Sonic Screwdriver -->

Friday, 31 May 2013

Doctor Who is a Little Racist, and Maybe we Should Think About That

Because we are fans, we’re capable of being sophisticated, thoughtful viewers, able to see both a story’s successes and its failings.
--Kate Orman, contributor to Doctor Who and Race, evidently vastly overestimating her audience. 

The only thing more disappointing than the Daily Mail's response to Doctor Who and Race has been the response to the Daily Mail's response to Doctor Who and Race.

It's hard, of course, for me to get pissed off at the Daily Mail for doing what the Daily Mail does and whipping up a crapstorm without having all the facts, though it is more than a bit surprising that a newspaper so shockingly homophobic that more reputable papers keep a yearly count of how many slurs it uses sees it fit to go after someone else for prejudice. And it's a bit hard for me to get pissed off at people for reacting to the piece, period, seeing as it'd be kinda dumb of me to assume most non-British people are familiar enough with the Mail to immediately recognize it as scum.

And besides, other publications such as the Telegraph and Radio Times have seen it fit to pick up on this story, so most people didn't hear about this from the Mail anyway. Fair enough, both to the frenzied fans and the other publications themselves. It is, in the latter case, a very good way to stir up public sentiment (and, more importantly, sell issues.) I mean, how dare someone accuse this beloved televisual gem of being, of all things, racist?

Never mind the fact that is can be and has been. And that's what's worrying to me.

Doctor Who fans, in general, have no trouble admitting that Doctor Who is...well, pretty awful. It's ratio of bad ones to good ones isn't healthy, but understandable for a show that's run thirty-three seasons. But we love it anyway, because when it's good it's staggeringly so, and even the worst episodes are either entertainingly bad or have enough good bits to become redeemable. In other words, by and large, the fandom has a healthily, lovingly critical attitude towards its subject, one that allows us to be more accepting of its faults than, say, your average fan of Star Trek or Star Wars.

But being racist is a different sort of criticism, one immaterial to the quality, and one that--frighteningly, I suspect--is very very difficult to work up a reasonable defense for. And that's where this whole thing becomes disappointing for me, because the fandom, rather than try to muster up any sort of reasonable thought on this, has immediately gone into rabid attack mode. How dare they attack our show? All that racism was a long time ago! Whatever criticisms you have currently are immaterial! And so forth.

That's not to say nobody is trying to solve this with intellect. My colleague and friend Ley Wynn has, on this very blog, made both some decent points and some I don't agree with at all--her assertion that there are simply no quality black actors going after the lead role is baffling considering Patterson Joseph has been in the running for the past three Doctors (and in terms of basic human decency)--but at least she's trying to handle this whole thing without offhandedly dismissing it, and by employing critical facilities. Which is more than I can say for fans and news publications both.

It's the same attitude you see with people accusing the current regime of sexism, but in reverse. The "Moffat is sexist" crowd, rather than trying to reconcile sexism with Who or try to see why this is happening or sort out what it is that's irritating them so much, have found it far easier to simply drop the show. The "Who isn't racist" crowd, on the other hand, is also thinking uncritically, but the problem is that the racism view isn't coming from them. If they came to this conclusion themselves, I suspect they too would simply drop the show.

So what is it about thinking critically about this criticism that scares everyone so much? Part of the problem, I think, is that we've attached a stigma to racism, and before you decide to lynch me understand that I'm not saying "we've attached a stigma to hating people of different races, and that's bad." Because attaching a stigma to that sort of mindset is very very good.

No, we've attached a stigma to racism in terms of thinking about where these attitudes come from, why they exist, and how they're reenforced. We, as a society, have said "racism springs from older attitudes, anyone who still thinks like this is living in the past, and we do not need to give it an iota more thought than that." And because of that, Who fans, by not going into attack mode, run the risk of being tagged as racist, and that other people will see us in the same light we fear seeing the show.

And here we have a group of not just academics, but fans--who have seen Tomb of the Cybermen, who have seen Talons of Wein-Chiang, who have noticed that two of the characters from the Davies era that received the most abuse were black, who have decided that rather than writing off the show or putting on blinders maybe we should discuss these things and see if they're as harmful or unharmful as different camps say, and look at that in terms of historical context and current racial attitudes.

And we've just shut that whole thing down and decided we'd all far rather not talk about it, and that it's easier to stigmatize the book--which, after all, is called Doctor Who and Race, not Doctor Who is Racist. We've already decided that, regardless of the conclusions they come to, none of this is worth talking about. None of us so much as wants to run the risk that the book concludes Who has a problem with race.

So, to anyone who's made it this far in the article--read the book when it comes out. Do it. And then agree, or disagree, or whathaveyou, but do it because you actually thought about what the book was saying, and not to preserve your self-worth. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Are We Runing Out of Regenerations???

In the fandom world, people tend to get their knickers in a bunch when the writers don't listen to rules and circumstance layed down in past episodes, and no showrunner has more canon to contradict than Doctor Who's Steven Moffat. Fans tend to have a love-hate relationship with him, due to the fact that he tends to kill off characters we like--a lot--but will he be the one to kill the Doctor himself?

While I have no way of knowing for sure, I suspect that the answer is NO! For one thing, it is rumoured that Moffat will be leaving the show after this coming season. But the question of just how many times a Time Lord can regenerate isn't voided if the show is taken over by someone else. Let's take a closer look at regeneration.

The idea of regeneration was introduced when William Hartnell's health started to interfere with his ability to play the Doctor. The show was doing well, but it's star wanted to quit. Then-showrunners John Wiles and Donald Tosh attempted to help Hartnell off the show, but were blocked by head of serials Gerald Savory, who vetoed numerous other changes. Wiles and Tosh quit, and their replacements--Gerry David and Innes Lloyd--found themselves with far more freedom at the hands of Savory's replacement, Shaun Sutton. And so the two set to work finding a way to work in a new lead actor.

At this point, it hadn't yet been established for sure that the Doctor wasn't human, and script editor Davis proposed that the Doctor's species had the ability to die and then return in a new body. Producer Lloyd built upon this by adding that the Doctor could undergo this "renewal" process regularly, transforming from an older man into a younger one. And here's a fun fact: the physiological process of regeneration is based on the psychotropic effects of LSD. Since then, it had been stated, and, surprisingly adhered to that regeneration is possible because of the TARDIS, though the reasoning behind this has varied over the years. In some cases, it is because the TARDIS itself has restorative properties, while in others it is a combination of this and Time Lord biology. More recently, in "A Good Man Goes to War."it was determined that conception on board the TARDIS can give the resulting child Time Lord DNA, which is why River Song can regenerate.

However, that's not to say the entire thing has always been set in stone: Lloyd and Davis intended for the initial "renewal" to merely be the Doctor making himself younger, and the Second Doctor's forced transformation into the Third suggested a complete cosmetic overhaul wasn't a normal part of things. It wasn't until Pertwee's regeneration in Planet of the Spiders that regeneration as we know it was solidified, and it's been suggested by many a pedant that Hartnell, Troughton, and Pertwee are all the same Doctor as a result of this. 

