Sunday, 19 May 2013

Doctor Who-- The Name of the Doctor

Dear Mr. Moffat,
I forgive you for this whole sub-par second half of the season.
I'm so sorry I doubted you. It will never happen again.

Right, guys? Right?!?

Yes, yes, it had a few little annoyances and, yes, it was somewhat predictable, but I'm more than willing to overlook all of that because the writing, the directing, the acting, and, well, everything was absolutely wonderful.

I even liked River, and that's saying a lot because I'm usually not a fan! I find her too Mary Sue-ish. :(

Strax was so perfect. He needs his own show!
"Madame, boy, adopt military positions! They're unarmed!"
"So are we!"
I laughed so hard!

The creepy poems were a great touch. Moffat really seems to like those!

"Do you hear the Whispermen? The Whispermen are near.
If you hear the Whispermen then turn away your ear.
Do not hear the Whispermen whatever you may do.
For once you hear the Whispermen they'll stop and look at you."

Once again, Matt's acting... My God, he's brilliant. I see Oscars in his future, as long as he chooses the right scripts after Doctor Who!
Those tears when Clara tells him about the conference call?! My heart! :(

But the BEST parts--
The whole opening, inserting Clara into the old footage. GOOSEBUMPS! That was absolute perfection!
And then later, seeing her in the library with my beloved Ten, watching Nine and Four and Ten walk past her while she's listening to her Doctor in the timestream.
Moffat, you brilliant, brilliant man.

Lets go back to River--
My opinion is that she'll be back. They left it open with her famous, "Spoilers.", and they even gave her a way to come back to life, permanently.
BUT, if not, I think that was a wonderful, fitting, beautiful end.
"Goodbye, Sweetie"
So many tears...

A few things I wonder--
-Is one Clara Gallifreyian? O.O
-Since Clara remembered being in the Dalek asylum and her Victorian self, does she also remember the Doctor's name?
-Why did the GI hate the Doctor so much that he wanted to go back through his timestream to make him suffer? Seems to me that the Master would have been a much better big bad.
-How will they get out of the timestream? Perhaps that's the plot of the 50th? Or perhaps the whole special takes place INSIDE the timestream? Would be a great way to show old Doctors, no? ;)
-Why didn't Souffle Girl and Victoria Clara remember the Doctor, exactly? I didn't get that bit.

Okay, NOW lets get to the elephant in the room....

BRILLIANT ending, wasn't it?! Came out of NOWHERE!

Here's my theory--
John Hurt is going to play an incarnation between 8, Paul McGann, and 9, Christopher Eccleston.
John Hurt is going to be the Time War incarnation, and he will not be seen as 'the Doctor', because, as was said in the episode, he's NOT the Doctor.

Doctor = healer. Hurt did something NOT in the name of the Doctor. He did NOT heal. He killed.
He killed a whole race of people, the Time Lords, and he destroyed a planet, Gallifrey. He had to to end the Time War.

"I said he was me. I never said he was the Doctor....the name you choose is like a promise you make. He's the one who broke the promise. He is my secret."
"What I did, I did without choice, in the name of peace and sanity."

We see Chris's Doctor in pain and suffering from guilt and pain and sadness....all things that Rose helps him get through.
We assumed that Chris regenerated from McGann...but what if not?
What if McGann died during the Time War...or just couldn't do what needed to be done? Enter Hurt, who could...and did. But not in the name of the Doctor.
Yes, he's an incarnation of the man...but he's NOT the Doctor.

We know that he can't be before the first, Hartnell, because this is the Doctor that broke the promise.
Hartnell was the one who made the promise. Who called himself 'Doctor' first.

We know that he's not after Eleven because Matt recognizes him. Eleven wouldn't recognize Twelve, etc.

The Valeyard? I just don't feel like that's right.

In The God Complex, the Doctor opens his door--number 11--and says something like, "Of course..."
Who wants to bet that it was Hurt behind that door?

Will the 50th be about the Time War? Or about Hurt trying to redeem himself? Or about Eleven and Clara trying to get out of the timestream?
I have no idea....but whatever happens, it'll be fantastic. :)

Oh, and lastly?
Remember way back when I said Clara was just normal, human girl Clara with no ties to the Doctor?
And remember when I said that she was scattered through his timestream?
Yeah, BOOM. I told you so! :P

Well, you guys, looks like this is the end for now.
I'll miss you and I'll miss the Doctor!
Please come back and visit sometimes? It gets lonely 'round here without you. ;)

See you in six months!


  1. Soooo.... ummmmm ... sorry. Not as impressed as you. To me, it feels like Moffat has gotten truly lazy in his writing.

    Once they showed the timestream inside the Tardis, it was obvious what Clara was going to do. And there was River (who I've always loved) saying no, no but nodding yes.

    I also enjoy the characters of Vastra, Jenny and Strax, but was annoyed way back in "A Good Man Goes To War" that he just invented them and their debt to the Doctor out of nothing. I thought I had missed some episodes (well, I had and figured it was one of those) and went back and watched the whole series from the "beginning" and found .... nothing. Found their back story in some blogs and thought those would have been some good episodes. But no, they were never made.

    Now for the worst of the laziness (don't hate me). I'm really tired of them inventing rules for the Doctor and then breaking them willy nilly. The Doctor "can't" cross his own time stream. The Doctor "can't" go to Trensellor (the ultimate crossing of his time stream). The Doctor "can't" enter his "tomb" ... oh yeah, how the heck did he suddenly appear in front of it? He entered the secret passage in RIver's grave, ran and entered the Tardis where the leaking time energy made Clara remember. Then suddenly, they're back outside in front of the Tardis tomb? Without anybody noticing the door opening?.... All these violations of the rules without the universe actually blowing up means that there really is nothing stopping him from going back anywhere he wants to, including to see the Ponds.

    After entering the timestream, the Great Intelligence killed the Doctor, or at least appeared to, which means Matt should have just disappeared, the timestream should have just disappeared, the whole tomb on Trensellor should have just disappeared. But no, instead he just supposedly tormented him by turning all his victories into defeats? I don't think so.

    More? Clara entering the timestream and not being destroyed. The Doctor entering his own timestream and the universe didn't implode on itself.

    Basically this whole episode made a lie out of every episode previous. "I can't save them. I can't cross my own timestream" Lie ... "Fixed points in time and space" Lie

    When 10 started getting really dark (I loved those episodes) and thinking he could do anything he wanted, because HE WAS THE DOCTOR, he learned the hard way he couldn't as the universe, metaphorically, slapped him upside the head. THAT was good writing.

    1. I understand what you're saying, but the series has established for some time that "can't" really means "shouldn't." There was the bit with 10 and Martha, where the Doctor crossed his own timestream for "cheap parlor tricks." Then there was Water on Mars and his defiance of the laws of time, forcing a fixed point to go the way he wanted. (Why that didn't trigger an outbreak of Reavers or a time stoppage like we saw in Wedding of River Song is another story.) He did learn his lesson with that, though this was a slightly different situation. As for going back to New York, 1938, the beginning of that story showed that the TARDIS had trouble landing there in the first place. My take on that is that whatever mechanism the TARDIS uses to materialize would indeed cause significant damage. On the other hand, River's vortex manipulator, using a different mechanism, obviously had no problem getting her back there twice.

      The inside/outside of the TARDIS thing was confusing in general. When Vastra awoke, she saw the huge TARDIS doors from the inside, but there was a gap between that shell and the tomb itself, the entrance to which wound up on the lower level of the console room.

      The Doctor Who universe has always shown that parallel timelines don't mean that something gets wiped out when things change. Sometimes it takes a while to "catch up." It could also be the TARDIS' "temporal grace," never mind that Mels made him admit it was never there. The whole thing was a paradox anyhow, since killing the Doctor at any one point would've prevented his death at Trenzalore anyhow. We already know that the TARDIS can be modified to permit paradoxes.

      The GI didn't have a physical body. Clara did. She also was a time traveller. Some of that could've protected her. It's also possible that the GI is still out there. And the Doctor's timestream did start to collapse while both he and Clara were in there.

  2. Just found your blog while searching for Clarence DeMarco's Whispermen quote.

    All in all I agree that NotD almost redeemed the whole Series 7. Almost. I've watched this episode, along with "Asylum of the Daleks" and "The Angels Take Manhattan," several times.

