Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Doctor's Relationship with River Song is not a Love Story. It's a Tragedy.

The Doctor did not love River Song. He felt sorry for her. Their relationship wasn’t a romance, it was a tragedy. If you thought of River Song as the love of The Doctor’s life, here is an argument to give you pause.

Think about it from The Doctor’s perspective.  He meets River Song. He doesn’t know her, but she is madly in love with him.  She then sacrifices her life to save his.  The Doctor is burdened with the guilt of River dying for him.  However, it’s not the first time someone The Doctor barely knows has sacrificed their life for him.

He moves on.

Then he meets River again.  Still clearly in love with him – and know he knows she will die to save his life out of love.  He can hardly keep her at arm’s length, doing so would alienate her and create a paradox. So he humors the flirtation.

Some part of The Doctor must feel guilty that he is leading River on so she will sacrifice her life for his in the future.

Then The Doctor discovers River is actually the daughter of someone he cares very much about: Amy Pond.  More guilt. Note that The Doctor never tells Amy that River will die for him.

Then she sacrifices all of her remaining regenerations to save his life, again.

Twice this woman, the child of a woman he loves, has sacrificed herself for him.  And The Doctor NEEDS River to be in love with him to preserve the timeline and keep him alive.

Those who will argue that The Doctor does love River will point to The Doctor staying with River at Darillium.  However, remember that their stay at Darillium was foretold by River. It was a fixed point in time.  The Doctor was forced to be there (regardless of his wishes).

I’m not saying The Doctor didn’t have affection for River; she’d saved his life, was the daughter of his friend and good company.  I am saying that The Doctor’s marriage to River was one of obligation and sympathy. 
The sad thing is that River understood that The Doctor did not truly love her. She says as much in 'The Husbands of River Song': "When you love The Doctor, it's like loving the stars. You don't expect the sunset to admire you back".  She knew.

A story about a marriage of obligation is nothing new, their story just has more timey-wimey in it than most.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Most MIND BLOWING REVELATION from 'The Name Of The Doctor' Everyone Missed ...

Before I share, what I believe to be, an interesting insight on Clara from the Doctor Who finale ‘The Name of The Doctor’, I want to make sure we are all on the same page as to the mechanics of Clara’s “Impossibility”.

Mechanics of Clara's "Impossibility"

Clara upon entering the Doctor’s timeline (or corpse, depending on your point of view) is splintered in time. What we see (and have experienced to date in S7) is not one Clara at multiple events, but many individual Claras born in different points in time and unaware of each other.

Clara-Prime (the original Clara, though the 3rd we’ve met. Timey-Wimey) by stepping into the timeline on Trenzalore is splintered. Thus there are multiple Claras born in multiple timeperiods, including the Victorian era. The Victorian era Clara helps The Doctor and dies.

Now for us to continue, you have to wrap your head around the fact Victorian Clara is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON than Clara-Prime. Are we on the same page?

Clara-Prime also splinters into Oswin from Asylum of The Daleks. She is also a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON than Clara-Prime and Victorian Clara. She also dies helping The Doctor.

So the premise you need to walk away from, the concept that needs to be understood, is that what makes Clara “Impossible” is that she is born in multiple timelines. Born of different mothers. Different lives, but compelled to help The Doctor in each.

That’s why The Doctor is intrigued, mind you.

He’s met the same person in different historical eras (i.e. River Song). There’s nothing impossible about being in Victorian England and in a Starship named Alaska (at least not in the Doctor Who universe).

What made Clara impossible is that there were “copies” of a woman scattered throughout time, splinters. All people are born unique, but here was one person born over and over again, who was not.

So, if we agree on this, then I can share with you my insight on 'The Name of The Doctor'.

An insight that is potentially more mind-blowing than Hurt revealed as an unknown incarnation of a past Doctor.


We agree that all the Claras we have observed in ‘The Name of The Doctor’ are not a single Clara travelling in time, but rather many different Claras.

