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Tag: Doctor Who

Even a Stopped Clock Gives the Right Time Twice a Day

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So a lot has happened since my failed attempt at soothsaying. I got Clara’s story spectacularly wrong but I may have stumbled half-assed  backwards into a plot device for Heaven Sent. I’m self awarding myself an over-sized participation ribbon for my efforts.

Truth be told, no one could have predicted the specific details of Clara’s endgame, considering all the so called ‘rules’ for her demise were spontaneously created for that particular episode. ‘You can give the death-clock tattoo to another person but then you can’t take it away from that other person after they’ve accepted it’ feels pretty made-up plot devicey. We get it: Clara needed to die from her reckless out-smarting herself with a pinch of altruism. I felt overall, it was a little less than satisfying. Another truth be told, I’m a Clara fan and I will miss the impossible girl, but maybe it was time for her to move on.

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This leads us to the events that happen in Heaven Sent. I don’t know about you, but I love it when the Doctor gets to spewing all fire and brimstone like he does at the beginning of this episode, and I don’t think any other Doctor delivers it better than Peter Capaldi. If you’ve ever seen The Thick of It than you know that this man can say things that would make a prison guard blush and intimidate a charging elephant. As great as all the other Doctors have been, I don’t think any of them could have pulled off the groundhog day shepherd boy story-line as well as he did. It’s hard to picture Matt Smith punching his way through a mountain made of a substance 40 times harder than diamond for 2 billion years. This episode was tailor made for the 12th Doctor.

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So sadly, we’re coming to the end of a mostly excellent season – and of course don’t forget the Christmas Special ( which like most of you who might be reading this, has become a family tradition). I’m not going to make any predictions, but I will leave you with one last hyphenated word (once I started I couldn’t stop)  that I think will sum up Hell Bent: nitty-gritty.

Paging Doctor John “Basil” Disco

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So sometimes, I don’t think I’m a particularly smart individual; scratch that, I know I’m not. I gave up on trying to predict things a long time ago, not because I couldn’t do it, but because it kind of ruined things for me. Now, I’m more content to be in the moment. I would make for a lousy weatherman. So it came as a big surprise that after watching last night’s Doctor Who episode I was left with a small theory about our favourite Gallifreyan (more on this a little later). See, I have this annoying habit of watching television programs and movies and enjoying them for what they are and not for what I want them to be. I think I can see the larger themes, allegories and pick up on some of the hidden references that are there for the initiated, but then again maybe a lot of it is going over my head. In the Whovian world I’m definitely a light weight. I’ve watched all the new Who and some of the old Who but am in the dark about most of its mythology and I’m OK with that. I read reviews and recaps and think, I didn’t see it that way. Why are so many people dissatisfied with certain show-runners, companions or Doctors or lack of action or too much of this and not enough of that. Fandom in some cases has ruined being a fan. Doing something well is really hard, but doing something well consistently well for over 50 years, well that’s near impossible. I guess I like Doctor Who no matter who’s steering the ship.

Do I have a favourite Doctor? Sure …….who is it? Depends on what day of the week you ask me.I like them all, all for different reasons. The thing I like the most is that they are all the same person but different incarnations of that same person. The different actors bring a different personality trait to the surface, but it’s still the same character underneath it all. It would be hard to show that much range with one actor, there would be too many cries of inconsistency. We love the Doctor because the Doctor is always the smartest person in the room who will always come up with the right plan and cracks wise while doing it …… which leads me to my theory. (spoilers)

The thing with being a light weight fan is that I haven’t put the time, effort and research into the science fiction and mythology of the show. So my theory is probably not a new one, I don’t know, I haven’t googled it. For those of you who have thought this since the seventies I apologize, but as I mentioned earlier I never do this so I am curious about it. So here it is: The Doctor works with the Groundhog Day principle. He repeats the same series of events over and over again until he gets it right and we as viewers only get to see the correct version. Ok ok I can hear the rebuttals already.What I do know of the mythology is this seems to go against a set of rules set by the show that pertain to time travel, but what I also know about the show is that rules routinely get bent out of shape.

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What got me thinking about this were two comments from last night’s episode: first when the Doctor mentioned this was the 16th time Kate had said a certain phrase after realizing there was nothing in the Osgood box and second that the Doctor had been worried for a month when Clara perceived it as only five minutes. Both these comments lead me to believe that the Doctor can go back and change the course of events if he so chooses. This goes a long way to explain how he always comes up with the right solution; he has had the luxury of trial and error. If this theory holds water, how does it effect our opinion of the Doctor? This is also where it gets sticky, especially for Clara. If he can go back and change things why didn’t he prevent the death of Danny? Is this the reason why Clara and the Doctor part ways at the end of this season?