The first time that a limit on regeneration is mentioned is a full ten years after the first regeneration happened on the show. In The Deadly Assassin, it is stated that a Time Lord has twelve regenerations, meaning thirteen incarnations in all. When that was set forward in 1976, I can't imagine that anyone could have predicted that this "fact" would make it out of the serial, as writer Robert Holmes (and indeed most Who writers) had no problems contradicting their earlier work if it made a better story. Hell, the Deadly Assassin itself dismantled a claim made by The Brain of Morbius, earlier that same year, also by Robert Holmes, that Tom Baker was the Twelfth Doctor.

It was in the 1980s, with John Nathan-Turner's turn as producer, that Who grew a head for continuity, and for some reason it picked up on the "thirteen lives" tidbit. It started out innocuously enough--after all, that limit was what had resulted in the killing off of the Master, and restoring him required addressing it. (The problem was solved by making the Master a bodysnatcher.) But references to the supposed limit continued, often simply as minutia for minutia's sake (the 80s were quite fond of this), until "thirteen bodies total" ascended to the ranks of "Time Lord" and "from Gallifrey" as one of the absolute immutables of the Doctor's life, cemented in the public consciousness for better or for worse. (Russel T Davies attempted to fix this with The Sarah Jane Adventures serial, Death of the Doctor, by having the Eleventh Doctor state that he has 507 lives. The fandom, predictably, revolted, and Davies decided to claim he had been joking.)

There are two things that would allow for the Doctor to have extra lives. Firstly, in "Let's Kill Hitler", the Doctor was dying and River Song healed him by using her extra regeneration energy, thus using up the rest of her lives on him. We know that she was in her third body at the time, so that may have given the Doctor a whopping ten more regenerations. It is, though, also true that the Doctor used some regeneration energy to heal River's broken wrist in "The Angels Take Manhattan", but I do not expect that it was all of his remaining lives, as he now has great control over the use of the energy as exhibited in part two of The End of Time, as he is able to hold off regenerating until he has gotten his reward.

The other way that the Doctor may be able to regenerate more than twelve times is the idea that the twelve life limit was a rule of Time Lord society and not a law of their biology. This concept has been hinted at several times over the years--most people like to point out the Time Lord High Council offering the Master a completely new regenerative cycle in The Five Doctors, and an FAQ the BBC released regarding Series 4 seems to back this up.

Also, we must consider that despite our wildest dreams that these tales of the Doctor and his TARDIS are based in fact, when it comes down to it, Doctor Who is a business, and a wildly lucrative one at that. Anyone with a brain knows that making money is a good thing and as long as the show doesn't go into the red, it will likely keep going.

So when it comes down to the meat of it, I doubt that the twelve-life rule will stop the show. If it does, I'll eat my fez.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Is Doctor Who Racist?

Earlier today, I saw this a little online article in "The Telegraph" that has now made me think so much that this post is happening. Here is what the article said:
A new collection of essays analysing the adventures of the Time Lord, titled Doctor Who And Race, suggests that the BBC cult programme is based on outdated attitudes.Several of the 23 contributors to the book claim the failure to cast a black or Asian actor as the Doctor demonstrates an overarching racism. Early versions of the show were also criticised for casting white actors in ethnic roles such as John Bennett, who played a Chinese villain in the storyline The Talons Of Weng- Chiang. Author Amit Gupta, an American professor, even suggests Peter Davison’s cricket loving Doctor harked back to the 'racial and class nostalgia’ of the British Imperialism. There was also criticism of the introduction and Adolf Hitler as a character last year, which was condemned as 'slapstick’, and said did nothing to increase understanding of the Holocaust. Authors also condemned the way primitive cultures were portrayed as 'savages.’ Australian academic Lindy Orthia, who compiled the anthology, concluded: 'The biggest elephant in the room is the problem privately nursed by many fans of loving a TV show when it is thunderingly racist.’ But fans dismiss such criticisms as 'groundless’ and 'ridiculous’. Sebastian Clark, editor of Doctor Who Online, said the show 'embraced rather than divided’. He told the Mail on Sunday: 'I think the suggestion the show is racist is ridiculous.” The BBC said: 'Doctor Who has a strong track record of diverse casting among both regular and guest cast. Freema Agyeman became the first black companion and Noel Clarke starred in a major role for five years [Mickey Smith]. “Reflecting the diversity of the UK is a duty of the BBC, and casting on Doctor Who is colour-blind. It is always about the best actors for the roles.”

This is Ley. These are Ley's opinions, not Seth's, and the first thing I am going to say is about why maybe the Doctor has not been black or Asian. We have to remember that he is an alien. As in, not from Earth. As far as I know, all the Time Lords we have ever seen have been Caucasian. So I would then have to say that the genetics that make someone have dark skin and the genetics that make people look Asian are just not in the Time Lord gene pool.  And, my understanding of the regeneration process is that it recombines the DNA that he has into new combinations, so the codes for "Asian" or "black" are just not in him. If you're going to be do critical of that, you gotta think of the "science" behind regeneration. (As a side note, I would assume that he could regenerate as a female, because that calls for X chromosomes, and males have an X and a Y, so it is possible. And, even if by an accident of genetics [speciffically, Turner's syndrome] when someone only has one X and no additional Y or X, they are female.)

This is what I have to say to the people who wrote those essays.
I do agree that it is strange (and his costume was just plain offensive) that a white guy was cast as an Chinese character, but, come off it. That was years ago.

Yes, it may be that the Fifth Doctor's love of cricket reflects the show's Britishness, but that is like saying that an American show can't have a protagonist that likes baseball or (American) football.

Then, yes, there is the Hitler thing. The article talks about increasing the understanding of the Holocaust, which was obviously a horrible thing, but that was not the point of the episode. I can agree that maybe it was a bit too soon and that "Let's Kill Hitler" may have been a bit politically risqué, but the episode had absolutely nothing to do with the Holocaust. See after the "Spoilers" page break for more on that.

When it comes to presenting less developed civilizations as "savages" I think that is totally crazy. On the most part, at least from what I've seen, one of the most undeveloped societies on DW is, in fact, Earth. Most places the Doctor takes his companions are places that make us look like the savages.

I do agree that the Doctor did treat Mickey Smith unfairly. But he would have done the same if Mickey was white, it had to do with the fact that a) Mickey's character was a bit lacking upstairs, which was just a character quirk, not a jab at the intelegence of black people and b) he was Rose's boyfriend and he was jealous of Mickey for that because the Doctor was falling in love with Rose.

As for Martha, the Doctor did treat her a bit odd as well but that has nothing to do with her being black. It has to do with the fact that he just lost Rose and was trying to make Martha be just like Rose and that could never happen simply because Martha is not Rose. And Martha was training to be a doctor, and that means that she is very smart.

As for not casting black people in the show, about 85% of people in the UK are white, and I think that that statistic is fairly represented in the show. Also, it is true that there is not an overwhelming amount of black actors. Most actors are white, statistically speaking, so that does effect casting. I absolutely loved Freema on the show and the character of Mickey was great. I think that the casting at least seems colour-blind, because if it did focus on race I think we would see more minority actors in an effort to fill some sort of imagined quota.

Saying that Doctor Who is racist is not a "groundless" claim but it is "ridiculous". No society on earth is completely colour-blind, and I doubt it ever will be, honestly. DW not casting minority actors reflects a socio-economic problem, not a problem at the BBC. There is clearly ground for the claim to have been made and from their eyes, they are completely right. It is all a question of opinion and I have to say that I was never offended by the show in regards of racial anything (sexism is a different story) and I didn't even think about the show being racist until I saw the article.

Please comment! I want to know what you think!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Weekly Update: 20-26 May

Since I'm a really nice person, I didn't want to leave any of you with too long without a post. For the next six months, there really won't, I don't think, be much to talk about. Of course, there's a bunch of expanded universe to be released, but I don't know how much of that will be talked about her. I know that Seth is a bit psyched about the stuff from Big Finish, though. I'll leave that to him.

I'd like to know if there is any content that you'd like to see from us. You cand efinitly expect me to cover any developments I catch wind of as per the 50th, the anticipated regeneration of Matt Smith (and not a moment too soon....) and anything else Whovian, and unless there are extenuating circumstances, at least one post a week.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Name of the Doctor (Seth's Take)

It goes without saying that I loved it.

Oh dear! I must stop spring break at once!
There was never going to be any doubt. It had footage from previous Doctors. It had Richard E. Grant as the Great Intelligence taking, for the first time, full advantage of his lack of physical form. It had great gags, high tension, a chilling atmosphere, and tangible stakes. And it featured a big reveal that actually made sense--in your face, Davies! (And John Nathan-Turner, I guess.)

 In hindsight, I can't help but wonder if maybe it was just the heat of the moment, and my opinion will deteriorate upon rewatching. Even now I'm having trouble recalling bits I actually liked, my brain overloading with nitpicks and irritations. I mean, Trenzalore, the giant TARDIS and the decaying console room were striking as hell, but those are setpieces. And the Great Intelligence didn't actually do anything that didn't get immediately reversed, so so much for his air of menace. (Though really, he's lucky he ever had one. His primary weapons are giant teddy bears and snowmen, for zark's sake.)

More after the cut! Didn't want to spoil anything.

"The Name of the Doctor" 7x13

Original Air Date: 18 May 2013

As I sit in my hotel room in Atlantic City, I listen to Chamelion Circut's "Regenerate Me" and think about this Saturday's episode.

Usually, I churn out the post to go with the new episode, but this week, like last week ("Nightmare in Silver") I needed a few days to process what in the name of the holy TARDIS of Gallifrey just happened.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

From Pete's World: Firefly and Serenity

Hey y'all. This is Ley, not Pete. There is no Pete here. It's a reference to the Doctor's name for the Alternate Universe the TARDIS falls into in "Rise of the Cybermen".
So, this is the first in what may be an ongoing column about other sci-fi shows/movies. First up: series Firefly and the film sequel to that series, Serenity. Both are from the mind of Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog").

Firefly was a 2002 sci-fi TV series that ran for one season. It follows the crew or the starship Serenity, a Firefly class "transport" ship, and by transport I mean smuggling. The premise is that 500 years in the future, the resources on this earth have been used up and the population too large to fit our numbers. They terraformed planets and moons to make space for the human race, and a group called the Alliance tried to force all the planets into their rule, like an evil version of the United Nations. Of course, people fought a war against the Alliance to prevent the union, but they lost and the central planets are firm under the Alliance's control and lush with 26th century technology. The outer planets resemble the 1800s after an alien visitation. (Speaking of aliens, I know that can be a big magnet in the sci-fi culture, and I will tell you now that there are no aliens. Unless you include an upside-down mutated cow fetus.) The crew of Serenity is made up of Captain Malcom Reynolds (Nathan Fillion, "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog), First Mate Zoë Washburne (Gina Torres), Pilot Hoban "Wash" Washburne, (Alan Tudyk), Mechanic Kaylee Frye (Jewel Staite), Mercinary Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin), and Registered Companion (kinda like an refined, respectable prostitute) Inara Serra (Morrena Baccarin). In the very first episode, they pick up four additional passengers, only three of whom they are aware of and three of whom who stay. They are joined by Shepherd (equivalent to a pastor) Derrial Book (Ron Glass), Dr. Simon Tamm (Sean Maher) and his sister, River (Summer Glau). Generally speaking, each of the episodes involves the rag-tag band accomplishing different jobs to earn money, and avoid the Alliance because there are fugitives hiding upon good ship Serenity. The ending on the Firefly series is very easy to add to; the entire main cast is alive and there are more unanswered questions than answered ones.

The feature-length follow-up movie, Serenity, came out in 2005 and followed the same premise. Serenity gives closure to the plot of Firefly, mostly dealing with the curious case of the Tamms. The Alliance is hot on the tails of these fugitives, and we learn more about River and what happened to her in the Alliance Labs (I'd elaborate, but spoilers) and why she is so wanted back by the Alliance. The ending of the movie gives restitution to the story line and leaves a smile on your face.

Especially in the first episode of the series and in the movie, there are long periods of shooting and other violence, which left me bored. Once you make it past the first scene of the first episode, there is not that much shooting (but there is violence) until the movie, when it is not anywhere near as boring. Overall, the series is not overly gory, but it does feature much mature content. They are rated TV-14 and PG-13 respectively, but they do come very close to some topics that may be very disturbing even to adults.

Although the series attracts the same crowd as Doctor Who, it does not share much in common. It is much darker and less fanciful, as well as, like I said, being very much for an older audience.

The first episode of Firefly, "Serenity", is 1hr 30mins. All the other episodes are about 45 minutes long.
The movie is just under two hours.

Take my love.
Take my land.
Take me where I cannot stand.
I don't care, I'm still free.
You can't take the sky from me.

Take me out to the black.
Tell em I ain't comin' back.
Burn the land and boil the sea.
You can't take the sky from me.

There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity.
But you can't take the sky from me.

Bad Wolf vs. the Impossible Girl

I've been getting an earful recently the arc this series and how it's meant there's no overarching story even though, y'know, there totally is, and it's the Doctor and the mystery of Clara.

And it keeps getting put up against Series 1 and "Bad Wolf" for some reason, even though that really wasn't much of a story arc. People happened to be using the words, it got pointed out to us in the penultimate episode, and then in the last episode we found out why and we pretended it made sense. Even when there were two-parters they really didn't elaborate or expand on the season plot.

