What a huge difference the actors make. Bleedin’ obvious you’d probably say, given the onscreen chemistry through cinematic history but seriously … how, when one detests Karen Gillan’s sassiness, can Jenna-Louise Coleman’s be fine?
And the answer is that Amy Pond was so self-absorbed and even nasty, especially to her Rory who’d have done anything for her. Sure she had sudden mood swings and would defend him to the end but then, next episode, she’s treating him like dirt again. People don’t like that in a woman and many – men and women – wrote on it.
I mean – could you live with that? Her charms weren’t anywhere near great enough for a man to put up with s*** from her. Plus one more thing – she playacted rather than acted and that takes a certain ego to distance yourself from your character and playact it out like a jolly jape you’re actually above – Mary Tamm also did that and she had overweening ego in bucketfuls.
Jenna-Louise – or rather Moffatt in one of his lucid moments of writing – makes Clara who could run rings around Amy with her skill and smarts – actually respectful of other people. She’s asked to stop and not race off – a reference to the idiocy of Amy Pond – and she says OK, she’s not going anywhere.
But when she does go, it’s with purpose in order to stymie a monster warlord. Courage too then. Smarts, stunning looks, adorability as well but most of all – wants to work as a team and save the world with the Doc. With, with, with. Not “look at me, my legs are so stunning and my miniskirt so short that you’ve just gotta put up with my tantrums coz I’m so kooky y’know”.
And what’s more [Cold War episode], the Doc respects Clara anew after the Oswin experience.
And one more thing. You know what has much to do with it? Karen Gillan was 22 odd and JLC is 28. Huge difference – perhaps that’s all it ever was, an age thing. All I know is that, though she skips around like a girl, in the clinches she’s quite experienced, with a deeper voice than you’d expect and knowing eyes. That is way cool.
Suddenly, in Episode 6 of Series 7, Doctor Who is alive and of interest again. Adding to this are the production values, some traditional Doc elements in one monster only per story, good settings and a Matt Smith who, to give him his due, has grown into the role. The interaction between Doc and companion is a huge relief again.
Please don’t tell me the next episode is rubbish and Moffat loses the plot again. Well OK – go on, do tell me. I already know about the tedious “who am I” arc of Clara which supposedly comes so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Oh yes, I’m liking this for the first time since David and Billy.