I Don’t Want to Go: An Adventure in Space and Time

There will be spoilers.

While Doctor Who has always been about traveling through time, it’s in Mark Gatniss’ docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time that we find ourselves at the point where it all began.

But just like the program itself, An Adventure in Space and Time neither begins nor continues in a completely linear fashion. The film starts off with William Hartnell, played by David Bradley, contemplating a blue police box in front of him, in his car in the night as a policeman asks him what he’s doing there. Hartnell looks far and away as the events of the film, from 1966 to 1963 and back again, unfold on the original TARDIS console’s counter display.

Before watching this docudrama, I didn’t know much about how Doctor Who was made beyond some very superficial details.  We see Verity Lambert attempt to function, and gain recognition as a producer in an “old-boys’ dominated field. She finds solidarity with the British-Indian director Waris Hussein as he faces a background of racial discrimination. I will also admit that I did wonder why BBC executive producer Sydney Newman didn’t have a British accent and seemed to sound more American than anything else, until I realized at the end of the movie that he came from Canada.

It was also very fascinating to watch the development of Doctor Who: from the rudimentary production arrangements, the pioneering of certain forms of cameras to deal with the program, and all that difference between a character called “Dr. Who” and The Doctor. “Dr. Who” is a character that Newman envisions, and Lambert and Hussein sell to William Hartnell who is tired of playing soldier and “tough-guy” roles but he is not The Doctor as of yet.

As for William Hartnell himself, he is portrayed as both a cantankerous old man with a bit of a temper and a lack of patience towards stagehands and, at one point his own granddaughter, but at the same time he is a friend to his co-actors, emotionally attached to Verity Lambert, and always seeking the role of the old man with the twinkle in his eye.

His “Dr. Who” is at first gruff and cold to a point where it both bothers Newman and himself. Perhaps some of this dissatisfaction comes initially from his hesitation in attempting to portray a children’s show’s protagonist. After a career of playing soldiers and authorities, attempting to become a children’s hero might have seemed a considerable stretch to him. Yet An Adventure in Space and Time makes it more than that.  It shows a man in poor health, in his mid-fifties wanting to do something more and different, to no longer be type-cast while at the same time trying to keep up with a hectic television actor’s schedule and his own professional standards. For instance, it really bothers Hartnell that the scenery of the TARDIS doesn’t even exist yet when he is rehearsing his lines in the studio and it takes a special kind of iron-willed effort on Verity Lambert’s part to make sure that the TARDIS and its console room happens.

But once the console room happens, we see that transition from “Dr. Who” into The Doctor, even if the producers and staff still refer to him as the former. I will admit it is still hard for me at times to look at David Bradley as William Hartnell, or at least with regards to his voice as the First Doctor. Hartnell has a higher voice that, while deep, has a trill at the end of his sentences that Bradley doesn’t seem to master.  It could also be, based on what is left of the First Doctor’s episodes that his put-on voice sounds different on the audio at the time. It might also be that David Bradley’s previous roles like Argus Filch from Harry Potter and Walder Frey in Game of Thrones has biased me against him.  However, what he may not completely capture in sound, he definitely expresses in spirit and presence.  I suppose the difficulty here, at least for me, is that you have to remember that this is the story of the program’s production and William Hartnell’s role in it. This is the story of Doctor Who, not just William Hartnell, nor the character of The Doctor.

Nevertheless, the docudrama makes it abundantly clear just how close this whole argument came to becoming a moot point. From the bad conditions of their studio and its sprinkler system, to a lack of scenery, as well as Lambert’s authority being questioned and challenged, their first episode airing on the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and even Newman’s old insistence that Doctor Who be a show without “robots or bug-eyed monsters,” there were many instances where this program could have ended after the very first episode: becoming just another obscure, failed, black and white science-fiction oddity.

As the film progresses, we also get to see the development of the early Doctor Who fandom and Hartnell’s growing love for being The Doctor. He even interacts with children in the role off-screen and seems to enjoy it. But this docudrama is not ordinary. It isn’t linear or solely based in reality as we know it. Before it becomes too prosaic, there are at least three moments that hit me directly in the heart as a Doctor Who fan and went beyond my expectations. The first is that point when, after Hartnell is told about the concept of Regeneration (making so that, indeed, no one is irreplaceable and completing the idea of The Doctor as opposed to “Dr. Who”) he breaks down and begins to cry, saying, “I don’t want to go.” It makes me honestly wonder if Hartnell actually said this in real life and if in 2010 one Russell T. Davies wrote it into “The End of Time” for one David Tennant.