And so it was with Series 2 and Series 3 and Series 4. "Torchwood Torchwood Torchwood OH HEY TORCHWOOD IS A GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION." "Saxon Saxon Saxon OH HEY SAXON IS THE MASTER AND ALSO MP." "Planets bees planets bees planets bees OH HEY THE PLANETS WERE SWIPED BY DALEKS AND THE BEES WERE A BEACON." No substance. Just repetition followed by elaboration.

It's very much the same thing here. Each episode the Doctor will allude to Clara's impossibility, and the rest of the episode will be wholly unrelated to that. I mean, it's slightly better here, because there's emotional stakes--at least, there are in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" and "Nightmare in Silver", with the Doctor's secretive nature being brought to the forefront and Clara's mounting frustration with it, coupled with the Doctor's increasing fear that Clara is a deception of some sort.

I think the real problem here is that Moffat kind of raised our expectations with Series 5--which is probably the best continuous string of episodes any season of Who has ever managed. It, unlike other series of new Who, actually had progression in its arc. It wasn't just "crack crack crack OH HEY THE TARDIS BLEW UP AND TOOK REALITY WITH IT", we found out things in stages. It was gradually revealed to us that the cracks could alternatively serve as portals or memory saps, we found out midway through the series that the TARDIS had something to do with it all, and Rory's arrival and subsequent disappearance put things in flux and gave us serious, tangible emotional stakes.

Series 6 worked similarly, although it rushed things in places and cut a few corners. Rather than have important arc things happen in different one-offs, it made the conscious decision to put aside entire episodes for the arc.  It didn't quite work, but I admire the fact that they tried and the plot itself was actually pretty good. The action rise and fell and we found out things about River gradually rather than all at once in the finale.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Impossible Girl was compared favorably to Bad Wolf, but it's not, which is odd because they're neigh-identical in execution. This whole half-series has been a return to the Davies-era of arc plotting if I ever saw one.  Simply repeat the basic premise until the finale comes and the basic premise is explained in full.

So tell me, people--what's your beef? What makes Series 1 superior besides a mounting feeling of nostalgia (in which case, Season 9 clearly has the best story arc)? Answer in the comments section! I'm genuinely curious!

Getting a Little Personal: Why I Love DW with Two Hearts

That's me, August 2012. Yes, I'm a ging.

Hi Everyone, Ley here. Because this page reaches so many people, I try to keep my personal life off it. But today, for better or worse, I'm gonna get a little personal.
Many of you, the vast majority, I'd say, have never met me and probably never will. Although I will say that I'm in the NYC area and if any Whovians every want to hang all they need to do is shoot me an email (and not be creepy). What I am about to tell you relates to me, and if you don't want to hear it, leave the page.
Because of possible triggers, I am inserting a spoiler break, although there are no spoilers.

NEW! Etsy Shop

We're putting the "style" in Time and Relative Dimension in Style! Take a look at our new Etsy shop to grab some custom made, one-of-a-kind DW swag!

Pictured: Customizable String Bracelets. $8-9 +S&H (USD) Available Here!

"Nightmare in Silver" 7x12

Original Air Date: 11 May 2013

I must say, I do like the new design of the Cybermen.
For me, at least, this weekend's episode didn't quite live up to expectations, like the rest of the 7.2 series. I don't know exactly what it is about it, but the closest thing I can get to is that they lack the continuity of overarching plots like we've now had since the very first time we heard the words "bad wolf" back in "Rose" in 2005 (The Nestene Consciousness said it). I mean, next week we are going to Trenzalore, and we can assume that Silence Will Fall, and that has been a plot point since 2010 ("The Eleventh Hour", said by Prisoner Zero), and there hasn't been a real mention of the Silence or anything since the Ponds, may they rest in peace.

"Nightmare in Silver", written by Minneapolis' own Neil Gaiman  reminded me of "Rings of Akhaten": the writing is okay, my problem lies with a Moffat decision: to not have any two-parters. I think that both of those episodes could easily have been two-parters. There was so much more to explore. The end of "Nightmare in Silver" was also a bit lacking. It was so simple, to just teleport out. I'm not entirely sure why they didn't do that earlier.

Matt Smith was very, very good. Usually, I am not too happy with him and find him not believeable, but he really played the Jeckyl/Hyde thing quite well. His eyes changed when he was being controlled by the cybernetic part of him, and it wasn't as transparent as I anticipated it being. So, kudos to you, Matt, if for some reason you are reading this. And if you are, I'd really like to know.

Clara held her own nicely, and Jenna-Louise Coleman also had a fine performance. For the most part, it was the first time that Clara was left to her own devices to get stuff done, and she filled the spot nicely.

Speaking of filling spots, I'm not going to ignore the little quasi-flirting that the Doctor did with Clara. We are left to assume that the Doctor (a plus to the possibility of learning the man's name next week? We can write it instead of "Doctor" and spice things up a bit) hasn't seen Rose in over 200 years and lets hope for his sake that he's moving on. Yes, he may be married, but some fans point out that Clara may be River Song after the Library. (The CAL kid looks like Clara more than a bit, and maybe she gave her likeness to River because the Doctor saved her or something like that....and we've heard that "The Name of the Doctor" does feature Dr. Song post-Library). Who knows! Yes, some lucky Americans who got the Blu-Ray leak, they know.
That's all I have to say on the ep for now. Comment your thoughts!

Also, please leave some comments as to what you'd like to see from the blog. Thanks :)

Friday, 10 May 2013

John Hurt's Role in the 50th

Over the past 36 hours, it seems that there has been a major leak to the public about some of the plot for the DW 50th Anniversary Special.
John Hurt, who was announced to the cast along with Billie and David may have made a boo-boo and revealed his role, which we were previously in the dark about.
The 73 year-old actor, known for many roles in big-name film, television and theatre, such as Mr. Olivander. in Harry Potter, Adam Sutler in V for Vendetta, Dr. Harold Oxley in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Control in Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, and now the international talent says he can add the Doctor himself to the list--or at least "part of the Doctor" in a "kind of trinity," which includes David Tennant.

