Grounded

Just a little food for thought…

At the beginning of “Rise of the Cybermen,” the TARDIS crashes in Pete’s World. Why? The Doctor says, “The time vortex is gone. That’s impossible. It’s just gone. Brace yourself! We’re going to crash!” So, Pete’s World doesn’t have a time vortex. The TARDIS travels through time and space by going through the time vortex, so if there isn’t one, it can’t travel in time. It can travel in space because it can fly normally (and it’s pretty darn fast, since, in “Journey’s End,” it tows the Earth from the Medusa Cascade back to the solar system in less than a minute) and it can dematerialize to hop between universes, but time travel in Pete’s World, at least by TARDIS or vortex manipulator, is impossible. (Ha, maybe zygma energy might work in that universe.)

The other question is, are there Time Lords (other than the Metacrisis Doctor) in Pete’s World? Probably not. Before the Time Lords created the time vortex, they were simply Gallifreyans. Either the Gallifreyans never created the time vortex, in which case they don’t have the power they have in the Doctor’s universe and are not “lords” of time, or the time vortex was created but destroyed, so any existent Time Lords no longer have their primary tool to watch over and manipulate time.

Ok. That thought’s been bugging me ever since the David Tennant celebration in the theater. I’m done now. That is all.

Playing favorites, redux

Someone else's favorites

Someone else’s favorites

So, I found the meme to the right, which I can’t give attributions for because I can’t read the type in the lower right, but I thought I would list my favorites in the same style, with a couple of extra categories, mostly because it’s a lazy way of getting a blog post written. I haven’t watched Torchwood or Sarah Jane Adventures yet (I know! Blasphemy!) so it’s all Doctor Who.

Favorite Doctor (oh, big surprise here)

Favorite Doctor (Oh, big surprise here. Both of them.)

Favorite Companion (again, big surprise)

Favorite Companion (Again, big surprise.)

Favorite Villain

Favorite Villain

Least Favorite Companion

Least Favorite Companion

Favorite Alien

Favorite Alien

Favorite Regular Episode

Favorite Regular Episode

Favorite Special Episode

Favorite Special Episode

Favorite Webisode

Favorite Webisode

Saddest Episode

Saddest Episode

Funniest Episode

Funniest Episode

Scariest Episode

Scariest Episode

series 1 soundtrack

Favorite Main Theme Version: Season 1-3 Theme

series 3 soundtrack

Favorite Theme (that’s not the main theme): The Doctor Forever

Most Annoying Character (the woman Leela is slapping)

Most Annoying Character (the woman Leela is slapping)

Favorite Male Actor (non-Doctor)

Favorite Actor (non-Doctor)

Favorite Actress

Favorite Actress

Favorite Writer

Favorite Writer

Favorite Couple

Favorite Couple

Favorite Friendship

Favorite Friendship

Favorite Gadget

Favorite Gadget

Favorite Guest Actor

Favorite Guest Actor

Favorite Guest Actress

Favorite Guest Actress

Favorite Group Shot

Favorite Group Shot

Favorite Master

Favorite Master

Coolest Thing

Coolest Thing

Cold-med infused ramblings

I finally caught the bloody plague that’s been sweeping through the office, so I’m at home, trying to do work, succeeding a little, but mostly just staring at my computer screen blankly. It doesn’t help that the software I’m working with is refusing to work correctly, so even if I did try hard to work, I wouldn’t be able to do anything anyway.

Benedick trying to be stealthy.

Benedick trying to be stealthy.

Last night, I did something I’d been meaning to do for a while: buy and watch Much Ado about Nothing from Digital Theatre. I find that when I’m sick, sitting and watching shows is pretty therapeutic. It was a fantastic performance, and if you like Shakespeare, I recommend taking a look at it. Actually, I recommend it even if you don’t have much exposure to Shakespeare. At first, I had a difficult time understanding the dialogue, because even though the production is modern (as in, the costumes and interpretation are modern), the language is still archaic. However, after about a half an hour, I got used to the language and cadence and could understand everything just fine. Some of the comic scenes (especially when Benedick is behind the columns listening to his friends discussing how Beatrice is in love with him) are priceless.

So how does this relate to Doctor Who (except for the obvious, of course)? Well, I was just thinking about how happy I was after the show was over, being so well-entertained for nearly three hours that I didn’t even realize how long it had run for. As a complete non-artist (I’m definitely a techie with no aesthetic sense), I can’t begin to fathom what it’s like to be a part of something that brings so much happiness and wonder to others. Much Ado about Nothing was performed on a stage, so there’s an audience right there to enjoy it, and then the performance was filmed so that millions more could enjoy it. That’s a fantastic legacy.

