher’s Pet and Doctor Who 1×4 Aliens of London

Teacher’s Pet

Written by David Greenwalt; Directed by Bruce Seth Green

The teenage boys of Sunnydale High fall for a seductive new teacher who turns out to be a bit more intense than they had bargained for. Discussion points include:

  • “The Monstrous-Feminine”
  • Xander and Blaine: Insecure and not-so-innocent boys
  • Buffy and Angel: Letterman jackets, cryptic warnings, and going steady
  • The She-Mantis as a “natural monster”
  • “Don’t be sorry, be smart”: Buffy’s intelligence

Read more about Barbara Creed’s theory in The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis (1993).

Aliens of London

Written by Russell T. Davies; Directed by Keith Boak

The Doctor and Rose stop by London for a quick visit home only to discover that they’re accidentally twelve months late. Discussion points include:

  • Sub-textual romantic tension aboard the TARDIS
  • The TARDIS Key and Domesticity
  • Rose’s increasing alienness and isolation
  • The Time Lords’ non-interference policy
  • Fan Fiction: Filling in the narrative gaps
  • Juvenile Humor: Farting aliens and “Pigs in Space!”

Next time: Buffy 1×5 Never Kill a Boy on the First Date and Doctor Who 1×5 World War Three