The possibly the most obvious "trinity" would be a past-present-and-future type thing, but the most talked about idea is a bit more complex and Moffat-esque.
Remember how we never saw Paul McGann regenerate into Christopher Eccleston? That is the key. Some are saying that Hurt's Doctor will be one in between the two.
Yes, you read that right. The plot deepens: this regeneration has been forgotten due to the psychological (and I won't rule out physical) trauma from The Last Great Time War
As you can see on the left, John's costume has the Victorian Gentleman elements like McGann's Doctor, as well as the Leather Emo elements of the Eccleston Doctor, making for a much easier transition, at least fashion wise, in the Doctor. Whovian Rule 134.
This would make Chris the 10th Doctor, David the 11th, and Matt the 12th, which possibly puts the Time Lord at risk for being out of regenerations  although I believe the last time that subject was brought up it was said that regenerations are unlimited now that there are no other Time Lords, and we can't forget when Melody/River gave her remaining regens to the Doctor.
What are your thoughts? Comment them.
Personally, I trust Steven Moffat to be amazing with the show.
Okay, so after seeing "The Name of the Doctor", I have to say that he of course is a Doctor from the past. We don't know what he did, but we know the Doctor doesn't condone his actions. My guess, like many others, I assume, is that he is responsible for the destruction of Gallifrey. More on the season finale later, from both myself and Seth.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

"Let's Kill Hitler" 6x8

Original Air Date: 27 August 2011

Aand evil henchman music for Nazi building....
Love the Teslector. Kinda super cool.
I'll be taking those glasses, thank you very much!
My brother and I have a joke about this episode. We're always like "He's still in the cupboard!"
You named your daughter after your daughter. What? Daughter-ception....
The teeth. Always with the teeth post-regen!
"Well, I was on my way to this gay gypsy Bar Mitzvah for the disabled, when I suddenly thought, 'Gosh, the Third Reich's a bit rubbish — I think I'll kill the Führer.'"
-Melody Pond/River Song 

Nice procreation of führer there, Ms Kingston!

HE SAID "DOCTOR WHO" yeesssssss!
Ermageherd Cat Nurses.

Happy Birthday, Valentine Dyall!

I expected no less of you! You whimpering wraith! But your death is already compassed in my designs. For now, the Doctor shall release the key to ME, and chaos shall break upon the universe!
-The Black Guardian, The Armageddon Factor
Man, he looks more like he got poor night's
sleep than anything.
And right on the tail of a post wondering if Who is a religion, we wish a very hectic birthday to Valentine Dyall, the scheming Black Guardian and the ultimate Devil figure of the Whoniverse (well, until they decided Satan actually existed, in any case), who would be turning 105 today had he not died in 1985. His character is kinda responsible for two of my favorite things in Who--thanks to being the driving motivator in the search for the Key to Time, he's inadvertantly responsible for the presence of Romana on board the TARDIS as well as one of the finest stretches of episodes Who ever got, and he recruited Turlough, my favorite Fifth Doctor companion, to kill the guy. So, yeah, without him--no Romana. No Turlough. No Key to Time. And he's played in this delightfully hammy way, too, a way only the most powerful Who villains can really get away with these days. 
 But that's not the only fantastically nerdy thing he's done. He's been both the upkeeper of the Total Pespective Vortex and Deep Thought in a combined three versions of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was created by Douglas Adams, who wrote part of the Key to Time Saga. And he guest starred with Colin Baker in Series C of Blake's 7, and in that very same episode is John J. Carney, who played one-off character Bloodaxe in the Doctor Who serial The Time Warrior--which means he was guest starring in a show created by Terry Nation in an episode with the Sixth Doctor and a Robert Holmes character...the latter of whom also means that he's still tied back to the Key to Time. Kevin Bacon's got nothing on this guy! 
For more information on his life and whatnot, see here.

Monday, 6 May 2013

"A Good Man Goes to War" 6x7

Original Air Date: 4 June 2011

Did you notice that these cybermen are not Cybus cybermen?
"He's the last of his kind. He looks young, but he's lived for hundreds and hundreds of years. And wherever they take you, Melody, however scared you are, I promise you, you will never be alone. Because this man is your father." Who else thought she was talking about the Doctor? Please tell me it wasn't just me. How is Rory the last of his kind?
Look! Its Vastra! 
Ha. Battle of Zarathustra. And it's Strax! :) I will admit that I didn't make the connections when I first saw the mini eps with them.
No, Doctor, don't be a monk. Monks are not cool!
Silurian. Judoon. Sontaran. Pirates. You're in trouble.
DOCTOR: Oh, look, I'm angry. That's new. I'm really not sure what's going to happen now.
KOVARIAN: The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules.
DOCTOR: Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.
Look! The Doctor's Cot. Here is the link to Doctor's Cot Gallifreyan; it's about 1/2 way down the page.
Demons run when a good man goes to war.
Night will fall and drown the sun,
when a good man goes to war.
Friendship dies and true love lies,
night will fall and the dark will rise,
when a good man goes to war.
Demons run but count the cost.
The battle's won, but the child is lost.
Cute lil poem-y thing.

"The Almost People" 6x6

Original Air Date: 28 May 2011

Awesome little bit. "I've reversed the jelly baby of the neutron flow!"
I just love having two Doctors. Who can't wait for the 50th?
No, bow ties are NOT cool.
Wonder if this is supposed to be the same monastery as in "The Bells of Saint John".
Well, here we go! Can't put off Demons Run any longer!

"The Rebel Flesh" 6x5

Original Air Date: 21 May 2011

I had a hard time getting through this ep the first time. Anyone else?
Such a CGI in the original image of the
I forgot about this Amy Pond intro. Why would they even do that? Did they think it was a good idea? Because it wasn't. It's stupid and annoying.
Yes! Muse on the TARDIS. Love "Supermassive Black Hole" :) If you ever get the chance to see Muse live, do it! They're really performance oriented; it was great. (PS, I liked them before Twilight. Because I'm such a hipster....)
Isn't it great when Matt Smith's voice cracks? 900+ years old and it still happens....
Oh no! The TARDIS is sinking!
Eww, her face fell off.
Holy TARDIS of Gallifrey....Ganger Jennifer looked like Prisoner Zero....
Production note: acid must always make a sizzling noise. Otherwise its just water, duh.
"You're never going to get your vehichle in here!" "I'm a great parker." No, Doctor you are not. You have, on more than one occasion, parked in the enitrely wrong century and even planet.
Oh hai dere Ganger Doctor. Nice face.

I just love it when DW gets political about issues that don't even exist yet. I guess those are the only politicial issues you can touch upon!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

"The Family of Blood" 3x9

Original Air Date: 2 June 2007

Does anyone think that Harry Lloyd (Son of Mine) looks like Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)?
Almost everything I know about British history I learned from Doctor Who.
"Maybe I was given this watch..." Lattimer, you stole the watch. You were NOT given the watch so shut up.
Aand clips from past eps!
I'd totally dress up as one of these scarecrows for Halloween..

I was so scared of the Doctor. I've seen him. He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and he can see the turn of the universe. And he's wonderful.
-Timothy Lattimer

Is that how he talks? YES! Talk sexy time lord to me. 
Om nom nom, consume a time lord.
I love ther "Fury of a Time Lord" segment. So here it is:
Here is a very poignant comment from the video from RedJoker9000:
Someone wrote this before and I agreed with him/her, so I don't take the credit I'll try to remember it as best as I can. It was that each one had a deeper meaning. I'll number them in order. what do you think?
1. He symbolizing how his hands are always tied.
2. She symbolizing how there’s pain all around him that he can never run from.
3. She symbolizes how he’s always there but never seen.
4. He symbolizes how he is always watching over/protecting Earth. Not even just Earth but everywhere.
I love how we see Tim later on when his is all old.