The second moment that got me was the realization that Hartnell actually knew, perhaps more than the new generation of production crewmen and staff, how to make the prop of the TARDIS console work. And then, there was the last moment which I am not going to spoil. You should definitely watch this film. I will say,  however, that in that one fourth-wall breaking moment at the end Hartnell realizes that The Doctor will continue long after his successor Patrick Troughton and that even though it is fan-service, it’s fan-service of the most beautiful kind.

Not too long ago, in “The Day of the Doctor” we Whovians discovered the existence of an incarnation of The Doctor that sacrificed his name to become a soldier. Two days before the 50th Anniversary episode we are reintroduced to a man who was tired of playing soldiers and wanted to portray something different, to a show that became something more and with many great people behind it created a legacy, one that doesn’t want to go, and one that is still with us even now.

CORRECTION: John F. Kennedy’s assassination happened one day before “An Unearthly Child” premiered, not on the same day.

Everybody Lives: A Review of The Day of The Doctor

I am going to quote River Song again when I say, “Spoilers.”

So for those of you who haven’t put on your Tenth Doctor’s 3D glasses this weekend or this coming week please don’t read any further.

Before The Day, there was The Night, and then Last Day. I am time-stamped on G33kpr0n in What Will Happen on The Day of The Doctor? as stating that it is quite impossible to predict a Doctor Who episode, never mind the 50th Anniversary Special. But I did make a few theories, just as I did in What Is a Doctor and When Does He Stop Running? in my Mythic Bios Blog.

I am not upset that my possible theories were wrong, not really. I went into watching “The Day of The Doctor,” on Space at 2:50 pm with no other expectations save for the fact that we were going to see how Gallifrey died. I mean, this is what we’ve been told since 2005. Gallifrey is no more. Gallifrey falls. The Doctor is the last of his kind and he keeps losing his Companions over and again. As the last of the Time Lords, The Doctor is alone. From 2005 to the present, this is the story that we have been told and that we have seen play out time and again. But just as we all had our theories about how this would all go down, there was what we thought and then there was what happened, what will happen, or what is happening right now to those of you watching this for the first time.

The episode begins with the original 1963 Doctor Who introduction sequence, complete in black and white, and so close to the junkyard owned by one I.M. Foreman where the adventures of The Doctor began. After Clara leaves from her new work at a school, where The Doctor’s first Companions may have once taught his granddaughter, to go see him and U.N.I.T. is in so much of a rush to get The Doctor to help him that they basically tow away him and his TARDIS by helicopter, The Doctor finds his past catching up with him.

U.N.I.T., led by the Brigadier’s daughter Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, brings The Doctor to their Under-Gallery, where Queen Elizabeth the First placed all paintings deemed “not fit for public consumption” to see a sample of Time Lord-painting. This painting is a depiction of the last day of The Last Great Time War and the fall of Gallifrey’s second city Arcadia. Suddenly, The Doctor remembers that incarnation of himself that he doesn’t like to think about, the one he and Clara saw again in “The Name of The Doctor” when he crossed into his own time stream. We are treated to a look at the three-dimensional painting, which is bigger on the inside, of a golden, blood-red ravaged Gallifrey…

And then we are right in the War.

The Day of The Doctor 2

Murray Gold’s “The Dark and Endless Dalek Night” plays grandiose and horrifying in the background as Dalek saucers and Time Lord defences battle it out. But we see something new on Gallifrey’s surface. In “The End of Time,” all we saw was the Time Lord High Council in fascist red and gold proclaiming what would be the Ultimate Sanction, or the obliteration of the universe to assure their ascension as beings of pure consciousness. The Doctor made it clear that the Time Lords had been completely corrupted and irredeemable by battle lust and war. I mean, think about for a few moments.  Imagine a whole people that can Regenerate and manipulate the laws of Time itself. Now think about Rassilon, the founder of Time Lord society and the inventor of much of their technology, removing the thirteen Regeneration limit and with modified Battle TARDISes dying over and over again. The Time Lords and, by extension, Gallifrey were basically deemed as bad as the Daleks and this was the reason for The Doctor’s terrible decision. This was the reason he used The Moment to destroy all of them.

In my own Mythic Bios article, I saw it as an act of euthanasia, of basically putting an entire people that had gone rabid with a hunger for power to sleep out of mercy for them and the Universe. I saw it as a hard, but necessary thing. But we had hints that just as the Time Lords had done terrible things, they also weren’t all monsters even at this point in this game. Look at the mini-episode “The Last Day” for instance. Those soldiers were just people. They were just trying to defend their home. You see from the perspective of a Gallifreyan or Time Lord soldier another giving you a helmet and he has this look of empathy and shared suffering on his face. This is not a madman or a monster. They are the front-line that has to defend their home and their families.

Yes, Time Lord society has families. Despite earlier versions of the Doctor Who mythos where Time Lords were Loomed or artificially woven and grown into existence, Time Lords and Gallifreyans have parents … and children. And this is where the episode punches you in the stomach. You assume that all the Time Lords were engineered adults, even if they were once children. I even had the belief that an elder race like the Time Lords would have few, if any children at this stage in their evolution. But you see them. You see the Gallifreyan children cowering with their protective and very terrified parents. All of that over-exaggerated Gallifreyan fashion that we have seen over the years is tattered and clothing essentially war refugees that die by Dalek and friendly-fire. It is truly awful and perhaps that is the reason why Moffat does not show gratuitous Regeneration scenes. First of all, I am pretty sure that the Daleks could have replicated something like staser fire, one of the few weapons that can kill Time Lords instantly, and second of all it illustrates that there are no take backs in war where innocents die.

Then we see The Doctor, The War Doctor, who has frankly become my favourite. He is a worn, haunted, sad old man who has seen and dealt more death than any self-conscious being ever need to. Even as he rescues some refugees by having the TARDIS smash into some Daleks, he uses a gun to carve the words “No more” into a wall. It is as though he is writing his own name as the artist of the Time Lord painting we see from Doctor Eleven’s perspective. He might as well be.

After some very concerned Time Lord soldiers, who are fed up with the High Council for doing essentially nothing (which is another indication that not all Time Lords were aware of, or even agreed with the Ultimate Sanction) realize that The Doctor has stolen the most powerful super weapon in existence we think we know where this is going. It is The Moment.

The Day of The Doctor 3

We find The Doctor in an isolated spot, having left his TARDIS miles away, either because she won’t have to see him detonate the device or watch him die. Despite the lack of hope in his eyes and his weathered, unkempt face he is still The Doctor. He is tinkering with The Moment and trying to puzzle it out like he does any other toy he comes across.

And then we see Rose.

The Day of The Doctor 4

No. We actually see The Moment, as the device’s sentient program, taking on Rose’s Bad Wolf incarnation and deciding to make The Doctor fully aware of the consequences of what he intends to do. She is beautiful and golden in the feral way that her moniker suggests. The Moment has taken the image of someone from The Doctor’s past, or future, to attempt to relate to him. It is her that confronts him about the children. And you can see in his eyes even before he says anything that he intends to die with The War. It makes too much sense. After all the horror and the loss even later in his life, it is a miracle that The Doctor has never committed suicide. But The Moment, Bad Wolf, or Rose will not make it that easy for him. For some reason, The Moment has decided to make him face his decisions and his future by opening warps through the War’s time lock. Talk about an excellent piece of Ancient Time Lord technology huh?

These warps are how Doctor Eleven, Ten, and The War Doctor end up meeting in 1562 England. Despite the grimness of everything I’ve described so far, there is your typical Doctor Who silliness. Doctor Ten continuously mistakes Elizabeth the First as being a shape-shifting Zygon imposter (I’m thinking his shape shifter device kept getting confused by his own energy), while Doctor Eleven threw a fez through two of the warps that brought them all together. Even The War Doctor is exasperated by these younger, future versions of himself. In the scene where he meets them for the first time, convinced by The Moment to talk with his future selves, he actually mistakes them for The Doctor’s Companions. At first, I thought he was totally messing around with them, asking for The Doctor and calling them Companions until I began to realize that he genuinely didn’t know.

I will say that at this point in the venture, I thought Eleven would react much more angrily to The War Doctor given his denunciation of him in “The Name of The Doctor.” But he and Doctor Ten just seemed shocked. And after they are captured by Elizabeth’s guards, seemingly under the Zygon imposter’s command we see them pretty much face each other down. The War Doctor asks them if they ever thought about how many children there were on Gallifrey. There is another punch in the stomach for everyone in the audience. But whereas Doctor Ten does, in fact remember, Doctor Eleven claims not to and there is this very real, very angry moment between him and Ten about how he could “move past” something of that kind. Basically, even in a jail cell The Doctor is still running from his past and what he did that one time during The Time War. Meanwhile The Moment, who is still Rose and can only be seen by The War Doctor, is feeding him lines and asking him to consider matters.  I was thinking about all those Doctor/Rose fan-shippers that were crying inside about how close this approximation of Rose was to Doctor Ten and Eleven, and yet so far away.

