When the Ninth Doctor first asked Rose to travel through time with him and refused, the Doctor accepted that and moved on. He traveled through space and time, saving the universe, all lonely for years thinking “I wish Rose could have been here.” Eventually, he goes back to a few seconds after he left Rose and says “By the way, did I mention it also travels in time?”
Rose never knew how long the Doctor waited for her.
I think this makes sense. In the episode Rose you see all those photos of Nine at the assassination of Kennedy and at the Titanic (on his own). But also in that episode he’s checking his reflection in the mirror like he’s seeing it for the first time, so he can’t have been long regenerated. So maybe he does all that stuff in the time before he comes back and says “Did I mention, it also travels in time?”
which makes that line even more powerful because this time he wouldreally want her to say yes, because he knows what it’s like without her.
What’s interesting are the events the Doctor (theoretically) chose to visit during that time between when Rose (theoretically) first said no, and when he returned to extend the invitation a second time. Nine was photographed/drawn near the Titanic, Krakatoa, and the Kennedy assassination. All horrible catastrophes with tragic loss of life, all catastrophes that caused profound change in human history, catastrophes that (if Pompeii and Bowie Base One are anything to go by), would likely qualify as fixed points in time.
This leads me to believe that the Doctor was nearly in the throes a Time Lord Victorious breakdown as a result of the Time War and Rose’s rejection. He was dancing around the edges of these fixed points, likely looking for a way to save lives and prove to himself that he wasn’t a vile person. To prove to himself he could make a difference.
To prove to himself that he’s worthy of having someone brave and clever like Rose as a companion.
And Nine (obviously) doesn’t save Kennedy’s life or stop the eruption of Krakatoa, but in the episode “Rose” we find out he DOES save one family originally scheduled to travel on the Titanic by convincing them to delay their trip. A small measure of redemption.
Enough so that the Doctor summons the courage to return to that dark London sidewalk and casually lean out the door of his TARDIS like no time had passed at all, like he hadn’t been scrabbling in the wake of Rose’s rejection. And then he said the words he’d practiced alone in his console room dozens of times, with the exact amount of calculated swagger he’d rehearsed: “By the way, did I mention it also travels in time?”
***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***
The Doctor Who Christmas episode, once believed to be a joyous, gleeful occasion to gather around the telly and experience a fun story without being required to adhere to all 50 years of the shows history. A story you can share with fan and non-fan alike. If you expected the last episode of 2013 to be like others in the past, you probably haven’t’ been paying much attention to the show this year.
To quickly recap the plot of Time of The Doctor, a message being sent out to all of time and space has gathered quizzing alien races to a solitary planet including The Doctor and his new companion, Handles, a severed Cyberman head. When our favorite Time Lord arrives on the planet, who Handles has identified as Gallifrey, he finds a town called Christmas (surrounded by a truth field preventing anyone from lying) and the source of the message coming through a crack in the wall; the very same crack that has been following him throughout his entire life. The message being sent is none other than “The Question. The oldest question in the universe; hidden in plain sight. Doctor Who?” The Doctor also discovers that the ground beneath his feet is the planet Trenzalore, the place where he is supposedly to have died and been buried.
The Time Lords, who we understood to have been saved by the Doctor but lost in another universe, have found the crack and wait for an answer to the question in hopes they have found the right universe. But with the massive army of the Time Lords’ enemies gathered in orbit, the horrific Time War would suddenly erupt again if they were to cross over. In order to prevent this from happening, the Doctor is tasked with protecting the people of Christmas from his greatest enemies for several hundred years. When Clara is finally able to return to him, the Doctor is old and frail, and at the end of his life. He finds the strength to stand against the Daleks one last time and when all seemed to be at an end, Clara pleads with the Time Lords to grant The Doctor the aid that he needs. With a surge of energy sent through the crack in the universe, the Doctor destroys the Daleks and saves the world one more time. He returns to the TARDIS and with a goodbye from a regeneration-induced imaginary Amy Pond, The Doctor changes into a confused man muttering something about his kidneys and asking if Clara knows how to fly the TARDIS.