Happy Birthday, Delia Derbyshire!

Ron Grainer: Did I really write this?
Delia Derbyshire: Most of it.
Delia Derbyshire would be celebrating her 76th birthday today.

She might not have worked on the series for long, but she sure did leave a dent in it: her two interpretations of Ron Grainer's theme song were used on the show for a cumulative seventeen years, from the series' inception in 1963 until her second arrangement was replaced with Peter Howell's in 1980. However, because of her employment at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, she was denied credit for her work under an anonymity clause, despite Ron Grainer himself considering her the co-composer of the song.

Though there's nothing wrong with the more bombastic, theatrical versions of the theme that have been used since, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Derbyshire's quiet, ethereal mix, which lends itself to a mysterious feel and sends shivers up my spine whenever I hear it.

Delia went on to have a long career in electronic music, releasing albums, writing scores for films and theater productions, and inadvertently helping to score the 1970 Doctor Who serial Inferno via her contributions to the Standard Music Library. She was one of the earliest proponents of what is today a very mainstream genre, and it's a shame she died in 2001, before it got as big as she would've wanted it to be.

You can learn more about her contributions to the series here, and hear the full length of her original theme here.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

"The Crimson Horror" 7x11

Original Air Date: 4 May 2013

It might interest you to know that this was the 100th episode in the revival. It wasn't a significantly great episode, and it wasn't like "oooh, 100th ep!" or anything.
The callbacks to prior Doctorial shenanigans was fun. The refrences were almost exclusively to Tegan Jovanka, who was a companion of the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison). She's the "gobby Australian" the Doctor speaks of to Clara, harking back to Four to Doomsday to Time-Flight, over the course of which they are trying to get to Heathrow Airport. "Brave heart, Tegan" was something that the Doctor would say to her, and he says it to Clara in this episode. It'd be interesting to know why Tegan is on his mind.
I didn't see any real things of note as per the overarching plot of "Silence will Fall", which really should be coming up--"Nightmare in Silver" is next week, then "The Name of the Doctor", the 2012-3 season finale is the week after! (Does that mean two weeks until Trenzalore?)
I understand that it's helpful to have stand-alone eps to bring new viewers, but they are going to be quite confused come 18 May.
As for the episode on its own, I was happy to see Vastra, Strax, and Jenny back. I specifically loved the bit were the boy name Thomas Thomas (Tom Tom) gave Strax directions. The trio's dynamic is very fun, and I think their presence and persistence to find the Doctor have something to do with things that may (or may not) have happened post-Ponds, as well as what Clara is
As Seth pointed out to me, there was a bit of a role reversal at the end of the ep. He words it best:
"An Unearthly Child" had two authority figures investigating out of concern for a child, and getting inadvertently and unwillingly getting swept along in the TARDIS.
The end of tonight's episode has two children investigating out of concern for an authority figure, and begging to be let on board.
I'm not so sure if it means anything, and I don't know if the kids were investigating in concern; I interpreted it as they stumbled upon the photos. Who knows. But I think they're going to die in the next ep--they're cute and we know there will be cybermen.

What did you think of "The Crimson Horror?" Comment!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Doctor Who as a Religion? Pt 1

According to Professor Schmitt at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts  religious beliefs have these eight core concepts:
  1. Belief System or World-view:  Many beliefs that fit together as a system to make sense of the universe and our place in it.
  2. Community: The belief is shared and its ideals are practised by a group
  3. Central Stories/Myths: Stories that help explain the beliefs of a group  these are told over and over again and sometimes performed by members of the group. They may or may not be factual.
  4. Rituals: Beliefs are explained, taught, and made real through ceremonies.
  5. Ethics: Rules about how to behave; these rules are often thought to come from a deity or supernatural place, but they might also be seen as guidelines created by the group over time.
  6. Characteristic Emotional Experiences: Most religions share emotions such as awe, mystery, guilt, joy, devotion, conversion, inner peace, etc.
  7. Material Expression: Religions use things to perform rituals or to express or represent beliefs, such as: statues, paintings, music, flowers, clothes, architecture, and specific shared locations.
  8. Sacredness: Religions see some things as sacred and some not sacred (or profane). Some objects, actions, people, and places may share in the sacredness or express it.
(click on the theme to find the post addressing it)

As you were reading that, you may have been thinking of examples of the characteristics in your own religion and in the show, as I was. I will be going over the concept of Doctor Who being religious in the coming weeks. All posts will be tagged "Whovianism as a Religion" and can be accessed by clicking on that hyperlink.

First, let me give you the background information on me that you might find helpful:

I am 19 years old (minus 5 days) and wasn't raised as a specific religion, per se. My mother is Jewish and my father is Lutheran. I went to a Jewish preschool and then summer camp until 2004. Because of the difference of religion at home, we never really attended Temple or Chruch. We'd celebrate things like Hanukkah, Pesach (Passover) and Rosh Shoshana, as well as Christmas and Easter. As I grew older, I observed religion less, but still find it very magical to think about the tradition of my ancestors as Jews. A few years ago, I experimented with Neo-Paganism and more recently, Buddhism. I wouldn't say I'm religious, but I'm also not an atheist or agnostic. 

Secondly, let me say this:
Most of my comparisons will likely be to Christian or Judaic scripture, simply because that is what I know best. I don't have a problem with Islam, or any other religion for that matter (I could see this coming under fire without that statement) and think it is a very interesting religion and have given thought to converting to it. As you can see, I'm very open to religion and am tolerant of all religion, so if I say something that offends your beliefs, it was unintentional and I am truly sorry. eMail me (tardistyle dot blogspot at gmail dot com) if you want and maybe I'll learn something new.

Ok, so down to business.
Today, I'll deal with the second on the list: Community. I'm saving Belief System/World-view for last.

Whovians are a community. All of us from the die-hards in full cosplay at Gallifrey One, to the bloggers (me), to the Tweeters tend to share everything. Or reblog, or retweet for that matter. "Real" religions have communities that are a bit more palpable--the congregation, the religious schools, the youth-groups, etc. than what you see with Whovianism, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't count. Merriam-Webster defines community as "an interacting population of various kinds of individuals". We certainly fit that definition! We are all, obviously, individuals and interact with one and other, even if it is just over social media and rarely in person. You're interacting with the Whovian community right now!

Who Created Doctor Who?

David Whitaker kinda gets shafted in this article, so to make
it up to him, I'm making him the obligatory picture.
I'm going to be honest, this isn't really a question with an answer that's concrete or even approaches answerable. The closest we can get to a definitive is that the BBC created Doctor Who and even that's not quite right.

