This week’s episode was bookended by two long, tense scenes that were heavy on atmosphere and dread, even though each lasted a very long time. You would never see this kind of decompressed pacing on a broadcast network show, because the execs would worry about restless viewers switching channels. AMC knows BREAKING BAD fans are a captivated audience that see such authorial vision as a reward.
Not that we don’t value shock: I couldn’t have been the only person who shouted at the TV in shock when Hank — of all people — turned out to be the one who stopped Jesse from burning down the house, right? And how amusing — yet disconcerting — was Marie’s confession to her therapist of obsessively researching untraceable poisons on the Internet?
The episode was another win for Aaron Paul. I swear, after this show ends, no one is allowed to do the glassy, thousand-yard stare again. I think truculent Jesse has so much power for his sudden emotional rants because he stores so much energy in his “inert” state.
I cannot express how excited I am to see this photo: Matt Smith at the BBC, script in hand, for today’s initial read-through of this year’s DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special!!!! It’s photographic proof positive that the 11th Doctor is not only in the special, he has lines! (Well, at least one line, right?)
This comes at a time when pessimists were insisting that Matt had already filmed his regeneration sequence and was, in fact, completely done with the show. I am ecstatic that nothing could be further from the truth. (And I am sure those other folks are secretly happy, as well.)
Just look at this picture: Matt (shaven pate and all) is clearly psyched to be there, and brimming with his usual energy. No doubt he is just as excited to see what happens in his final episode as we are.
Now we need to be on the lookout for Peter Capaldi…
ETA: Matt now confirms he will wear a wig, and filming starts this Sunday:
“I have to wear a wig in DOCTOR WHO, which is a nightmare. I’m excited, I start shooting the Christmas Special Sunday [Sept. 8]. It’ll be sad – the end of a wonderful era!”
It’s clear now that Matt Smith’s hair — which he shaved off to star in the movie How To Catch a Monster — will not be back to its customary flowy, floppy impressiveness in time to film the DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special, so the question becomes: to wig, or not to wig?
While there is little doubt the BBC Wales hair & makeup department would be up to the task of making a wig to replicate the 11th Doctor’s signature mane, there is an opportunity to incorporate Matt’s unnaturally denuded pate into the story. Matt himself suggested:
“The coif will be there for the finale in some way, shape, or form, but I think it could be quite funny to have the bald hair. I think you could have, like, that Macaulay Culkin scene in Home Alone when he, like, slaps on the aftershave. I think the Doctor could sort of wake up and be, like, ‘Ah!’ I’m sure [executive producer] Steven [Moffat] will come up with something. He’ll come up with something clever.”
I was thinking, how funny would it be for the episode to start with the Doctor and Clara strolling into the TARDIS, with the Doctor yawning about how boring this particular new planet turned out to be — when Clara gasps, “Doctor — what happened to your hair?” It turns out the planet’s atmosphere made the Time Lord’s hair fall out, but had no effect on Clara’s coif.
In addition to being funny, the scene could be depicted as showing there really are consequences to the Doctor’s gamboling about the universe.