Apr 20 2008
Doctor, you have always needed someone.
I was watching the final moments of Fires of Pompeii again and was struck by the moment where the Doctor says he needs someone with him to humanise him - to help him see beyond the grand scale and see the impact of his actions on individual humans.
What stuck me is how much this chimes with the first 13 episodes of Dr Who in 1963-64. When we first meet the Doctor he is cold, even callous and highly suspicious of humans. But over the following few weeks he sees Ian and Barbara up close, he sees the good qualities and in those final moments of “The Edge of Destruction” he changes before our eyes.
I think it is worth quote a few lines from that story and in particular a chat between Barbara and the Doctor in that story
IAN: Don't bother to say anything, Doctor. You know there are times when I can read every thought on your face.
DOCTOR: Really? And I always thought that you were a young man without any recrimination in you. Well, as for you, young lady, well, you were absolutely right. It was your instinct and intuition against my logic, and you succeeded. I mean, the blackouts, and the still pictures and the clock. Well, you read a story into all these things and were determined to hold on to it. We all owe you our lives.
BARBARA: I, I
DOCTOR: You know, I really believe I have underestimated that young lady in the past, Chartow. Well now, we can all start again, eh? Yes, we can. Yes. But which? Hmm? What are you laughing at, dear boy? Oh, really, you are
DOCTOR: Yes, you haven't forgiven me, have you.
BARBARA: You said terrible things to us.
DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose it's the injustice that's upsetting you, and when I made a threat to put you off the ship it must have affected you very deeply.
BARBARA: What do you care what I think or feel?
DOCTOR: As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.
DOCTOR: Oh, yes. Because I accused you unjustly, you were determined to prove me wrong. So, you put your mind to the problem and, luckily, you solved it.
DOCTOR: Oh, by the way, Susan has left you some wearing apparel for outside. You know, we have a very extensive wardrobe here.
BARBARA: Yes, she gave me these.
DOCTOR: Yes, I think they're rather charming. We must look after you, you know. You're very valuable. Yes.
(He helps her on with the coat, and offers his arm)
DOCTOR: Shall we go?
This is the moment when the Doctor once and for all changes from the cold and distant figure that he was in “An Unearthly Child” and which seemed to be the state he had returned to after the Time War when we see him again in “Rose” in 2005.
And this thread in the new series - the point made by Donna at the end of “The Runaway Bride” and repeated in “The Fires of Pompeii” seems to be one of the most truthful and wonderful way to keep faith with the original series.
They could have just painted the Doctor as the avuncular hero he is in most people’s imaginations. But that they so faithfully returned to this powerful and compelling theme from 1963 is my favourite thing about the new series. And whenever it is referenced I always think of that exchange between the First Doctor and Barbara.
Apr 08 2008
Bill O'Reilly gets Goat.se'd
This amusing image found its way to me via Minako-sempai, who found it on the Ginga LAN.
The juxtaposition of that smug, self-satisfied smile just makes it all the more precious.
Apr 05 2008
Torchwood's "Exit Wounds" (no spoilers)
The episode itself was largely excellent. But the ending... my god... why
Apr 03 2008
My inner Numismatist is having a... pleasurable moment.
These new Coins
from the Royal Mint are at once sleek and modern, yet ancient and impressive. (I don't like the five pence, but something had to give to make the overall scheme work, I suppose)