sab: (dw >> face of the lonely god)
[personal profile] sab
I can't sleep, and that usually leads to fantasizing, in this particular case, about Tennant/John Smith's arm, in his white shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and the suspenders. I can get lost in the most absurd things about this man. Yesterday I spent forty five minutes on about four frames from "Utopia", just watching over and over again --

-- the moment where he presses his head against the glass, and his voice pops as he says "Jack." Because that voice pop is Tennant's, he's used it in other roles including both Casanova and DI Carlisle, to great effect because it is a powerful tool in his arsenal and he knows how to use it. Tennant's range as an actor, and the compelling, controlled hold he has over each tool he's mastered, resulting in impeccable timing and some of the most phenomenal facial expressions I've ever, ever seen. Which I mean in both the camp and real interpretations -- the Doctor can make some ridiculous rubber-faced expressions which are both tremendous and hilarious, but I also mean the subtleties of reaction shots, of still shots when he's in the background, a bite of the lip, hands in the pockets, inhale through the nose. Set your jaw. Watching Tennant act is like watching a virtuoso play his instrument. This guy is a MASTER.

But not THE Master, which brings me to, some things about the Tenth Doctor.

1. He is a violent, destructive man with a deep sense of vengeance that leans almost toward bloodlust. When he's vulnerable, he succumbs to his violent instincts, so often bottled up behind all that science and cheerfulness. We believe him when he says he used to have so much mercy. He's left with scarcely any, now. It was bloodlust that drove him to kill the Raknoss and it was vengeance that suggested punishment for the Family of Blood.

2. The Tenth Doctor is almost pathologically selfish, which manifests itself mostly in a slavish obsession with protecting whatever poor wretch needs rescuing, in order to justify the Doctor's existence in a way that allows him to celebrate himself, doing the galactic good! He operates on his terms in his time, and any who might want to be along for the ride had better be very much in love with the man to put up with all of his reckless, indulgent behaviour. So there's something ineffable about the Doctor that makes these women -- us, myself included -- fall so desperately in love with him, knowing full well he's selfish, and violent, and can never love us back.

3. He's vulnerable. Past the glued-on smile there's a Doctor who's in terrible pain, post-Rose's departure. I think it was less about the Doctor being in love with Rose -- though he may well have been -- and more about the Doctor realizing that a human being could have that kind of effect on him. Could make him want the impossible, the normal, human, romantic love. And the of course later he experiences his biggest fear, his biggest vulnerability when his Time Lord ego is stripped away is love. And in comes the dream of the normal life, writ large and made real, and it's this, this dream that the Doctor gives up when he kills John Smith. The dream that a Time Lord is never allowed, and a dream that the Doctor had only just begun to get over fantasizing about with Rose. He's doomed to be alone, and the impact of that sends him into wild fits of rage. It's also why he needs to surround himself with people, people who reassure him, constantly, that he is wonderful, that he's not just the fire that burns in the heart of the sun, waiting, furious, devourer of worlds. That he can coexist with humans. And so Martha is his human credential, constantly and unconsciously feeding the Doctor's desperate hunger for attention, and affection, and absolution.

4. He's a manipulative son of a bitch. He's gorgeous and he knows it, and he plays his charm to perfect result. Because of this, things he can't manipulate terrify him: Jack, a fixed point in time and space. Immortal. Aside from that he just coasts through -- watch any episode -- tossing his grinning mug at nurses and aliens, laying on the charm and then as quickly he's off for the Tardis and muttering about bananas, those humans insignificant and forgotten. He manipulates Martha by changing the subject with a winning smile, by his constant reassurance that everything will be all right when inside, he is absolutely certain that very very soon, everything will all go very very wrong, but that he can't bear to lose Martha's unwavering confidence in him before then. Nurse Redfern, John Smith's lover, resisted the Doctor's charm, when he came back to ask her to come away with him (again, selfish, Martha forgotten, the Doctor singlemindedly certain that as long as he gets everything he wants everything will work out just peachy) and she saw right through his batting eyelashes and cocky hips and said "no."

5. So, in sum, our Tenth Doctor, the arrogant fuck, is a cocky, manipulative bastard to cover the fact that he's vulnerable, because when he is exposed as being vulnerable, he gets vicious, violent, and access to power that terrifies the bejeezus out of him if he were ever to really let it loose. And so he hides, our lonely god, behind his giant smiles and untiring energy, with the mania of a man who knows that if he lets himself stop, even for a second, he might be forced to face his demons, and he might not win that fight.

6. And he is wonderful. Because he's wonderful, because he takes us to magic places, heals the wounded, fixes the broken, solves the impossible, and gets us home for supper. He's wonderful because he's bleeding gorgeous, spry and energetic, funny and clever, lean and strong. And he's wonderful because inside all that he's a lonely boy, doomed to be solo, crippled with power and nothing to do but hope that the rest of his life is, at the very least, an adventure.
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