Different Claras, born in different timelines, waiting to meet The Doctor (the way Victorian Clara is a different person than Clara-Prime and Asylum Clara). The Clara that chases after the Second Doctor IS NOT the same Clara that yells for the Third Doctor.

*Drum Roll*

So who is the Clara who tells The First Doctor which TARDIS to choose?

They’re on Gallifrey!!

Gallifrey, during a period where humans were not allowed on Gallifrey (see Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin).

Clearly, the only assumption that can be drawn is that ... A VERSION OF CLARA WAS BORN ON GALLIFREY!

A Clara-Splinter, born on Gallifrey.

Think about it …

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

RANT about the last 5 minutes of The Crimson Horror

Now that enough time has passed that everyone has seen The Crimson Horror, can we talk about the last 5 minutes?

I HATE the last 5 minutes of TCH. Probably the laziest, most insulting piece of writing in Modern Who. Two children came to the realization their nanny is time traveling with an alien from Google Images. Really!?!

They found a random picture of people on a Russian submarine, DURING THE COLD WAR, and spotted Clara? Really?!?

Forgetting the odds against stumbling on that image, we’re to believe the Soviet Union released images of a Russian submarine that had TWO aliens on it and nearly caused WWIII? That’s not classified info? They found an image of a random nanny from 1892 that looks like Clara? Really?!? What Google search terms were they using?

I understand that the point of the scene is to give the children the leverage needed to demand a trip on the TARDIS  -- leading into Neil Gaiman’s episode.

There were ways to get there that would have been less insulting to the audience’s intelligence.

How about if the children had approached Clara and said “Hey we’ve noticed you walking into a Blue Box, on our front lawn, with some strange man and then box disappears? What’s the deal with that?”

Simple, logical and gets you to the same set-up for Nightmare in Silver.
That took me less than a minute to come up with.

It irks me when a silly scene is written when a logical one would have been just as easy.
I expect better from Moffat and crew.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Insight from Cold War Every Reviewer Missed

The great thing about Doctor Who is that even the episodes you’re not fond of usually have a moment that’s worth the price of admission.

There was one such moment for me in Cold War I’ve not seen any reviewers mention, so I’ll share it with you. It was a subtle moment that provided great insight into the character of The Doctor and connected back to an older adventure with the Ponds – Vampires of Venice.

Now Vampires of Venice is probably one of my least favorite Series 5 serials but it contained one of the greatest character insight scenes in the series.

Remember this quote from Rory?:

You know what's dangerous about you? It's not that you make people take risks. It's that you make them want to impress you. You make it so that they don't want to let you down. You have no idea how dangerous you make people to themselves when you're around.”

This revelation about The Doctor made sense in the context of The Doctor’s entire history, both Classic and Modern series. Especially in Classic Who (where companions weren’t always extraordinary folks who slept next to cracks in universe or lived multiple lives in different time periods) companions were ordinary everyday people who took incredible risks to travel with The Doctor.

So how does this all connect with Cold War?

Watch Cold War again and think about Clara in the context of Rory’s quote. She volunteers to single handedly confront a Martian Warrior (a monster in her eyes).

The Doctor protests: “You?! No. No, no way! You’re not going in there alone, Clara. Absolutely not. No, no, never.”. (Clara goes in alone). It’s clear he doesn’t mean it. He wants her to go.

After it’s over Clara asks The Doctor, “How did I do?”, Clara is looking for The Doctor’s approval.

Uncharacteristically, The Doctor responds, “It’s not a test , Clara.”.

Is The Doctor thinking back to Rory’s comment at that moment? Does he realize he manipulated her into putting herself in incredible danger?

Clara persist and asks again, “How’d I do?” and The Doctor responds with an approving touch and “You did fine.”.

It seems to me this was an intentional call back to Vampires of Venice. Is The Doctor trying to have a different relationship with Clara based on his experiences with the Ponds but falling inevitably back on old habits?

It’s an intriguing thought and one that makes you reexamine The Doctor and Clara’s relationship. Remember that The Doctor has already met two different versions of Clara and has been the catalyst for her death both times.

