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It's not spoilers, so I feel comfortable answering one of your questions. River and the Doctor meet out of time. Right now, in this episode, she's known him from her PAST, but it's his FUTURE. Think back to "Blink." How Sally Sparrow gave the Doctor all the information he would need to get out of 1969, before he even had to worry about it. Same sort of concept. The Doctor lives his life out of order.
Which makes him rubbish at weddings. Especially his own... :-)
I actually rate this as my SECOND most intense cliff hanger, and the only reason why was because I had to wait a only a week to find out what happened. My most intense cliffhanger was the Star Trek TNG 3rd season finale, where Picard was kidnapped by the Borg and transformed into Locutus. The final scene of the episode had Locutus talking about how resistance is futile, and Riker just glares at the screen, grits his jaw, and says "FIRE!"
I had to wait an ENTIRE SUMMER VACATION before I found out what the hell happened. It was worse then "Who Shot JR?" mostly because I was too young to appreciate it.
If I had been forced to wait that long for the 2nd half of "Silence of the Library" I'm sure I would have lost my mind.
I really love Donna. She's one of my favorite companions (right after Sarah Jane). And while this wasn't one of the best episodes of the season, I agree, I still really enjoyed it.
Donna is my favorite companion, I loved Martha, tolerated Rose, and wished Captain Jack would come my way. But Donna is so ME.
I've got that mother, the one that tells you your whole entire life you'll amount to nothing and is such a disappointment. Have the bloody T-shirt, thankyouverymuch. Didn't have Wilf, would have loved to have had Wilf in my life growing up, that would have been fabulous.
But the "feck off, Sunshine!" attitude being loud and obnoxious to make sure that people realize that I'm ME this is ME, and my identity isn't contingent upon being my brother's little sister, or my parent's daughter (statements that were perpetual throughout most of my childhood and a large portion of young adulthood as well. I'd introduce myself and whoever I was talking to would say "OOOH.....! You're So&So's little sister!" Made me NUTZ!!!) but this is all ME and realize that being ME isn't so bad! Yeah, me and Donna - we're mates!
I wish I knew how you guys were posting pics and gifs, I love them so much!!
She's not stupid, and she tells him.
This is absolutely one of my favorite two parters. And what clinches it for me, what seals it in its brilliance, is the bit at the end:
"He never raised his voice. That was the worst thing–the fury of the Time Lord–and then we discovered why. Why this Doctor, who had fought with gods and demons, why he had run away from us and hidden. He was being kind. He wrapped my father in unbreakable chains forged in the heart of a dwarf star. He tricked my mother into the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy to be imprisoned there, forever. He still visits my sister, once a year, every year. I wonder if one day he might forgive her, but there she is. Can you see? He trapped her inside a mirror. Every mirror. If ever you look at your reflection and see something move behind you just for a second, that’s her. That’s always her. As for me, I was suspended in time and the Doctor put me to work standing over the fields of England, as their protector. We wanted to live forever. So the Doctor made sure we did."
This right here.
Now, think back to the end of the "Runaway Bride." How the Doctor was going to let everything just go to shit and it took Donna to stop him.
Right here at the end of this episode, IMHO, works side by side with that. This is the Doctor's darkness, this is the depth of feeling that he has to deal with every single goddamn day, and if it weren't for his companions, keeping him grounded, reminding him that there are smaller people who are just as important as the Time Lords. Well, I think the ramifications would be profound, and the series would be completely different from what we have here.
Every here and now, you get a peak, and quick glimpse of the darkness (Kindof like the little girl in the mirror...), but it's fast and easy to miss.
But in this episode, it slaps you and makes you realize there is way more to the Doctor then an easy smile and great hair.