The first episode of S8 was run through with the Doctor's identity crisis, with parallels being drawn between him and the villain of the week as several questions were pondered. Can he be the same person after he's completely renewed himself? But what if his memory fails him? And why is he wearing another man's face?
This sort of thing is expected of a new Doctor's first episode, but it's interesting how this theme has continued throughout the first five with the Doctor being presented with further mirrors of himself, telling him and us who he is, and isn't:
( Meta, speculation about where it's heading, and Clara's role in thisCollapse )
Feel free to share your thoughts, your own theories and/or mock me.
Whoever votes Donna Noble, you're welcome to prompt me for a four sentence fic :)
Credits: TARDIS profile pic, music and bits of video taken from Facebook Lookback.
I’ve attempted to make sense of the plot of Series 5-7 of Doctor Who (up to and including The Time of the Doctor). I’ll have to heavily summarise this in order to put it in infographic form, but here’s the full version of my write-up in case anyone’s interested. I’ve pointed out all the timeline changes as long as they pertain to the series arc (unlike the re-writing of Kazran Sardick ), the plot holes, and my attempts to paper over some of them.
I warn you, it’s pretty long. Here we go:( Series 5Collapse )
( Series 6Collapse )
( Series 7 to TTotDCollapse )
Any questions, feedback or suggestions are welcome, as well as any offers of help to put this in graphic form.
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Doctor Who - Coming Home by Skylar Grey. Youtube link. Download link.
Thank you to the brilliant vidder hollywoodgrrl for beta-ing.
Rose Tyler - Communications
In her lessons, Miss Tyler teaches both interpersonal skills and how to come up with a single powerful message and beam it across a variety of media. She is friendly and approachable, and students will often pour out their troubles to her. She once looked into the heart of the TARDIS temporarily acquiring god-like powers over time and space that enabled her to establish the Bad Wolf Project, a case-study for a year-long coursework for which it is impossible to cheat on because its nature and results are guaranteed to be unique to each individual student.
Clara Oswald - English
Miss Oswald is a teacher full of infectious curiosity and passion for her subject. She has the ability to describe in breathtaking detail the historical background of each book they study, almost as if she had been there herself. She knows both how to command good behaviour from her students as well as how to make lessons feel like playtime.
Martha Jones - Biology and Chemistry
A class full of impetuous students mixing chemicals can be a high-risk situation, but not so under Doctor Jones' competent watch. Alert at all times and cool in the face of fire, the students trust her implicitly. Her expertise in human and alien biology coupled with her wide-ranging experience makes for fascinating lessons.
Mickey Smith - IT
During lessons, Mr. Smith always speaks to each student individually to make sure none of them are feeling stuck and frustrated. He also encourages their initiative and creativity. His lessons are a relaxed affair, and he will occasionally allow himself to be reeled into conversations about football and car engines.
Romana - Physics
Ms. Romana traditionally begins the school year by breezily asking her nonplussed students to call her Fred, setting the tone for the bemusement they are about to experience throughout the year. Although capable of explaining her subject at a level they can understand, quite often a question from a student might cause her to brightly and earnestly launch into an explanation filled with incomprehensibly advanced jargon. She will good-naturedly backtrack when she realises their confusion, however.
The Doctor - TARDIS owner, janitor and itinerant substitute teacher
The Doctor is the man that owns and looks after the TARDIS and who established the school. He refuses the title of headmaster, claiming that it would be more accurate to call him the janitor. Whenever one of the teachers can't give class, he'll cheerfully fill in, even if it means being in more than one place at the same time. His lessons tend to be memorable experiences for the students, as he'll never follow the curriculum, but will enthusiastically expound on the subject at hand aided by impromptu school trips and mind-bending practical demonstrations.
[Spoiler (click to open)]From 2005, Doctor Who has been the story of a man who did something terrible and lost everything, and learns to recover thanks to the friends he makes and by never giving up and saving lives and bringing peace where he can. In the 50th anniversary episode that was changed to be the story of a man that never actually lost anything or did anything terrible, though wouldn't realise this until after a few years upon which he'd get everything he mourned back.
For Series Five of Doctor Who, Steven Moffat wrote a story that ended in a woman declaring to a room full of adults that she still believes in her childhood dreams, and being validated for it. It's a lovely, personal sentiment coming from a man who loved Doctor Who since childhood, had it taken from him for a while, and now revels more than anyone in it being back.
But that can't be the only story he tells, because not everybody's lives turn out as well as his. Some people lose things that can never come back, and those people need stories that give them hope more than anyone else.
In The Writer's Tale, Russell T Davies often speaks of people who are now dead. He's a gay man that witnessed the AIDS crisis, and lost many friends. His mother died of cancer. The Doctor's story of loss, of being a lone survivor, must have come from somewhere personal for him too. He wrote an inspiring story of a man recovering from that, stumbling into many pitfalls on the way, showing the viewer the mistakes to avoid in their own life, or to reassure them that it's natural to make mistakes, but it doesn't mean one should give up. It's inspiring. It's cathartic. It's true to life.
Saying that all that was for nothing, that the loss never really happened in the first place and would never be something the doctor would ever have to live with again, is not.
'Everybody lives' was magical because it was 'just this once'. It loses its meaning once everybody lives every time, and even the preceding times when you thought they hadn't.
So where does it end? Should the Doctor go back to Pompeii and make sure all its inhabitants are safely transported to a pocket universe so that to history it looks like they all died, when in fact they didn't? How disrespectful would that be to the real-life deaths of all those people?
I refer you once more to the paragraph about Russell T Davies and loss. Sometimes, the Doctor needs to make hard decisions, he needs to suffer loss, because that is what happens in real life. And in real-life there is no takesies-backsies. There is just your choices going forward.
Ah, but Doctor Who is escapism! Of course fiction should be a way to explore the things you wish would happen in real life!
Twilight and Harry Potter are both escapism too. However, in Harry Potter there is a cost, consequences and death, but thanks to hope and love a happy ending is possible. In Twilight there is no cost, things always turn out for the protagonists exactly as they wanted. It's cowardly storytelling, and this is what i believe Steven Moffat suffers from as well.
There is another issue entirely on the logic and lack of continuity of it all. We've been shown time and time again that Time Lord society is awful and the Doctor much prefers to break away from all that, so the idea that he's always been heading home, towards Gallifrey, is ridiculous. Also, at the end of the Time War it wasn't just Time Lords on Gallifrey vs. Daleks, it sprawled across time and space and involved third-party entities beyond one's imagination like the Skaro Degradations, the Nightmare Child, the Could've-been-King and his Army of Meanwhiles and Neverweres. So even if presumably in the last instant the entire battle had somehow conveniently converged around Gallifrey, and the stupid crossfire plan miraculously succeeds in destroying all the Daleks except the Emperor and the Void Ship, what about all those things? Knowing that the Doctor is heading towards a planet full of evil monstrosities and Time Lords willing to disintegrate the cosmos, his hopeful smile at the end is hard to swallow. But I wanted to concentrate on the issue of loss in storytelling.
Any thoughts welcome!