This is from last February, when it was warm in Phoenix:
Today it's too cold to go take pictures (yes, I am a total wuss). I was trying to take a picture of me with the little "gingerbread man" a friend sent us for his son's collage project (take a picture of yourself with "Flat Fred" in front of something unique to your town), but it was too windy to hold Flat Fred steady AND take a picture which would get me, the Tovrea Castle, AND Flat Fred into frame. I gave up and will try later this weekend.
I was pondering to myself why it was that I love, love, loved this year's Christmas special so much more than the entire last "season of specials," despite its obvious flaws. Sure, it's not great art (although Michael Gambon + flying shark + The Doctor = FTW), but what I realized what I liked best about it was that we get a special where we see the Doctor behaving LIKE THE DOCTOR. (The first, really, since "Runaway Bride." I enjoyed "Voyage of the Damned" but the Doctor-as-God imagery was REALLY disturbing. And one need never mention "The End of Time.")
In "A Christmas Carol," The Doctor does what needs to be done not for himself, but to save others -- and not just because Amy and Rory are aboard the about-to-be-crashing ship. He's doing it for all of the passengers aboard that ship, and he's also doing it for Kazran, whom he sees as having the potential to be a better person. For just a moment, he's full-on still "no second chances," and makes his usual warning to Kazran, but then -- he sees. There might be a second chance for this man. So he tries.
He doesn't worry about the weight of all the worlds resting on his godly shoulders, he just does what The Doctor has always done best: Saved the day. He doesn't whine, he doesn't mope, he doesn't suddenly realize He's Had The Power All Along, he doesn't dwell on his own losses, he just... does it. (And without a choir of angels.) He stumbles along the way, makes mistakes, acknowledges them, brushes himself off, and keeps on trying, trying until he succeeds. Because he is The Doctor, not "The Last Of The Timelords" or Because He Has Been Hurt or OMG THE DRAMA. He's just The Doctor, and The Doctor takes care of people.
Period. That's all. It was not overwrought, it was not "wring emotions out of the viewer at the cost of the story," and it was not OMG THE DRAMA. It was a nice little fairytale Christmas story with some sorrow, some joy, some last-minute daring rescues, and other fun things the Doctor has always been good at.
It's why I like the Doctor. He cares about EVERYONE. And he's never cared a wit about any of the politics of it -- people need saving, and he's there to save them. He may not always succeed, but he ALWAYS tries.
Heard today on NPR that the woman who inadvertently inspired this image has passed away. (It's also on the NBC Evening News.) She didn't even find out her picture had inspired the painting until many years later! And it wasn't originally "Rosie the Riveter," either; that tag was added later, on the popularity of the song.
Okay, it really IS cold here. I know some of you have it WAY worse, but an overnight low of 18 degrees in Phoenix is really something, especially since our heater kicked out. Brrrr. There's even snow flurries in northern/higher parts of the valley. (It's funny to hear people say it like "It's snowing in ARIZONA!" Um, it snows a lot in Arizona. It's just Phoenix where it's rare.)
Oh, yeah, a picture for today.
And snow is often up there, as these peaks are 13,000 feet: