Whoa. I knew that losing Amy and Rory was going to hit the Doctor hard, but I don't think I ever realised it was going to be quite this bad. All along up until now I'd assumed that the Doctor would be just about coping, somehow, with the loss of his Ponds, and the main reason I was so excited about this prequel was because I was interested to see how
he was coping. But... he's not. He isn't even trying
to cope. He's completely given up on the world, and himself, and any chance of future happiness. D: That is really just all kinds of heartbreaking.
I find it rather sweet how Vastra and Jenny (and Strax, kind of) are trying to help the Doctor by suggesting possible wacky adventures that might distract him from how he's feeling - and that they've clearly kept trying several times even though their suggestions are getting more and more flimsy and the Doctor keeps making it increasingly clear that he doesn't want
to be helped. I wonder if they even know why
he's so upset in the first place? I seriously doubt the Doctor would have told them anything about it, but I suppose Vastra and Jenny would have been able to figure out the gist of it, as they did meet Amy and Rory on Demons Run, after all.
I get the impression from this that the Doctor has stopped travelling around in the TARDIS and is now just kind of permanently living in Victorian London, doing... probably very little of any meaning with himself. (That point I made last post about how his personality's kind of disintegrated - he's not even wearing a bow tie
here - and that he's just trying to blend in and disappear is so definitely a thing.) But of everywhere and everywhen in the universe he could have chosen to settle down and, you know, descend further into loneliness and heartbreak, I don't think it can be a coincidence that he happened to choose a place where there are people who know him and care about him. I wonder if this is an indication that subconsciously he does want to be helped and just can't admit it (also possibly indicated by the fact that he actually came here to see Vastra and the others when summoned, even if it was just to refuse them - because he could always have not bothered to come in the first place). Or maybe it was the TARDIS who chose to take him here, and it's her who wants to see him helped. She always knows where he needs to go, after all.
So basically it seems like the Christmas episode is going to feature even more of the Doctor being this completely broken, until he meets Clara and her influence encourages him to start living
again and having adventures and saving the world when it needs him to save it. I am really, really looking forward to Christmas now - not only because I want to see things begin to get better for the Doctor, but because I'm really interested to see just how Clara manages to do this. I am sure she will be awesome, even if she's not the same as Oswin. I mean, any character who can help the Doctor out of the state he's in right now is going to get points from me by default.
Trailer! Which is actually kind of hmm. If I hadn't seen the prequel, then the trailer would have given me a very different impression of how things are for the Doctor right now. That story Clara tells of him, that he's preventing children from having bad dreams, makes it seem like he hasn't
stopped caring about the world and wanting to help people after all. Except we know that he very definitely has - Steven Moffat even says as much
, squashing the slight possibility that the Doctor is only acting that way in front of Vastra and the others. Surely he can't actually be doing what Clara's story says he is? But if not, then why does Clara think that it's true? And maybe the fact that she for some reason believes the Doctor to be a hero like this is part of how she's able to influence him back into actually being one. That theme of storytelling is seemingly going to be very present in this episode, which I'm sure I'll love.
And then there's evil snowmen and psychic snow and fun things. Also the Doctor still has Amy's reading glasses and that is just adorable and sad. He still hasn't let her go, at all. D:
Also also, from the bits with Matt and Jenna introducing the things, I get the impression that they were kind of semi-in-character for those bits - Matt did seem a tad Doctorish, and Jenna reminded me a little of Oswin although Clara's not supposed to be the same person as Oswin and argh - so maybe this gave us a little glimpse of what the new Doctor-companion dynamic might be like. (Fully in character, even in a silly fourth-wall-breaking way (like the Doctor has been known to do in the past!), would absolutely not have worked right now because the actual, non-fourth-wall-breaking Doctor is currently in no state to be acting silly and fun and so it would have just seemed wrong.)