I had an odd night of broken sleep and unusual dreams. I know that much of what I dreamed was generated by Hell Bent, which is unusual to begin with, because I was initially left extremely unimpressed with the episode. You'd think that being unimpressed with a television episode would leave one unmarked by it. That didn't seem to be the case. That might be because my subconscious was more impressed with the episode than my conscious. It might be that it was a better episode than I initially thought it was. I know that I woke up a couple of times last night thinking, "Man, that was a weak episode," only to go back to dreams that were connected to either its plot or its themes.
I want to write something up very soon about Hell Bent, and about Heaven Sent (which was really extremely good), and my thoughts on Moffat's writing strengths and weaknesses. Twenty-four hours or so after I watched Hell Bent, and after I've read two reviews of it, I'm more willing to give it a chance. It is built of a multitude of remarkable, and remarkably good, bits. The acting is, as usual this series, just stellar. But I'm still frustrated as all get out at the poor pacing (as BB said; they could have jettisoned "Sleep No More" and turned the two-parter into a three-parter and made it far more organically satisfying), the over-stuffing of ideas into too small a conceptual space, the dropped threads, and weak plot turns . I definitely want to learn to like this better, because this has been a fantastically strong season. I want to like it, because I normally love Moffat. But in this episode, I'm seeing what I think of as his weaknesses more than I'm seeing what I think of as his strengths.
More, anon, but for now - dream things!
I woke up twice from dreams that somehow had me on Gallifrey, as a Time Lord/Lady of sorts, trying to pack to leave Gallifrey in advance of its pending destruction. In both dreams, I was having difficulty deciding what to take, difficulty compounded by the continual shrinkage of my bags. I'd think I had chosen a bag that was large enough to take things, and discover that the bag was (of course) smaller on the inside. The ambiance of the dream also appeared to be that I was packing not only for myself, but attempting to pack up various important cultural artifacts in order to prevent Gallifreyan culture from disappearing forever. At least one of those dreams also had me worrying about what would happen to the Shobogans, and trying to give them some last minute advice about who they should talk to be treated well (dream logic ignoring the fact that Gallifrey is supposed to be destroyed, obviously.)
The next dream had me working as part of a behind-the-scenes political team, and not liking it at all. I think I was supposed to be a speech writer, and part of the ambiance of the dream was me thinking "Everyone out of the loop thinks I'm really important here, and plugged-in. But I'm in the loop, and I know how much I'm not in the loop at all." More importantly, I was thinking about how rotten the deal that my speech was supposed to be lauding actually was, and how awful the person was who would be giving the speech. It was a combination of feeling very important, feeling completely unimportant, and not liking being in the situation at all. The one thing that stands out about this dream was that I caught a glimpse of my mother in it.
The final dream seemed to proceed from that glimpse. I was back in the old bedroom that I used to share with my mother when I was growing up. She was there, and I was very pleased, because she was actually dead, and I knew that, but apparently she was able to be alive because of ... something - do you see where Hell Bent comes in? I was happy that she was there, and it was really great to talk to her. I remember that she had to sit on a piece of wood for some reason; it was important that she sit on wood, especially if she was seated over running water ... you know what? I'm just going to stop trying to explain it any further. All I know is that when I woke up I was both happy that I'd been able to talk with her, and very slightly sad that I had to wake up.
Yes, I know; that was all very exciting for you to read, wasn't it? This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/391774.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.