Obviously, I am extremely saddened about the fact that we will be losing a most beloved Doctor with Matt Smith, but ever since the news broke of his departure, followed by the announcement of a successor, I have felt more excited than heartbroken that we will be getting a new face to our favorite Time Lord. In the past, the Christmas episode is meant to be outside the normal story arc; an episode you can watch with your family who have never heard of the show, but this installment was heavily laden with history and call backs to the 50th Anniversary special.
You’ll have to forgive me, but I really would rather forget Act I and move straight on to Act II. There were seconds of enjoyable moments like Handles and the Doctor bantering about fixing the phone. However that moment was horribly overshadowed by the awkward and unnecessary Oswald family Christmas. The discomfort of a make-believe relationship combined with the realization that the Doctor was stark naked to everyone except his companion seemed silly and pointless (or maybe that was the point since meeting with family at the holidays is almost always uncomfortable and awkward). For the first half of the episode I was mentally apologizing to my family for making them watch it. I won’t even comment on the freakishly bald Doctor of which my mother stated “you should have prepared me to see that.” It seemed the horrible dialog and interplay was just a means to an end; the end being filling an hour and a half of airtime.
It’s not until the Doctor kicks Clara to the curb and retires to Trenzalore where we finally are given the answers to our oldest questions. We can lay to rest the exploding TARDIS issue, The Battle of Trenzalore, The Silence, the regeneration numbering debate, and Gallifrey. I had hoped the production team would hold off on the issue of the Time Lords for a bit since we JUST saw them featured in the anniversary episode and the possibility of their return, but I digress.
If the episode was simply a means to an end, well the end was definitely worth it. The final scenes with Matt Smith as the Doctor, the courageous speeches (he loves to give speeches) and the peace in death that the Doctor held to was quite possible some of the best acting I have seen in a long time. I found myself curled up, knees to chin on the couch with tears streaming down my face. It was the perfect ending to the perfect Doctor, one that I will never forget. Matt Smith became my doctor from the moment he dipped a fish stick in a bowl of custard and put on the tweed jacket and bow tie.
For all Doctor Who fans, the transition between doctors is always a difficult one, but this show is all about change and moving forward. It doesn’t fear death, but embraces the future. It’s never cruel or cowardly; it never gives up and never gives in. I look forward to what we will learn about our new Doctor and know that he is in the perfectly capable hands of Peter Capaldi.
This is the most important leaf in human history
No, THIS is the most important leaf in human history
NOOO! This is THE most important leaf in all of human history
No you cow! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LEAF IN ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY!!!
Now that the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary has come and gone, many hardcore Whovians are pouring over every line of dialogue and trying to understand the meanings. There are even those who are at this very moment, reading every Who Forum trying to predict the what’s coming with the new Doctor. While I join my fellow crazed fan in asking newly formed questions, I keep coming back to the benign query: “Who gave present-day Clara Oswald the phone number connected to the TARDIS?!”
To some, this could easily be waved off as unimportant, but I find it to be the beginning of Clara’s realization of her past, present an future destiny as The Impossible Girl; born to save the Doctor. And keeping with the continuing unspoken mantra of Who, everything is important, no episode is insignificant. After some quick research on all previous companions of the Doctor, I found only 3 who might fit the criteria. Clara said she was given the number by a woman in a shop.
1: Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler worked in a shop before meeting the Doctor, but it wasn’t until she was pulled into a parallels universe that she was made to work retail again (Army of Ghosts/Doomsday). After The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End she went off into the parallel sunset with 10’s Meta Crisis. Therefore Rose could not be the number-giver-outer.
2: Martha Jones
Martha was a medical student until she met the Doctor, however when she found herself and the banana enthusiast lost in the 1960’s (thanks to the Weeping Angels), Martha was forced to work in a shop to support the two. She couldn’t have been “the woman” mainly because the time differences. However, Martha did leave her mobile in the hands of the Doctor in order to phone him if need be. I make a quick detour onto Speculation Row and postulate the idea that the Doctor may have incorporated Martha’s mobile phone number to become re-routed to the TARDIS Phone when he undated the console room (it’s a theory, take it or leave it). This brings me to my next point.
3: Sally Sparrow
We all know and love Sally Sparrow for her wit, genius and ability to not absolutely freak out at the fact that her name was written on an old house’s wall dated in the 1960’s and that statues chased her through the city. After the events of Blink, Sally gives the Doctor all he needs to know to get the TARDIS back and get out of the flower power years. I want to stay here on Speculation Row for a bit and assume that the dynamic duo Sparrow & Nightingale didn’t give up on the Doctor. Could it be that the technologically deficient Clara somehow made her way into the shop where Sally worked? And could it be that after she gave the Doctor his life saving dossier she would have continued research on Martha & the Doctor? Could it be that somewhere in the Easter eggs on her 17 DVD’s Martha would have given a message for her family in the event they never left the 60’s? These are of course assumptions but they do lead to possibilities.
Finally, some have speculated that the woman working in the shop most definitely had to be River Song. My argument against such speculations are thus: River Song (according to our canonical knowledge never worked in a shop and if she did, it was early in her life as Melody & she was probably fired for stealing). She soon became a Professor an later PhD. Why would someone as adventurous as River EVER find herself working in such a common place as a shop? I think not!
However, after some thought and theorizing, it could have been her, especially since there’s the possibility that Clara is somehow connected to River
December 14th: Regeneration memories, speculation and experiences.
December 15th: Celebration of our favorite Doctor Who Christmas specials.
December 16th: Doctor Who gift guide. What Doctor Who goodies are you giving, making or hoping to receive this Christmas?
December 17th: WHO’s important to you? This is the day when we all do something nice for a fellow Whovian, whether it’s making them a gift or simply saying thank you.
December 18th: Whovian Wednesday. Post a photo of yourself in all your Whovian glory. We’ll be posting lots to the blog.
December 19th: Christmas Festivities. All the best of your ornaments, trees, costumes and ginger cookies.
December 20th: #Thank You Matt Smith (because we can’t say thanks enough).
December 21st: Capal-day.
December 22nd: Clara-bration
December 23rd: How to get through a Doctor Who Regeneration
December 24th: Christmas Eve. We’ll be getting excited for festivities and the Doctor Who Christmas special. Stay tuned for Doctor Who Tumblr signal boosts this day.
December 25th: The Time of the Doctor premieres at 9/8c on BBC America.
Big Finish Productions: Doctor Who – Eighth Doctor Adventures – Storm Warning
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!
This episode is the first audio recording of Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor and is a perfect introduction to the wonderful world of Big Finish Audio stories. The plot of Storm Warning in itself is fairly straight forward and easy to follow. It feels a little more like the early episodes of the reboot historical stories where the devastating event is caused by some kind of extra-terrestrial encounter. However in this episode, it’s not necessarily The Doctor who is the one who to solve the problem. The story begins with a rather random introduction of The Doctor mumbling to himself in the Tardis library then jumping to a problem occurring in the time vortex where a space ship is caught in a time loop. While this scene is mostly forgivable, if a little silly, the resolution is quickly thrown away. But the wheels gather some good traction during the news reel scene where the stage is finally set to be aboard the maiden voyage of the airship R101, and while we know the final outcome, the story takes a minor detour in what happened and why the famous vessel crashed that fateful night.
We’re also introduced to a brand new companion; the Edwardian Adventuress Charlotte “Charley” Pollard played by India Fisher. Charley is wonderfully excitable and immediately fits with The Doctor’s playful, laid-back demeanor. The remaining members of the cast fulfill their rolls perfectly, however there are times where each character somehow seems to intensely annoy me (except for The Doctor of course).
The alien race, the Triskeli, never become fully described, and even though it is difficult to audibly create a species we’ve never seen before, I immediately pictured them as being an elongated sub-species of the Greys. The characterization of the Triskili seemed a bit too contrived and I couldn’t understand out why these intelligent beings were portrayed as slow moving, slow speaking, and slightly gullible. Maybe I’ve seen one too many episodes of Ancient Aliens to have a different opinion on how aliens ought to act.