Today, Doctor Who: Legacy is releasing the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, and this sparked more of the same thoughts. How wonderful it must be to be a part of something that’s meant so much to so many people. All these people – actors, writers, directors, cameramen, special effects people, costumers, make-up artists, and so many more – come together and put together this great show for us. We love the show, and we’ll always remember them for it. We may only really know the names of the actors, writers, and directors for the most part, but through the show, all of these people have been immortalized.

Like I said, I’m pretty med-addled right now, so this is really not making much sense. I just hope that they all realize how much we love them, how much we appreciate what they do, especially the behind-the-scenes people, who rarely get any kudos but without them, the shows we love couldn’t be made. Thanks to all of you!

Things I’ve learned from watching Doctor Who

I’ll probably add to this list from time to time.

  1. The polarity of the neutron flow is always in the exact opposite direction of what you want it to be.
  2. The problem with getting things done while time traveling is that one never seems to find the time.
  3. Rule #1 is “don’t wander off,” but wandering off is where the fun is.
  4. Talking is the best solution. Your enemies will stop trying to kill you to listen to you talk.
    • Corollary: Your enemies will stop trying to kill you if you yell, “Wait!”
  5. Confidence and charisma can make any outfit look good.
    • Corollary: Not many men can carry off a decorative vegetable.
    • Corollary: Never walk past a fez.
  6. Intelligence is sexy. (Ok, I already knew this one.)
    • Corollary: Nerdy glasses are really sexy.
  7. If you want to meet the Doctor, London is the best city to live in.
    • Corollary: If you live in London, always watch the skies.
  8. If you value longevity, London is the worst city to live in.
    • Corollary: If you live in London, always watch the skies.
  9. Don’t wait until the last moment to tell someone you love them.
Rockin' it, Doctor! Still my favorite of all of the outfits.

Rockin’ it, Doctor! Still my favorite of all of the outfits.

Sharing the experience

I do have a desk.

I do have a desk.

I didn’t have a chance to post yesterday. I usually spend my time at work composing my thoughts for a post while doing my actual job, and then write something up during lunch. However, I had some stuff to do yesterday that needed to get done ASAP, Pronto, LOL, and so other considerations got left by the wayside.

Which is a totally ingenious introduction into the thing I’m writing about today. It’s nothing particularly deep: making references to the show you love. I’m very lucky to have a husband that loves Doctor Who, almost as much as I do. We definitely know that I’m the more devoted fan, with my constant watching of episodes, my blog, my fanfics, my multiple replica sonic screwdrivers, but having him also as a fan means I have someone to talk to about it. And even if we’re not talking about it, we can make references to it during conversation. The two most common right now are from “The Day of the Doctor.” First, if one of us is, say, on the web and laughs at something, the other says, “Is something funny? Did I miss a funny thing?” The other is putting down the other person with “I don’t like it,” with the option of the second person saying, “Oh! Oh! You never do!” But there are tons more that we make, every day.  Most of our references are Doctor Who, but we don’t limit it. Last night, my husband approached a boss fight in a video game saying, “Go! Fight! Win!” Extra credit if you know what that’s from.

In a way, our conversation style reminds me of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Darmok,” in which the alien species that the humans have never been able to communicate with turn out to have a language comprised entirely of references to their stories and legends. For example, the phrase “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” meant cooperation, because the story of Darmok had him arrive at Tanagra and learn to cooperate with Jalad. If you know the legend, then the phrase has meaning, but if you don’t, it’s incomprehensible. Fans of shows are able to communicate in a very similar way. What comes to mind if I were to say, “The Doctor and Rose at Bad Wolf Bay”? How does that differ from “the second Tenth Doctor and Rose at Bad Wolf Bay”? Both phrases communicate a complex web of images and emotions that would be otherwise impossible to describe in less than ten words, or even less than a hundred words.

Most of the time, though, we use references to entertain ourselves. It never fails to make us laugh when we make a reference appropriate to the situation. Though, it is difficult sometimes to not make references in front of people who aren’t fans, which most of our friends aren’t. It’s sort of like being in a group that speaks English and then switching to German just to talk to one person. It’s rude and not ginger. (Ha!)

Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

We had an interesting situation yesterday, with respect to references. We were playing in a roleplaying game and were attacked by a large mass of enemies, and one of the players asked if we had any grenades, which we didn’t. My husband replied, “Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades!” I laughed and everyone else stared at him blankly. Not a single person got it. So we explained, it’s from Serenity, and then one of them said, “Oh, yeah, the movie. Serenity‘s not canon. Only Firefly is canon. If Wash dies, it’s not canon.” The rest of the people in the group agreed with him. It never occurred to me to reject a perfectly good movie/TV show from official canon. I mean, sure, we can ignore the second Highlander movie or the second two seasons of Heroes, because those were terrible, but in this case, Serenity is a great movie that’s being rejected from canon simply because of a character’s death.

