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I know the finale left some people cold and some of them have given well-articulated reasons why that should be, but it didn't me and this post has many of the reasons for that. So thanks for putting that feeling into more words than "F*** YES!"
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"The psychic pollen is just a bit of guff unnecessarily tacked onto the end to explain the Dream Lord and the dream states. Why not leave it ambiguous with that sudden reflection of him in the TARDIS console?" This episode did put me in the mind of "Midnight," because it was creepy, the situation was deceptively simply and deceptively complex, the Doctor is shown to be surprisingly vulnerable, and the Doctor couldn't fix the problem by being smart or clever or reasonable. But one of the other things that makes "Midnight" brilliant is that we never find out what that thing actually was. Midway through this episode, the Doctor shouts at the companions that he doesn't always have all the answers. At the end, oh wait, he has the explanation. Oops. Writing this comment though, I'm thinking the ending could be more ambiguous than it seems at first glance. Yes, the Doctor gives the humans an answer—but is he being honest? Does he actually know? All we have is the Doctor's word that the space pollen is what actually caused the incident, and neither the companions nor the audience has enough of a frame of reference to be able to argue with him. There have been many hints and statements in this episode and the series so far that the Doctor does not know everything and deliberately keeps information he does have from his companions while expecting them to be completely honest and forthcoming with him. I'll give him "gee, that was a really bad day and I don't want to talk about it," both for the character's sake (because itwas a really bad day) and Moffat's (because he's free to choose what to evoke from RTD's era). I'm not counting on a "this will all make sense at the finale," but while I do agree the psychic pollen was a glib ending, it could have been intentionally glib misdirection from the Doctor to protect his companions and give them some kind of framework for dealing with what just happened to them (although I'm not saying he would be right to do that if that is the case), rather than laziness on the writers' part.
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My blog host doesn't do pings apparently, and workarounds I try are getting blocked as spam (maybe you have trackbacks turned off), so here's a manual one: I linked to this post on my podcast's blog, Ask a Tranny, here: http://askatranny.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=548119 Thanks!