Wikipedia gives the answer "Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, and Donald Wilson", which comes pretty close. The series itself doesn't address this question in its credits, but the program itself, pressed for a meta-answer, usually responds with "Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert", which comes closer. And, of course, there's any number of different answers you can toss at the thing. Donald Baverstock commissioned Newman to make a sci-fi series! Anthony Cobern wrote the pilot! David Whitacker was the script editor! Hell, if you really want to push it, it was Alice Frick and Donald Bull who determined sci-fi was something the BBC's audience would like! (Never mind that they did this almost a year before anyone who worked on Who was even an employee at the Beeb.)

Doctor Who is an oddity in this, the era of the superstar showrunner, because there is no clear authorial voice to it the same way you can claim that Community is very clearly Dan Harmon's baby, or The Sopranos is David Chase's, or even in the same way you can claim the current seasons of Doctor Who are the baby of Steven Moffat.

Doctor Who doesn't exist because someone approached the BBC with the idea for a show about a man from another world who popped about time and space in a dimensionally improbable box. It exists because Donald Baverstock needed something that could fit between Juke Box Jury and the sports scores, and the person he asked to make such a show had worked on a lot of sci-fi. Hell, Baverstock didn't even ask for sci-fi, just something that children, teenagers, and adults alike would want to watch.

What's more frustrating, then, is the diversity with which ideas were spread around, and how damn impossible it is to determine who first came up with what, or how many of these ideas matter. Sydney Newman allegedly came up with the name Doctor, the show's title, and the idea of a ship bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Does that mean he created the show? After all, you can take away anything from that. C.E. Webber, when drawing up the series bible, ended up with a show about with the Doctor as a neo-Luddite mucking about with the past in order to stop the future from happening. So clearly the name Doctor and the concept of the TARDIS are far from integral to what makes Who itself.

Webber also came up with the dynamics followed by much of the 1960s--the Doctor as the mysterious, unknowable driving force, a male action-hero figure, an intelligent woman who could counterbalance the Doctor, and a girl in constant need of rescue. Hell, strip down the assigned gender roles and the required presence of all three and he more or less defined companion dynamics for all time. Steven, Ben, Jamie, the Brig, Harry, Leela, Ace, and River are Ian descendants; Zoe, Liz, Sarah Jane, Romana, Nyssa, Martha, and Donna owe much to Barbara; and Vicki, Dodo, Victoria, Peri, and Mel are mostly Susan clones. Sure, there's some overlap, but Webber is responsible for the vast majority of what we think of when we think "companion." So, he created the series, right?

Well, sure, if you think Doctor Who is mostly an outlet by which people can be taught about science and history, and the Doctor as the central villain figure.

In order to determine who created Doctor Who, we have to get at the heart of what Who is, the absolute immutables by which we define it. It clearly isn't just about a mysterious figure who travels through time and space with people who fulfill certain archetypes in a dimensionally improbable ship. There's something missing from the equation. And that is that the Doctor has to be a hero. He needs to be doing good, or at least attempting to.

William Hartnell's Doctor is not a hero, at least not at first. So what made him a hero?

It's really hard to say, especially given how difficult it is to draw a line. William Hartnell is often working in his own best interest, but this often has the side effect of helping others, even as early as An Unearthly Child. But no one's going to argue that cavemen, or even the historical side characters of a given story, define Doctor Who.

But you'd be hard-pressed to argue the monsters don't, just as hard-pressed as you would be to find someone, anyone on staff who honestly thought what Doctor Who needed was monsters. And their absense from early Who history is palpable. That's not to say that their were no aliens, but that any aliens were either completely human (even in appearance) or were not inherently antagonistic. Until the Second Doctor turns up, the Daleks are the monsters in Doctor Who, without exception.

One could argue that, in this regard, it's Terry Nation who deserves the third credit, but the problem with that is that Nation came in far too late and, moreover, was more interested in the Daleks as an end than he was in Doctor Who. He wasn't actively attempting to define the show the way Newman and Webber were. And so that credit has to go to whoever let them through to begin with.

Verity Lambert. Oh, could you be more awesome? She didn't just bully her bosses into letting the Daleks through. She saved Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire's theme song and Peter Brachacki's set design. She cast William Hartnell. And she did it all as a 26-year-old Jewish woman in the 1960s. To anyone who wants to claim that classic Who is inherently sexist (as opposed to occasionally or incidentally), that claim ends here, months before the show even aired. Everything you love about the show happened because a woman stood up for it. She, more than Newman or Webber, earned the credit she gets for the show's origins.

So, what, Newman, Webber and Lambert created the show? Kind of. Because, see, there's still a lot missing from this. Like the fact that years later, John Wiles and Donald Tosh invented regeneration, the motor on which the series runs. Kit Peddler and Gerry Davis invented the Cybermen, which defined that the Doctor fought for free will and feeling rather than against monsters. Barry Letts, Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke invented the Time Lords and UNIT, and with it the idea that the Doctor fights on principle and against authority for authority's sake. Robert Holmes made the Doctor the sort of man who could go toe-to-toe with beasts that had power intrinsically, rather than beasts who happened to have it. And that Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronvich, way at the end, invented the idea of the Doctor who could scheme as well as simply thwart. And that's just off the top of my head. Remove any of these elements and there's something massive missing from the show's present.

All of which is to say that it doesn't really matter who "created" Doctor Who. Whoever is currently in charge carves their own way, a way which becomes irremovable from the show's present and gets built upon in a neverending cycle of renewal.

The BBC commissioned Doctor Who. Anyone who touches it creates it.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

What is Doctor Who About?

Its about friendship and bravery and love and loss, and life and death and forgiveness and guilt, and being human and being less than human and sometimes a bit more than human, skill and intellect and sometimes a little bit of luck, finding the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary, looking up at the night sky and realizing you're a part of an impossibly beautiful and mysterious universe and that you don't know all the answers no matter how clever you are.

Its about looking inside yourself and realizing you're far greater than the external conditions of your life: you're not a shopgirl, your not a successful medical doctor, you're not a temp, you're not a little girl who needs to grow up or a boy that thinks the love of his life could have done better. You're the most important person in creation and at the same time you're the most insignificant thing in the world  and having the ability to choose between the two at any given time is fantastic. Its about embracing your inner darkness so that you can stand in the light of your truth. It's about having the guts to do what's right even when everyone else just runs away.

It is also about an alien known as "The Doctor", who travels through time and space in his starship that looks like a police box who saves people and other aliens with the help of his companion and the help of a tool called a "sonic screwdriver".

William Russel to Return for the 50th


I mean, there are some signs pointing to it.

I mean, like, literally. Signs.
Look at that. Ian Chesterton, Chairman of the Governors! I mean, I don't actually know what that means, but it's engraved on the school sign! Above the headmaster's name, even! Quite a long way from being a lowly science teacher--a position I guess he was somehow able to reclaim after a presumably unexplained two-year absence? Pretty sure most schools frown upon that!