There’s a concept called “head canon,” which is the term for a fan or group of fans accepting an idea as canon when it’s not actually in the fandom’s canon. It’s usually used for something that’s added to the fandom, to flesh things out. For example, before we knew about the War Doctor, it was a common head canon that the Eighth Doctor was the one who fired the Moment; it was never explicitly stated, but based on what we knew about the Last Great Time War and the Doctor’s history, it was the best explanation. Creating a head canon in which Serenity never happened seems unique to me. It removes actual published content, simply to erase a character death. And it creates a schism, between those who accept the Firefly universe as created by Joss Whedon and those who choose to reject the final part of it. 

Ok, that was a stream-of-consciousness digression. This post was supposed to be about how we share our experiences in our fandom through our use of references. I think a large part of the enjoyment we get from our favorite shows, books, music, whatever, comes from the ability to share it with each other. So, I hope you have people you can share Doctor Who and all of your other passions with!

Just a few thoughts

Doctor Who: Legacy has released information today on the new features and content they will be releasing in the next couple of weeks. The two companions that are coming very soon are Handles and Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All. Completely awesome choices!

I probably should have put a pic of Vincent here, but I do so love David Morrissey.

I probably should have put a pic of Vincent here, but I do so love David Morrissey.

I was going to write a post on what constitutes a companion, which is a topic my husband and I discuss every so often. Why are Jackson Lake and Rosita Farisi considered companions, when Vincent Van Gogh isn’t? Both sets of characters appear in one episode, assist the Doctor with the main threat, and develop deep and important relationships with the Doctor (well, Jackson and Vincent do; can’t really say the same for Rosita). It’s really hard to define exactly companionship means. However, as I wrote the post, I realized it was a bunch of drivel and not worth my time or yours. So, maybe someday in the future, I’ll try again. But for now, just muse on the fact that blog writing is sometimes harder than it looks.

I’ve gathered a bunch of alternative media in the last few days, and as I work my way through them, I’ll talk about them here. Right now I’m reading Doctor Who: 11 Doctors, 11 Stories, which is a collection of short stories, one for each Doctor, written by eleven different authors. It was published in celebration of the 50th anniversary as eleven separate short books, but just came out in a single volume. So far I’m up to the Eighth Doctor, and while I plan to write a full review when I’m done, for now I can definitely recommend this book. The stories are enjoyable and entertaining, and well-written (except that I really couldn’t stand writing style for the First Doctor’s story – I gave up reading it and will have to go back to try again).

The other media that I’ve picked up is the Doctor Who Omnibus Volume 2 (second volume of the Tenth Doctor’s comic book adventures), an Eleventh Doctor graphic novel whose title escapes me at the moment, and a number of audios from Big Finish: The Light at the End (starring Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann), Destiny of the Doctor (one audiobook for each of the Doctors, read by one of that Doctor’s companions), and The Kingmaker (Fifth Doctor adventure – couldn’t help it, I love historical stories). I just realized as I was writing this that I could download these at work and listen to them during lunch. Brilliant!

Packrat

Blu-rays, DVDs, sonic screwdrivers, and jelly babies

Blu-rays, DVDs, sonic screwdrivers, and jelly babies

Here’s a pic of the shelf I’ve cleared off for my Doctor Who collection, featuring our blu-rays and DVDs and a few displayables. Things like t-shirts won’t be stored here, but I have a bunch of figures and things that I’m sure, over time, will eventually take over the entire bookshelf. But first, I have to clear away all the other stuff: Pokemon figs, Star Trek trading cards, other toys. We are both horrible packrats and have way too much stuff.

We are also incredibly messy. We have a lot of movies and TV shows on DVD/blu-ray, and they’re all stacked up next to the TV, left on a pile after we watch them (in their cases, at least, no loose discs). My husband makes fun of me because when I watch Doctor Who, I place the discs back on the shelf here – I’m taking no chances with losing them or having the cases mangled in a pile. They are my preciousss.

By the way, the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors’ screwdrivers are the remote control replicas, so you can see how good they look. The Tenth Doctor’s screwdriver usually sits on my desk, so I can play with it all the time, but I wanted it in this pic. The Fourth Doctor screwdriver is the one from Character Options; we have a second copy of it for my husband to play with.

Hm. I should add my half-moon brainy specs and replica celery. I need to start cleaning off those other shelves…