I’m sure none of this is new and I hope that I’m wrong on all accounts, which I probably am; because I’m sure its all been disproved ages ago and I just wasn’t paying enough attention to notice. So I’ll just get back to letting things wash over me and leave the predictions to the meteorologists.

Day of the Doctor: Review

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It’s been quite a journey, but my two and half month binge watch, led me to yesterday and the Day of the Doctor. It all started at the beginning of September; if I rewind: the local Space channel was replaying every episode of the new series every Sunday leading up to the 50th anniversary. I happily set my PVR and was delightfully on my way to be in the know and saved myself hundreds of dollars from Amazon in the process. After years of hearing how good it was, I was finally going to watch Doctor Who . Well that’s not exactly right, I actually had started watching the newest season last year; rewind again to last Christmas and I watched the impossible girl and Matt Smith battle the snowmen. I was a little lost, but I liked the way this guy manically flailed his hands around when he talked and the overall tone of the show was quite agreeable. I knew I had to go back and figure out how we got to this point in the story. I finished watching the rest of the season and discovered that Mr. Smith was now my Doctor. Well that’s not exactly right either; they say your first Doctor is your true Doctor. Rewind again, and I am a kid cowering behind my couch watching Tom Baker confidently thwart anything that gets in his way. So I guess, Tom Baker’s my true Doctor?

That’s the funny thing about Time; it can rewrite your past.

"The circles are back!"

“The round things are back!”

Fast forward to the future, so that lands me squarely on my sectional yesterday afternoon (Nov 23rd 2013), sharing a TV moment with tens of millions of casual acquaintances in 94 countries. We all wanted to see something good, and for the most part we weren’t disappointed.

(From here on end, there will be SPOILERS: these totally mess with the time-stream.)

Now that I’m up to date with my Doctors (new Doctors anyway) I encountered the tour de force that is David Tennant. Not to take anything away from Mr. Smith, but the 10th Doctor was an extremely compelling character to watch. My history is changing once again. He was dark and light in equal measures. To be fair; all the new Doctors carried around this terrible weight of an unspeakable act that helped to define their character. The Doctor was the last of his kind travelling through time and space with blood on his hands. Well, not really anymore. By rewriting his history, they may have taken away the most interesting aspect of his character. The Day of the Doctor expunged the Doctor of this responsibility to end the war by using a most terrible weapon (with the personality of Rose no less). I’m not sure how I feel about this, on the one hand it opens itself up to a whole new story-line: The Doctor in search of the Timelords or The Doctor vs the Timelords, as well it was a clever bit of writing to have millions of fans buy such revisionist mythology. But did the Doctor’s character lose something in the process?Doctor Who – 50th Anniversary Special - The Day of the Doctor

Let me state at this time, no matter what, I’ll follow him wherever he wants to go. The Doctor is nothing, if not multifaceted, and every actor brings something new to the mix. John Hurt added a wonderful patriarchal foil (even though technically he is younger than both of them) to both Smith’s and Tennant’s youthful approach. To watch all three of them together was a sheer delight. They played off one another seamlessly, all the while adding to the mythology of the show, plus it was laugh out loud funny. I’d watch these three again – Star Wars Episode VII anyone, anyone???

Doctor-Who-2845822Also along the way, we had a Zygon plot that kind of just stopped, let Zygons be Zygons. We also had a cameo by Tom Baker as the Curator, every Doctor coming to save the day, including Peter Capaldi and multiple Tardises! The Day of the Doctor played for the fans of both the new and the old incarnations and illustrated why the show’s been around for fifty years. The Christmas special is right around the corner and then we’ll have to say goodbye to Mr. Smith. Looking back on my own Doctor Who history, Time has jumped around quite a bit and I’ve changed Doctors over the years. I am going to miss Mr. Smith terribly, he traveled with the Ponds and River Song, battled the Silence and had pretty big shoes to fill. For the Time being, he’s my Doctor, unless Mr Capaldi really delivers. In that case, I’ll just rewrite history.

Fez

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With just under a week till The Day of the Doctor, I finally caught up on all the new episodes. I’d have to say after 2 months of a steady diet of the madman with a blue box, I’m a total convert. To commemorate his 50th anniversary,  I put together this little homage to the 11th Doctor.