(The Headmaster, by the way, is presumably Anthony Coburn, the guy who wrote the Doctor Who pilot. I couldn't find any other Coburns connected with the series. Why, then, is his first initial W.?)

It'd be thrilling if Russel got to come back as Ian, for a multiple of reasons. He was the show's action hero back in the day, after all, and it'd be interesting to see how Ian would react to a younger, more agile Doctor and the Doctor to an older, less mobile Ian, and how their dynamic would change because of that. And we'd get fun bits like Ian's mind doing backflips adjusting to this "regeneration" thing, and us getting final word on whether or not he and Barbara got together. (Well, of course they did, but confirmation would be nice!) The show also kinda owes it to him--he's been promised a return shot since the early 1980s. (His chronic unavailability resulted in the Brigadier continually taking his place and becoming a semi-recurring character after the UNIT era.)

The one hiccup, though, is that pesky little Sarah Jane Adventures episode that claimed, I zark you not, that Ian and Barbara hadn't aged a day since the 1960s. These days, William Russel is in his 80s, never mind that Jacqueline Hill is, y'know, dead. (Full of tact, that Russel T Davies.) Now, to be fair, it was framed as a rumor, but it's still something that could prove a stumbling block if taken too seriously. (The episode also gave both Ian and Barbara's last name as Chesterton, which disappointed me somewhat. That reveal really should go to Russel.)

On the other side of the argument, you have to consider the fact that the fact that William Russel's cameo in An Adventure in Space and Time allows the BBC to keep him on payroll without turning any heads,  and that AAiSaT has also, as I pointed out recently, rebuilt the I.M. Foreman junkyard fence. With this taken into account, plus the Coal Hill sign, Russel's return almost seems inevitable. Probably why I'm skeptical of it.

In any case, here's hoping fear makes a companion of him again.

Christopher Eccleston to Return for the 50th


I have a message for all of you who are whining, moaning, and honestly, and know that I really try to keep this blog clean so know the power of the word, bitching about Eccleston's decision to not return to the TARDIS this November:
Think of something you don't like to do. Now imagine that tens of  thousands of people have been complaining that you won't do it. Not to mention, you're famous and society watches your every move and is just waiting for a blunder to have a feeding frenzy over.

That's the kind of position that Eccleston is in right now.

Obviously, if you're passionate about his return to the show, you must like him as an actor. And I'm not saying that I don't think he did a fantastic (see what I did there?) job, because he did. Generally, we have something called respect for people we like. So have some for him! He was approached to play the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) but refused because of who he would be working with and because he isn't a fan of the show. We are lucky that we were at all graced with his time as The Last Timelord, that being considered.

Black Spot Day

It is on 7 May because that is the original air date of "The Curse of the Black Spot"

Happy Birthday, Paul Darrow!

Cally: My people have a saying: A man who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken.
Avon: Life expectancy must be fairly short among your people.

It's the 72nd birthday of Paul Darrow, a two-timer on Doctor Who as he appeared in a bit part in Doctor Who and the Silurians and got a larger role as Tekker in Timelash.

But the real reason I'm posting this is because of the fact that he played Kerr Avon, the cynical, snarky, sinister, second-in-command to Roj Blake on Blake's 7, a spectacular deconstruction of Star Trek headed up by Dalek creator Terry Nation. Avon is my favorite part of a consistently fantastic series, and I think everyone here should give it a shot.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

"Blink" 3x10

Original Air Date: 9 June 2007

I love how when Sally Sparrow hops the fence, it looks like its dark and raining, and then when she gets to the house its a beautiful sunny day.
Of COURSE this is a Moffat episode. Maybe Clara has something to do with the Angels. Moffat did say that the seeds for Clara's existence were sown years ago.
Omnomnom Kathy Nightengale's time energy.
Did Kathy steal Martha's jacket?
Yep, that's DT for ya. In places he shouldn't be, like easter eggs.
There's some substance that is "quantum locked"'s something radioactive, and it only decays when something is looking at it.

"Human Nature" 3x8

Original Air Date: 26 May 2007 and 2 June 2007

Jack, you can't leave your vortex manipulator lying around! The Family of Blood might find it.
Nice hat, John Smith.
And we were all like: WHAT? Only one heart?
I will sniff you to death.
So, could a chameleon arc change a human into a Time Lord?
When did the Doctor have time to film the instructional video?
Why, Timothy, WHY did you have to pilfer the fob watch?
Why did the fob watch say "you are not alone"?
No, Nurse Redfern, you are not a Slitheen.
I feel ashamed I only realized this now. Martha literally runs into Lattimer--and it shifts to modern day? What was that? What did I miss?
Oh hey, the Doctor dances.
Flip tables? Nah, I am Father of Mine and I flip coat racks.

The Tenth Doctor's Hair: A How To

The Best Theory on Clara I've Seen Thusfar.

So, this theory is not my own. But I agree with it. It is from Who-lligan on tumblr.
We know Oswin was a Dalek…
And we assume she died…
But what if she didn’t? What if she lived and eventually went insane and became the Dalek Emperor? The one at the Game Station.
And then Rose Bad Wolfed her.
But because she was Rose…
When she did this to the Emperor…
She also did this…
And this…
And because she knew this…
…knowing everything as The Bad Wolf, knew she couldn’t always be with the Doctor, and she knew that The Emperor, Clara Oswin Oswald, was once good…had once helped the Doctor. So Rose sent Clara to places in time where she could help the Doctor when Rose could no longer be with him.
Like here…
And here…
Rose sent Clara throughout Time and Space so the Doctor wouldn’t be alone.
She knew the Emperor Dalek had been Oswin Oswald, and that she had been good and had helped The Doctor, and wanted to both help The Doctor and give the girl a second chance.

  • Rose isn’t Clara’s mother…but she IS responsible for her creation, which is why we are being given so many hints back to Rose.
  • Facts Supporting this Theory, mostly noticed by other whovians, but that helped me developed or have since strengthened my theory…
  • The Tenth Doctor told Jack Harkness that he was impossible because of what Rose did to him as the Bad Wolf. The Eleventh Doctor keeps referring to Clara Oswin Oswald as not being possible. Additionally, the TARDIS has something against both Jack and Clara (See Here).
  • Presence of Roses around all three Clara Oswin Oswalds

  • Date on the headstone of Clara’s mother, 5th March 2005, was the same day that Rose met the Doctor (See Here).
  • Clues that the hand of Bad Wolf/Rose Tyler might have been directing things around Clara Oswald’s life, including:
  • Clara’s mother saving her father from a car that looked remarkably like the one that killed Rose’s father (See Here)
  • The leaf of fate being from a Norway Maple (See Here)
  • The TARDIS phone number being given to Clara by a girl in a shop
  • If you see any issues with this, or have any questions, throw them in my ask! But please go check the Clara Theory Asks section first to make sure it wasn’t answered already. Thanks!