Then each of them is led by The Moment, through The War Doctor, to realize that despite the different appearances of their sonic screwdrivers they all still have the same software. They are about to use them to break out when Clara, who the Zygons underestimated rather stupidly, just opens the unlocked door. Yes, all three Doctors are that absent-minded: constantly searching for complex solutions, when the answer is right in front of them. It happens to us all. But then what seems to be the Elizabeth imposter leads them out to show them how the Zygons are planning to conquer Earth. With their homeworld having been destroyed in the beginnings of the Time War, the Zygons somehow reverse-engineered Time Lord art technology (perhaps through the presence of the Time War painting that is somehow at some point in Elizabethan England) send themselves into other paintings to release themselves in Earth’s future. All of these events are components to another, greater Moment that comes up very soon.

So after realizing that Elizabeth I is the real one pretending to be her imposter (that she stabbed to death in the forest) and her impromptu wedding with Doctor Ten, all three Doctors come into the TARDIS and find a way to go back to 2013 into a “TARDIS-proofed” U.N.I.T. Black Tower and stop the mutually-assured destruction of London situation happening between the Zygon infiltrators and Kate Lethbridge-Stewart. It is here that we see Doctors Ten and Eleven taking their regret over what happened in The Time War and using it and craftiness to get both sides to agree to peace-talks. Clara then has some alone time with The War Doctor, a far cry from the young energetic man she has been travelling with and says that his eyes “look young” while those of his counterparts look so terribly old.

It is here that The War Doctor comes to his decision. He realizes that his “necessary mistake” in destroying Gallifrey is the only way to get his future incarnations to “grow-up” into the people that they have become. He plans to be the force that they learn from. And I know that I, as part of the audience watching this commercial-less simulcast, braced for what was going to come.

But even though this was not a Christmas Special, a 50th Anniversary counts for something. Even as The Moment makes him pause again, the other two Doctors with Clara in tow come to where he is now. It is heartbreaking to see The War Doctor want them to leave him so that he can do what he, albeit doubtfully now, still believes is necessary and Regenerate alone. But they accept that he is a part of them, after denying his memory for so long and they are all about to activate The Moment’s Big Red Button when…

Clara comes in and reminds The Doctor why he named himself The Doctor. The Moment too takes the opportunity to show all of them Gallifrey’s families and children. There have so far been two reoccurring themes in this episode. The first part of the episode starts at a school house with children in an English public school with its old private-school trappings. It is not unlike the Time Lord Academy in which The Doctor and so many others grew up. We see the children in the War. We see them at play in the sunlight of The War Doctor’s dusty memories. And then we see them hanging up colourful ribbons and streamers despite the destruction around them. We see something that we have not seen so far in this whole episode.

We see hope.

We also see women. It is no original idea or trope for a female archetype to be the helper or saviour of a male character. The Moment does everything she can to lead The Doctor to an informed decision not determined by despair. Clara reminds The Doctor of his purpose and is always his Companion. Elizabeth the First flat out states that arrogance typifies all men. Even the TARDIS, Sexy, won’t leave The Doctor in any incarnation. She even smashed down some Daleks like a Battle TARDIS. Where The Doctors act, these characters ask and question. And yes, they help save The Doctor from the spiritual damnation we’ve seen him struggle with since 2005.

The Day of The Doctor Women

In them, we see life.

And then a potential catastrophe becomes a eucastrophe: a happy-ending.

Between the three Doctors and all of their other incarnations–including the Thirteenth Doctor–they use the time-freezing technology used by the Zygons–the “cup of soups”–to capture Gallifrey and deposit it into another pocket universe.

The Day of The Doctor 5

In this way, it looks like Gallifrey is destroyed along with the Daleks. But Gallifrey is not destroyed. Through loops and contradictions and layers of Space and Time Gallifrey doesn’t rise, or fall, or die. It lives.

In the words of the Ninth Doctor, “everybody lives.”

The ages-old and weary War Doctor leaves, finally at peace and although his later incarnations lose all memory of this crossover event, he Regenerates. We don’t see Doctor Nine, which is a little disappointing, but this is not unexpected. Ten also leaves knowing that he will not remember, but stating that they need a new destination aside from the doom of Trenzalore. But Doctor Eleven remembers.

I am almost finished. Like a TARDIS, this 50th Anniversary Special is “bigger on the inside.” As Doctor Eleven wonders if they succeeded in saving Gallifrey, and ponders embracing Elizabeth’s role to him as the curator of the Under-Gallery he … meets or reacquaints himself with someone. At first, I wondered how this was possible and who the elderly Curator could possibly be. But after re-watching the episode to write this review, I realized that The Doctor can actually decide what face he takes on in his Regenerations. He can even take on old faces.

The Day of The Doctor 6

So when an elderly Tom Baker all but confirms that Gallifrey is saved and that the painting in front of them is called Gallifrey Falls No More. It is left ambiguous as to whether or not The Curator is a future version of The Doctor, or a possibility, or someone else entirely.  Ending the episode with that gentle, wise lighthearted moment, with a potential Doctor without bitterness and regret and filled only with a kindly acceptance, changed the whole tone of the series in that one moment. And Doctor Eleven taking his place alongside his other incarnations with the First Doctor standing in back of them with his arms crossed is positively inspiring.

There is so much I know I’ve missed in this review and I have tried to capture all of it in something like a Time Lord-painting. There are those who would say that this whole Special was a cop-out: that it negated all of The Doctor’s experiences and that it leaves plot holes and weaves itself with clichés. But I think that now, this Special leaves a whole other level of possibility and paths yet to travel. I asked a question in the title of my Mythic Bios post. I asked “When does The Doctor stop running?”

The answer is that he doesn’t. The Doctor will never stop running. It is his nature to run. But he has changed. Because now, for the first time in ages The Doctor won’t be running from something. Rather, The Doctor will be running to his destination, to his end and Gallifrey and all the possibilities beyond it. Everybody lives, gentlebeings and now perhaps we can see The Doctor do that as well. Perhaps we can now see him truly live.

What Will Happen on The Day of The Doctor?

This article and its contents will be time-stamped, but they certainly won’t be time locked … whatever that means anymore.

So in the immortal words of River Song, “Spoilers.”

After May 18, 2013 there was, if you will pardon the pun, a large moment of silence. Then, on September 28 after “The Name,” there was a name. For a while, after that, there were murmurs until, on October 19 Time itself became suspended as though holding its breath in a debris of lives and, from a mountaintop a green-hued sonic screwdriver is pointed at the skies. And like a released elastic band, Time speeds up on November 9 and war and chaos come spiraling towards us with the “premonitions” that a soldier claims do not exist. But I am getting ahead of myself because, before that on the same day, there is one more moment of silence before a plunge into the epic music and story of a man known to his foes as the Oncoming Storm.

And then we go back. Yes, we shall go back. We go back to November 14 from a countdown of Eleven, Ten, Nine until Eight on The Night of The Doctor when we see the fateful decision that forever shapes the numbers that come after. And just when we think it’s over, just when we think that perhaps we will only see fragments of a war and nothing beyond what will be seen, on November 20th we witnessed The Last Day of the Time Lords.

These are the main trailers and mini-episodes leading up to the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who episode “The Day of The Doctor.” So as “The Day of The Doctor” awaits us tomorrow on cable, in movie theatres and even on its own global simulcast, what do we already know about this episode?

The Day of The Doctor Commerative Stamp

Well, trying to predict Doctor Who is a lot like attempting to predict God in Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, because like The Doctor “God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”

The above pretty much sums up my feelings on trying to forecast the Oncoming Storm’s episodes, never mind the 50th Anniversary Special. However, based on various clips, trailers, and the two web mini-episodes here is what we can put together so far in something like the strange Doctor Who puts, well, anything plot-wise together. First, let’s look at what BBC released with their hashtag:

“The Doctors embark on their greatest adventure in this 50th Anniversary Special: In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion.

All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.
World, are you ready? #SaveTheDay”

Now, it seems likely that Doctor Eleven and Clara got out of his own time-stream and based on the small clips, such as their time at the museum, they are the ones in 2013. We also know, based on past episodes, that Doctor Ten was once romantically involved with Queen Elizabeth I (apparently married to her) and something happened between them that made her so angry she ordered his death. Finally the ancient battle coming to its conclusion, based on what little we know of temporal war and the fact that The War Doctor, played by John Hurt and identified as such in the credits of “The Night of The Doctor,” aged from a young man to a very old one seems to be evident, or at least to me. What is also interesting is that the Zygons, classic shape-shifting Doctor Who monsters, are also making their appearance in the 50th Anniversary Special along with the Daleks.

Zygon

Whether or not they are a part of the Time War or they are after it is unknown. The fact that the TARDIS is being lifted however seems to indicate that Earth is aware of The Doctor again, or that U.N.I.T. is getting involved in what will most likely be a potentially cataclysmic event. Rose Tyler is also going to be with The Doctor, at least the Tenth one as his Companion before she is taken to an alternate reality, and she seems to be present with The War Doctor at The Moment where he destroys both Time Lords and Daleks in her manifestation as Bad Wolf.

And now we go further into conjecture, if we aren’t there already. I certainly know I am. For me, the fact that the white rift opens in the museum in front of Clara and The Doctor reminds me of “the cracks in time” that occurred with the TARDIS’ destruction back in “The Eleventh Hour.” At the same time, this is not the first instance in which Time has conspired to place The Doctor with his past incarnations when the need arises.

But I think what disturbs me the most is that, on Trenzalore The Doctor jumped into his own time stream. This is apparently something that no one should do, and most people do not survive it. For me, I suspect that there are consequences for The Doctor entering his own time-stream at the point after his own death and I think that the presence of The War Doctor is indicative of this. He is an incarnation that The Doctor does not like to acknowledge based on his actions during The Last Great Time War.

Yet I wonder if perhaps The War Doctor is in some ways a gate onto himself due to his psychic trauma and influence over Time past the apparent time lock around the events of the War and if by entering his own time-stream, in a similar way to how the Time Lords used The Master to bring Gallifrey and the War to 2010 in “The End of Time,” he has unlocked something incredibly terrifying. It would not be the first time that The Doctor has inadvertently unleashed a horror on the universe out of curiosity or a sense of compassion. After all, the Daleks were once trapped in their own City on Skaro and weren’t even aware of life on other worlds before The First Doctor decided to pay them a visit.

Aside from all this speculation as to how we can even see The Time War with the time lock (without going insane like Dalek Caan) and what is going to happen is beyond me and, frankly, I am overjoyed to see how this will all fit haphazardly and gloriously together. But there is one thing I would definitely like to see in this 50th Anniversary Special. I would love to see the Tenth Doctor’s response to seeing The War Doctor which will hopefully be different than Eleven’s response. Yet more than that, I want to see Bad Wolf Rose interact with Doctor Eleven and see her show The War Doctor a little more compassion because, if anyone deserves it, it would be him for doing what none of his other incarnations could ever do.

Doctor Who – 50th Anniversary Special - The Day of the Doctor

I am fascinated by one rumour however. We have already seen Paul McGann’s return in “The Night of The Doctor,” but apparently Tom Baker, who once played the jelly-baby eating Fourth Doctor, is going to make his own appearance as well. Whether he is coming back as the Fourth Doctor or in another role is a different story entirely.

Time always brings with it surprises … and this is especially true for Time Lords. And please, post your speculations and comments down below so we can predict how The Doctor’s day will go. We’ll see you in Utopia.

The Last Day: Another Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Mini-Episode

This is now my thirteenth post and I wouldn’t be surprised if I turned into The Valeyard at this point. All right, before I go on just watch this video. Please watch it.

Are you done?

All right. I came across this today from Jenna-Louise Coleman’s Facebook profile. At first, it was a broken link until she linked to it from another Doctor Who Profile. Now, we have seen a lot of trailers and one other mini-episode “The Night of The Doctor.” So when I came across this, I felt like the soldier from whose perspective we are viewing the situation.

Gallifreyan

I will admit, I didn’t know who these soldiers were, or even what episode this was even going to be. It was like seeing that small little speck, you know? You are that soldier and you are looking for a bird or some kind of avian in the sky.

But then you realize This. Is. Gallifrey.

And then you look at the title to this mini-episode, Steven Moffat’s “The Last Day,” you as the viewer already know where this is going.

That's Not a Bird

That’s not a bird.

At first, in a manner not unlike the soldier and his, or her, fellows I wondered if this was real: if Coleman wasn’t linking us to an especially zealous fan-made video about The Last Great Time War. But as I went online, I saw a whole slew of links to this one video  and, by the time I got to Doctor Who TV I knew that this was legitimate. There were some other indications too for more nuanced viewers of the series. For instance, G33kpr0n’s editor Rob pointed out that the soldiers of Gallifrey are all wearing The Seal of Rassilon on their armour. It goes to show you that even now I still have a lot to learn as a geek which, frankly, is a whole load of awesomesauce.

Now I am just going to go into some conjecture of my own. I’m guessing that the helmets the soldiers (who may have been recruited from the Chancellery Guard or the non-Time Lord Gallifreyan citizenry) are wearing to access the memories of dead soldiers are extensions or an adaptation of The Matrix (which is a super-computer that, among other things, contains the memories of deceased Time Lords and stores information to predict the future, hence the soldier’s insistence that what “you” are seeing is “not a premonition”). It would be useful to store all of this information to transfer to the next mind of the newest soldier, you, for your very first day guarding the planet of Gallifrey.

Unfortunately, as you see through this unique second-person perspective of the War that also manages to humanize the Time Lords and their army while showing just how Frontline Combat they have become, you realize that you are not viewing a bird or even a flock of birds.

It's a Murder of Daleks

It’s a murder of Daleks.

And while there is “The Night of The Doctor,” “The Day of The Doctor,” and what should have been your first day on the job guarding your home world ultimately becomes your “Last Day”: The Last Day of Gallifrey.

Sexy and Clara: A Doctor Who Mini-Episode

I seem to be reaching my twelfth regeneration, or twelfth post, on G33kpr0n and I find it really interesting how even though I am a Star Wars fanatic I’ve really been focusing on Doctor Who lately. I suppose it can’t be helped. After all, we have the Adventures in Space and Time documentary drama and Neil Gaiman’s Nothing O’Clock both happening on November 21, and that isn’t even mentioning the 50th Anniversary episode “The Day of The Doctor” happening on November 23. There is all this gravitas and doom and glory that is about to hit a whole ton of of Whovians, and sometimes it can just seem like too much.

So now, for the moment, we turn away from The Doctor and what will probably be another potential universal apocalypse to the two current women in his life right now. “Clara and the TARDIS” is actually a mini-episode made exclusively for the Series 7 DVD and Blue-Ray box sets. It apparently takes place before “The Rings of Akhaten” and “Hide,” and therefore long before “The Name of The Doctor.” It’s been long known by most Doctor Who fans that the TARDIS is a sentient being (who has, relatively recently, chosen a name for herself) with her own sensibilities and feelings on certain matters, especially with regards to her beloved Doctor. And Clara herself, at this point in the game, seems to be new enough a Companion to be unaware of the others that came before her, but old enough to have her own room on board … for all the good that does her at this point.

I won’t say anymore than that except to add that, aside from the obvious fan-service that Steve Moffat produces between Sexy and Clara with this mini-episode, there is some actual foreshadowing with regards to Clara’s character arc in this confrontation. But all that really being said, Sexy either really doesn’t like Clara Oswin Oswald at this stage, or she really enjoys messing with her.

Clara

The Moment is Arriving: The New 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Trailer

For seven months, many Doctor Who Fans, including myself, have been waiting impatiently for “The Day of the Doctor.” We had a grandiose hint of a trailer earlier, but not much else. But while today is not “The Day of the Doctor,” it is most certainly the day of the New 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Trailer.  It’s in this trailer that we find out a little more about what is about to go down.

Warning, SPOILERS ahead!  If you’re not caught up on season seven of Doctor Who, you may want to skip this next bit.

When last we last saw the Doctor back in “The Name of the Doctor” many truths were revealed. We see Clara Oswin Oswald choose to save The Doctor by jumping into his time-stream in the ruined future version of the TARDIS (his tomb on Trenzalore) and manifest herself into different times of his life. Then we watched The Doctor say goodbye to the virtual psychic image of his wife River Song as he goes to rescue the Clara that he knows, his Clara, that has not yet split off into many lives in different places and different times. The Doctor even manages to finds her.  And then … we see him. We find out that The Doctor’s secret isn’t his original name. It isn’t what he was known by before making a promise to himself and the universe by choosing his moniker. Instead, we are introduced to his real secret, to the person that supposedly broke the promise.

Achievement unlocked. Hidden player-character: The Unknown Doctor.

Now take a look at the actual YouTube page and its about page, you will find this blurb waiting for you:

“The Doctors embark on their greatest adventure in this 50th Anniversary Special: In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion.

All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.
World, are you ready? #SaveTheDay”

Now look at the trailer itself. We already knew that Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor was going to be meeting the epic vainglorious David Tennant’s 10th Doctor for this venture. And we knew that John Hurt’s Unknown Doctor would be working with them: or involved with them as well. But remember this promotional image?

Day of the Doctor

When you see the shattered Dalek carapaces and the march-like stride of The Unknown Doctor, there is already an indication that he was The Doctor that fought in–and ended–the Last Great Time War.  We also got a hint from Steve Moffat that the Last Great Time War would play a role in this season with Clara’s discovery of The History of the Last Great Time War book in “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS.” But that aside, look back at the above image. You can also see the golden light behind The Doctor that, while part of the fire, can symbolize two things: Regeneration energy, and the Heart of the TARDIS. And on that note, take a look at the broken wall with the graffiti on at the bottom half of the image’s left side.

I bet many people thought that we were all done with that trans-temporal and spatial psychic meme known fondly as “Bad Wolf.” And just as Bad Wolf is alive and well, so is the other Companion who created, and embodied it, to begin with. It’s no surprise that Rose Tyler is going to be in “The Day of the Doctor.” Rose, who in case you were wondering is my favourite Companion before Martha and Clara, seems to feature relatively prominently in the trailer, especially in one particular scene.

Do you remember The Moment? If you click on that link to the TARDIS Data Core, you will see that it was more than just an event, but a weapon assembled from Doctor Who continuity. We know the Time Lord that assembled and used it, and why. Originally, I know I thought he was alone, that the time lock either kept out any other version of Clara or bound her memories of any possible Time War version into the lock. I also wondered, since The Doctor very clearly suffers from something along the lines of post-traumatic stress syndrome due to the War, if his memories of that time were entirely that clear.

But, as you can see, while Clara may not have been there during The War and the Moment … Rose as Bad Wolf was, and is.

After looking at the new 50th Anniversary Doctor Who trailer, I can honestly say that “The Day of the Doctor” has so many other meanings behind it and that the Moment of November 23 cannot come too soon.

Geronimo.

A Man Gets to Make his Monster: Neil Gaiman’s Doctor Who: Nothing O’Clock

Neil Gaiman Doctor Who

Neil Gaiman once wrote, in his short story “Other People” that, “Time is fluid here.” Despite–or even because of–the presence of time-travel in Doctor Who, his words are no less relevant. The creator of Sandman, American Gods, Stardust, Coraline, and a multitude of other comics, novels, short stories and films fulfilled his dream in writing for Doctor Who: twice. First, we got to see his episode “The Doctor’s Wife” in which we experience the horror of a House and meet the TARDIS for the very first time; which was followed much later by “Nightmare in Silver” with a whole other more miniaturized, upgraded, and truly horrifying version of the Cybermen. These achievements, in and of themselves, are impressive and in a lot of ways alter the time-line details of the Whoniverse; which is part and parcel of the entire program really. However, after creating these episodes, Neil Gaiman always expressed the wish to do something else with Doctor Who.  To do more than expanding on its continuity and manipulating its flow of plot and time.

Doctor Who is, when you come down to it, a haphazard construct of science-fiction, comedy, the fantastic, the result of many add-on elements, seeming improvisations, retcons … and horror. Yes, Doctor Who is a monster filled with monsters, and Neil Gaiman has expressed his wish to create an original one of his own. And so it is that on November 21st, two days before “The Day of the Doctor” comes to television and movie screens alike, that a new story will come to another kind of screen: a computer screen to be precise.

It is on November 21st that a man gets to make his monster … on “Nothing O’Clock.”

Doctor Who

At this time, there isn’t much yet to say about the Doctor Who short story “Nothing O’Clock” to apparently be released on its own and included in the Eleventh Doctor: 50th Anniversary ebook anthology: except for a few details. Much in the way that time is fluid in the television program, this story takes place during the first season of Matt Smith’s role as The Doctor: in which he, and a young Amy Pond find themselves in 1984 and also, as Neil Gaiman puts it “somewhere else, a very, very long time ago.”  Then there is also the brief description on Amazon to consider. In any case, sometimes I find that Doctor Who takes on a very fairytale-like quality, especially when you consider that “The Snowmen” Christmas Special began in a similar manner. Yet when Neil Gaiman comes into the mix, the program can again become an outright cautionary tale.  As for the rest of it: all that is known at this time is that there is something called the Kin, and that you should be very, very wary if a man in a rabbit mask comes to your door and asks to buy your house.

Bunny
Beware Bunnies Bearing No Baskets, especially when time travel is involved …

If you would like to hear the man who makes the monster for himself, please check out BlogTor Who. What is also interesting is that The Mary Sue, which claims that the story itself will be published on its own and then released in the e-book anthology, also states that its release date will be on November 23: which differs from the November 21 date displayed on Amazon. I would go by the Amazon date. In any case I rarely ever purchase e-books, but I know, like many others, that this time I am going to make another exception: at the fluid and arbitrary time of “Nothing O’Clock.”