    OK, now for the geeky stuff. First, my opinions on your wonders:

    * I hadn't thought about it, but the one Clara may very well be Gallifreyan, though perhaps a Sheboygan. I would've loved to see a bit more of the interaction between the two, but that would've made the whole thing even more expensive. A voice-over cameo by the still-living Carole Ann Ford asking "grandfather" for the fun would've been welcome.

    * Clara didn't remember the incidents, only that they had discussed them in the damaged TARDIS. It makes me think, though, that she should indeed remember what she read, although they were a bit busy at the time.

    * It was fairly obvious to me that Mr. G. Intelligence was going to be the villain of the series, especially after his reveal in the "spoonhead" episode. His scattering himself through time also helps explain how he could be in Victorian London when he admitted he had possessed Padmasambhava "several centuries ago" in "The Abominable Snowmen," though the fact that he could manifest in any of the Whispermen would also cover that. Bringing back the Master would've messed with his great exit in "The End of Time." Besides, he should already know the Doctor's name, and I suspect even he wouldn't be so stupid as to dive into his childhood friend's timestream like that.

    * I assumed the Doctor carried Clara out of the whole thing at the end, off-screen, although the stream's partial collapse could be what triggers the "guest stars'" appearance in the 50th. (I'll assume here you don't know that [spoilers] and [spoilers] are going to be in the 50th.) It's got potential, but I'm not sure Moffatt's going to go that way.

    * Oswin (from the asylum) and Vic. Clara were "echoes" of Clara, shown to be born (as seen in VC's birth & young girl scene) into their own lives. Neither of them just "popped up" from what we've seen. Therefore, they wouldn't necessarily have Clara Prime's full memories, just a notion that she has to do something. Of course, she *would've* remembered with her final statement to the Doctor.

    Something else you may have missed was the appearance of the TARDIS tomb. I'm still a bit out of sorts with the fact that the outer shell appears to have separated from the inner shell, since Vastra & Strax awaken on the inside of the Police Box exterior but outside of the tomb/console room. (I could also note that the entrance was on the lower level of the *current* console room, while the "Police Box" exterior doors were overgrown with vines, but I'll leave that for now.) Did you notice, though, that the crack in the TARDIS door's window is there in the tomb exterior? You can just barely make it out in a few of the exterior shots, but better from that interior one as Vastra awakens.

    More to come...

    1. (Sorry, I hit Google's 4096-character limit.)

      OK, now for the legendary John Hurt. Obviously he's possessed by an alien which will burst from his chest ... no, wait, that was Alien and the Spaceballs cameo. :) (It would make for a good throw-away bit when he gets his due.) I really don't think he's "8.5," as everyone else thinks, simply because it's too obvious. Every time something becomes too obvious to too many people, Moffatt pulls a fast one on us. Let me throw out some bits from various episodes.

      * He is the Doctor's secret.
      * The secret is related to the question that will cause Silence to fall.
      * The Doctor has been running from the question "all his life."
      * The Doctor can see alternate timelines, and some degree of all of time itself (as Rose did when she became the Bad Wolf).
      * The final scene included gravestones of identical shape to those on the surface of Trenzalore.

      This tells me that all bets are off. He could be what made the Time Lord choose the name "Doctor" in the first place. He could be what he and Susan ran away from. He could be a future the Doctor has wanted to avoid more than that of the Valeyard.

      Since the Christmas special will see the end of Matt Smith's time as the Doctor, I've thought of a rather unusual way to get rid of the Promise Breaker (if he is, indeed, somewhere after the 8th Doctor), kick the can down the road on what to do after the Doctor hits his 13th regeneration (which now could be the post-Matt actor), and do some justice to someone. In order to stop the Promise Breaker once and for all, the Doctor has to reset his own timeline. Like all other alternate timeline bits in the series, it won't mean that he'll never meet Rose, or that Mickey and Martha won't get married, or that Jackie, Rose, and Pete will be together in the alternate universe. They'll still be fragments of the timeline that would be altered, perhaps.

      The 11th Doctor would manage to regenerate into ... Paul McGann!

      This would give McGann a chance at doing his Doctor right, canonically, plus allow for another 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th Doctor, rather than be left with one more after Matt's successor.