Then there is a second character insight scene for Clara in Cold War. For 50 years The Doctor has been telling companions to stay put:

The Doctor: Stay here.
Clara: Okay.
The Doctor: Stay here, don’t argue.
Clara: I’m not.
The Doctor: Right. Good.

Clara stays put. Something 50 years of companions have rarely done. What does this say about Clara-Prime?

She’s not reckless or fearless, in the way Amy was. She wanted to travel and see the universe (who wouldn’t) but she may not have signed up for the carnage and constant fear of death. It ceased to be a game for Clara when she saw the Russians torn to shreds by the Ice Warrior.

She’s not an adrenaline junkie the way Amy was … but she wants to please The Doctor.

So when you read other reviews that tell you nothing really happened in Cold War to advance the story of The Doctor and Clara, remember they’re wrong.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Where Should Fans Of Modern WHO Start If They Want To Try Classic WHO?

Believe it or not there are superfans of Modern Doctor Who that have never seen the classic series. It's true!

I imaging the hesitation to try the classic series is - where to begin? Normally the correct answer is - at the beginning.  However, for Doctor Who I would recommend a more unorthodox approach. Let's start in the middle. 

What could be more appropriate then approaching your viewing of Classic WHO with a 'timey-wimey' approach? 

I've given this a lot of thought (too much actually). My recommendation for what the first classic series serial
a modern Who fan should watch is -  Doctor Who: Genesis Of The Daleks.

Why "Genesis of The Daleks" ?
  • Familiar Mythology:  Just watching this one Classic WHO episode of Doctor Who will increase your appreciation of Modern WHO as you obtain the backstory and mythology upon which all future Dalek stories are built.
  • Familiar Faces:  For some, part of the hesitation in starting to watch Classic Who is jumping into a show with decades of backstory and completely new characters.  However, Modern WHO ties into the mythology of Genesis Of The Daleks (GOTD) so strongly, new viewers may be suprised how many faces they recognize.
    • Sarah Jane Smith - Modern WHO fans were introduced to Sarah Jane Smith as a previous  companion of The Doctor who he was particularly fond and close with.  She is the companion in this adventure. Find out why the Doctor (and WHO fans alike) loved Sarah Jane.
    • Davros -  Davros is introduced in Modern WHO as a major enemy of The Doctor and the creator of the Daleks. This is the very first introduction of Davros.
    • The Daleks - Modern WHO fans are very familiar with the Daleks. This is considered by most one of the greatest Dalek stories ever told in either series. It also tells the tale of the origin of the Daleks. Great backstory for new fans.
    • The Time Lords- Modern WHO fans have heard a lot of mention of The Time Lords in the new series and even caught a minor glimpse of them.  This episode will show new fans what The Doctor's relationship with the Time Lords was before they disapeared.  
  • The Fourth Doctor: It can be argued that the Fourth Doctor was the greatest Doctor of Classic WHO. What isn't debatable is that he was the most popular of the Classic Series and the most iconic. If you're going to dip your toe into Classic WHO, you can hardly go wrong with Tom Baker as your first Classic Doctor.
Genesis Of The Daleks is really the 'Empire Strikes Back' installment of the Time War. It's a great bridge between the Classic and  the Modern series. It features characters, themes and enemies that have crossed over into the modern series.

Bottom Line: In my opinion, if your a fan of Modern Who and you watch 'Genesis Of The Daleks' and it does nothing for you - you can probably save yourself some time and come to the conclusion Classic WHO is not for you.  Genesis Of The Daleks is one of the greatest serials of the classic series. If you're not impressed with GOTD, there's no pleasing you.

However, if you love it. Tweet me and I'll tell you what to watch next !!!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

What It Really Means When We Ask "Doctor Who?"

Silence Will Fall when the Question is asked "Doctor Who?" but what does the question mean?  A lot of people have interpreted the question literally, what is The Doctor's true name.  I think that misses the point entirely. What good would it do us to know that The Doctor's real name is Elbin Smartleportal? Would it enhance your understanding or appreciation of The Doctor in any way?  No.
Can that really be all that Steven Moffat is building up to? I don't think so.

