Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Significance of the 51st Century in Doctor Who

The 51-52 Century has been a significant time period in the chronology of Doctor Who. It also seems to have captured the imagination of Steven Moffat.

  • The 51st Century is the start of "The Great Breakout", an expansionistic period where mankind headed for the stars. First mentioned in the Classic Who episode The Invisible Enemy.

  • The 51st Century is the era where K-9 was created.

  • The 51st Century is when humans begin early expirements with Time Travel.

  • The Time Agents are established in the 51st Century.

  • The 51st Century marks the rise and fall of the villainous Magnus Greel from the Classic Who episode 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang'.

  • The epsiode 'The Girl in the Fireplace' (written by Steven Moffat) took place in the 51st Century.

  • The 'Silence in the Library' and 'Forest of the Dead', which introduced us to River Song (also written by Steven Moffat) took place in this era.

  • The 'Time of Angels' and 'Flesh and Stone' (written by Steven Moffat) also take place in this era.

  • The Stormcage Containment Facility, where River Song is imprisoned, is located in the 51-52 Century.

So every time you hear a Doctor Who episode mention the 51st or 52nd Century , you should take note. It's probably relevant.

Jack Harkness, The Time Agent who Arrests River Song?

If the events in 'The Impossible Astronaut' indeed show River Song killing The Doctor (in the astronaut suit), if this is the event that leads to her impisonment in The Stormcage - how did she end up in a 51st century prison for a crime committed in 2011?

Wouldn't it be appropriate if she was followed back in time by a Time Agent and arrested?

The Time Agents we are told in 'The Empty Child' are based out of the 51st Century.

Is it a coincidence that the century River Song is imprisoned in is the same century the Time Agents are based out of?

Also keep in mind, 'The Empty Child' was written by a writer named - Steven Moffat.

What if the agent that arrests River Song is our favorite Time Agent, Jack Harkness. Jack Harkness, a character introduced in a Steven Moffat episode. Jack Harkness, a characted Steven Moffat stated he'd like to bring back to his series of Doctor Who.

Also, one of the mysteries introduced in 'The Empty Child' was that Jack Harkness quit the Time Agent because he had lost two years worth of his memories. Were these memories of The Doctor that needed to be removed so he wouldn't recongnize The Doctor when he met him in his future during 'The Empty Child'?

Wouldn't this just bring Steven Moffat's story arc full circle.
Time-Wimey. All speculation on my part, but I'd pay to see it happen.

You read it here first.

River Kills a Good Man, The Best She's Ever Known

A lot of theories after the airing of 'The Impossible Astronaut' that the Astronaut is River Song and we have witnessed her kill "the best man she has ever known", The Doctor.

The theory also goes that this is the event which leads to her arrest and imprisonment in the Stormcage.

Good theory. I tend to believe it myself.

One logic issue that Moffat will have to deal with. If that is River Song in the Astronaut suit, she killed The Doctor in 2011. She is in prison in the 51st Century.

How is it that the 51st century would hold River responsible for a crime committed in 2011?


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Regenerations: Science or Genetics?

Before we begin, I would like to agree on some basic assumptions:

1) If there is a contradiction between Classic Who canon and New Who, Classic Who is the trusted source. Over 40 years of back story should outweigh 4 years of RTD.
2) If New Who introduces a concept that was never covered in Classic Who, then it is canon.

Now my first contention is that not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords. There is ample evidence for this premise in Classic Who. However, that is a discussion for another post. I would argue, based on Classic Who, that only Time Lords are able to regenerate, not all Gallifreyans. The ability is granted to Gallifreyans who join the exclusive fraternity of Time Lords.

Position Statement: Regeneration is a scientific accomplishment of The Time Lords and not a genetic trait they are born with.

Which episode supports this theory? The episode I would quote is 'The Five Doctors'.

In 'The Five Doctors' The Master is summoned to Gallifrey. The Master has used all of his 12 regenerations (yes, Time Lords can only regenerate 12 times) and is nearing the end of his life. The Time Lords request The Master assist The Doctor against a major threat. In return the Time Lords promise The Master a fresh cycle of regenerations.

It would seem obvious that if The Time Lords can grant The Master a fresh cycle of regenerations, then the ability is likely based on science and not genetics.

What if the Time Lords just have the ability to obtain an unlimted number of cycles?
You might ask if this doesn't just imply that the batch of regenerations are easily obtainable on Gallifrey. I believe the same episode proves that is not the case.

The premise of 'The Five Doctors' is that President Borusa is attempting to obtain immortality. Obviously, if a Time Lord can just take extra cycles of regenerations at will they would approach near immortality. If anyone could obtain them it would be the President of the Time Lords.

So we can probably conclude that the cycles are difficult to obtain. Perhaps obtaining the new cycle took approval of the entire senate of Time Lords. Or perhaps there is a limit to how many cycles a Time Lord can take before they cease to function.

*  Regenerations are granted to Time Lords through science. *  The cycle of regenerations are difficult enough to obtain that they are beyond the casual reach of even the President of Gallifrey.
*  There must be a limit to the number of cycles a Time Lord can consume or Borusa would not have needed to go through so much trouble to obtain immortality.

Fanon: Regeneration Trivia
Before New Who was back on television it was generally agreed upon by fans that Gallifreyans are not born with two hearts. It was argued that they were born with a single heart and upon their first regeneration they obtain the second heart.

The thought was that regenerations might be triggered by nanites which then adjust the Time Lords physiology to an optimal configuration (not one which they were born with). Again, this was fan speculation but it was pretty mainstream for decades.

I must admit I'm fond of this theory although there is nothing concrete to support it (other than the fact it was never mentioned that the first Doctor had two hearts).