The scene aboard the Triskelion space ship was where the story took a boring turn. It felt too political, too forced, and too slow and while I congratulated the Triskeli for their separated powers democratic system, it seemed a bit farfetched that such an advanced species would allow a big loop hole in their government and no election process for a future Lawgiver. The resolution of Lord Tamworth taking on the roll was unnecessary since the Triskili seemingly would have been ok with anyone. On second and third listen of this story, I found myself fast-forwarding during the scene or dozing off.
One of the many redeeming qualities of this episode was the clif-hanger/story arc of The Doctor creating a paradox with Charley who was supposed to have died in the crash of the airship. It will be interesting to see how this is worked out in future episodes.
Overall, this is a decent story to begin the Eighth Doctor’s audio stories. While some parts seemed sluggish, the wonderful acting keeps the story moving. I am so excited to begin my journey into the world of audio dramas and while I am sure that many people have gained an interest in the 8th Doctor after seeing The Night of The Doctor, I am wearing my badge of honor that I began purchasing 8th Doctor Big Finish audios a week and a half before the 50th anniversary prequel episode. Not because I had an inclination that Paul McGann would be featured on screen, of which I had heard only rumors, but because my reservation was finally broken by the hosts of my favorite Doctor Who podcast, Verity!
It has now been a few days since The Day of The Doctor, and in the mean time, I’ve been trying to steer clear of all the speculation about what’s coming up for the Doctor in the Christmas Special. By now, most (if not all) WhoFans have heard the news of Matt Smith’s departure from the Who stage and as much as I was depressed for days after the news broke like every other fangirl at the thought of a new Doctor, I must admit I saw this coming a long time ago.
I can’t recall where the article was published (it was over a year ago now), but Matt Smith had been interviewed about being the Doctor and one comment he made stood out like a sore Jagrafess. He said something to the affect of the strain that the Doctor Who production schedule had on him and that is was taking a toll on his health. He mentioned that he would in no way be able to withstand being the Doctor as long as Tom Baker, who played the Doctor for 7 consecutive seasons and still holds the title for longest run.
Another thing came to my mind lately; that being the regeneration of The Doctor isn’t a long running gig. Looking at the length of a Doctors TV “lifespan” 3 years is about the average (once again excusing Tom Baker).
William Hartnell (1963–1966)
Patrick Troughton (1966–1969)
Jon Pertwee (1970–1974)
Tom Baker (1974–1981)
Peter Davison (1982–1984)
Colin Baker (1984–1986)
Sylvester McCoy (1987–1989, 1996)
Paul McGann (1996)
Christopher Eccleston (2005)
David Tennant (2005–2010)
Matt Smith (2010–2013)
Part of what we love about Doctor Who is that it’s in a constant state of change, challenging us to think of new things, and always taking us out of our comfort zones. What more of a challenge is it than to continually be required to fall in a deeper state of love with The Doctor and learn something new about him. That is only accomplished by a new regeneration.
During the Parting Of Ways episode, when 9 was about to regenerate, I thought “What the heck guy! I was just getting to like you” then BANG!!! Barty Crouch Jr is the new Doctor??? (I only knew David Tennant from Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire). It took me at least 3 or 4 episodes before I began to trust the Doctor again and soon was thinking “Eccleston who??”
When it finally came time for the departure of the 10th doctor, I was taken by surprise (I wasn’t really into having my shows being ruined by knowing the cast changes and actor contracts nor was I plugged into DW online fandom). In the most depressing line of 10 saying “I don’t want to go…” I remember crying out to my TV screen, teary eyed & disheveled “I don’t want you to go either!!!” Before I could say goodbye, 10 was gone and replaced with a gangly kid with weird hair and a big nose. However my trust and love was quickly gained back while eating fish custard and was firmly established by a tweed jacket and a bow tie.
These days, I scour the Internet looking for some kind of on-location hint of what is to come. I read any & every article I can get my hands on and even created this blog & twitter profiles to further express my obsession with this show. The news of Matt Smith leaving and being replaced by a new Doctor is sad, but what was more exciting was discovering his replacement was none other than Peter Capaldi.
I can’t wait for the days when I can get that much more insight into what makes a Time Lord tick or what other historical events did the Doctor have a hand in? These questions can and will only be answered with a new regeneration. I love Matt Smith and am eternally grateful for all that he has brought to this historical show, and I look forward to the future!!!