It is my theory that the question is not what is The Doctor's name, but literally "Who is he?". What is The Doctor's true role in the universe? Is he really just a renegade Time Lord who grew tired of life on Gallifrey? Or is there more to The Doctor than we've been lead to believe? Does The Doctor have secrets he's kept to himself that have only been hinted at? Classic Who began to hint at greater mysteries right as the show was cancelled.

Towards the end of The Seventh Doctor's run script editor Andrew Cartmel felt mystery needed to be restored to the character of  The Doctor. Cartmel felt that years of explanations about the Doctor's origins and the Time Lords had removed much of the mystery and strength of the character of the Doctor, and decided to make the Doctor more than a mere Time Lord. Elements of this effort were liberally scattered through Series 25 & 26.

When Doctor Who was cancelled that effort, known now as "Cartmel's Masterplan" was cut short. It was revived to some extent in the New Adventure novels. Perhaps Moffat plans to see Catmel's vision to completion as New Who faces some of the same challenges.

So what was the masterplan? What was the mystery regarding The Doctor? It was the implication that The Doctor was one of the three founding fathers of Time Lord society, the mysterious The Other.

The Other was a shadowy figure in Time Lord history, one of the founding Triumvirate of Time Lord society. The other two members of the Triumvirate were Rassilon and Omega.

Of the three, the Other's origins are the most obscure, with the circumstances of his birth and appearance being a mystery. Like Rassilon, various contradictory legends surround the Other, some hinting that he had powers surpassing that of Rassilon or Omega, and some even suggesting that he was not born on the Time Lords' home world of Gallifrey. Even his name is lost to time, which is why he is simply referred to as "the Other".

Could it be Moffat plans on revealing The Doctor's true nature? I believe so. It may not be the exact fufillment of Cartmel's plan, but I think it will be a fufillment of his vision, to introduce a new backstory to The Doctor and reintroduce mystery.

I look forward to seeing how it will all play out.  Let hope it's more that just finding out the Doctor's name is Roger.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Counter-Arguement For The Ponds Are Bad Parents Crowd

There's been a lot of chatter online arguing that Amy & Rory have been horrible parents for accepting the los of their child so quickly and continuing seemingly unphased on their romp through time and space. I'd like to take a moment to inject a lttle calm into this debate and consider context.

First Point: Amy Never Experienced Her Pregnancy. Amy may have been pregnant but she never experienced the pregnancy. Her mind was in a ganger evading well dressed invaders, fighting pirates and running for he life down hallways. She never became attached to the thought of being a mother. She never bonded with the child in her womb.

Second Point: She Only Ever Held Her Baby For Less Than 3 or 4 Hours
Flying right past the pregnancy Amy has the baby in the 52nd century. One has to assume 52nd Century medical science has advanced significantly from 21st Century obstetrics have made pregnancy a pretty quick and painless process. In no time Amy is holding a baby in her arms she didn't even know she was having. Except how long did Amy really spend with baby Melody? From Demon's Run the amount of time Amy spends with her child before her rescue seems neglible. Rory holds Melody for even less time. I've held coworkers babies at the office longer than Rory held baby Melody.

Third Point:It Wasn't Even Their REAL BABY!
Forgetting the fact that neither Pond had much time to bond with their baby, it wasn't even their baby! The baby they held at Demon's Run was a ganger baby. Did Amy ever hold her real baby in her arms or was the switch done immediately? We can be pretty certain that Rory never held his real child in his arms.

Final Point: Timey-Wimey
Considering the Ponds experience alternate realities and timelines 3 times before breakfast, is it possible the idea of a baby as a hypothetical might be easy for them to accept? Especially considering points 1-3? Technically Amy and Rory spent more time with AARP Amy, the girl who waited. AARP Amy had more an emotional impact on the Ponds because they actually, you know, spent actual time with her. Then there's the fact that they know what happpened to their child (River Pond) and they did spend their lives (unbeknownst to them) with young Melody. So given all these factors, is their calm acceptance of Melody's disapearance all that odd considering the context of their lives?