Skip to main content

No comeuppance! Do you hear me? No comueppace?...Doctor Who, 2006 Series

(Another import from LJ. If you've already read it, then you're one of three very special people.)

Isn't there some old saw that goes something like, "Pride goeth before the fall?"

When we last saw our hero, he'd just grown a bunch of hair, lost a considerable amount of weight, and gained a different accent. In short, the Doctor had regenerated before the eyes of a rather confused and frightened Rose (Billie Piper). The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) is a very different sort of man. His long speech on the Syccorax ship certainly establishes himself as his own man, and, although a hint of the 9th Doctor emerges when he kills the Syccorax leader, by the time the Doctor joins the Tylers (and Mickey) for Christmas lunch, we know that the 9th Doctor is long gone, as are his issues of guilt, isolation, and loneliness.

So, what sort of man is this new Doctor--how does his relationship with Rose change--and, to get to our topic, what sort of theme do they play out over the course of the series? Well, in many ways, the 2006 Series is about the smugness of young lovers and the eventual death of all relationships. Chirpy, right? Seriously, though, this series deals with the self-involvement of young lovers, and with self-involvement generally, and the unintended consequences that arise from being solely focused on yourself and your needs. And, as a gentle leitmotif almost, we get the idea that everything ends, quite often because the larger world intrudes.

So, let's examine this meme and it's repetitions and variations:

"The Christmas Invasion": Unintended consequences, as The Doctor's speech causes Harriet to order the ship shot down; PLUS, in a bonus that wouldn't become apparent until the following year, deposing her allowed the Master to become PM. Nifty, no?)
"New Earth": Self-absorption, thy name is Cassandra. Plus, just a nice touch, we get the Doctor and Rose leading Chip/Cassandra back to the olden times, creating Cassandra's own myth about herself. So, yeah, unintended consequences.
"Tooth and Claw": Well, clearly...hello, um...Torchwood, anyone?
"School Reunion": Okay, this one's a bit tricky, but I think Sarah Jane & Rose's jealousies and conversations tie in nicely with the young love and everything dies motifs. Plus, we get the constant reminder of the eventual and unavoidable separation of the Doctor and Rose.
"The Girl in the Fireplace": It seems as if the Doctor and Rose are parted forever, an event which MUST happen, though not today. In a way, we get the unintended consequences idea, also, since, by having a ship named after her in the 51st century, Madame de Pompadour is put in danger in the 18th.
"Rise of the Cybermen"/"Age of Steel": Everything dies. Unless you transfer its brain into a cyber-suit. We also get hints of the unintended consequences/smugness thing with Lumic. Plus, of course, Mickey leaving leans toward the eventual separation.

From here on out, ALL of the Doctor/Rose episodes center on the two of them getting separated in rather extreme ways. While they continue to rescue one another, the writers are all pointing very strongly toward the season's end. We also get unintended consequences ("The Impossible Planet"/"Satan Pit") and a generous helping of smugness.

Of course, all this was leading toward the climax of the season, the greatest example in the NuWho of the sheer destruction that the Doctor's intervention can cause: "Army of Ghosts"/ "Doomsday." Here, all of the chickens come home to roost and the Doctor and Rose finally get their comeuppance. Their actions led to the establishment of Torchwood. Without Torchwood, the story doesn't happen. Period. Just as Rose became the Bad Wolf at the end of the 2005 series, so to do Rose and the Doctor become the creators of their own fate--their (supposedly) permanent separation.

Mind you, none of this is to say that they shouldn't have saved Queen Victoria from a werewolf or fought against the Cybermen on Pete's world. Rather, it is merely to say that actions, all actions, have consequences--and that two young, smug lovers are the worst judges in the world of the effect they have on the people around them.

So, at the end, we have the Doctor, alone, sad, and with a crazy, angry bride in his Tardis. Ignoring the Catherine Tate teaser, the Doctor has yet again become "The Lonely God," which leads nicely to series 2007...or, as I call it, to quote the great Andrew Cartmel, "The Doctor is God."


Popular posts from this blog

Prague Blog: Preliminary -- Why?

Since I decided to uproot my entire life, move to a country I have never visited, and train in a career I have no experience with, people have often asked me, "Why?" I'm sure that many of them likely were wondering 'WHY?!?!?!" but, if so, they were polite enough to hide that fact. So, here, as the first (unofficial, preliminary) installment of my Prague Blog, I thought I would try to make the case for why this isn't a completely ridiculous thing to do.

The first starting premise for this is probably a key facet of my personality: I don't like things. Not, "there are things I don't like," but rather, on the whole, I don't care about physical things. I am not a thing person.* To a lesser extent, but still worth mentioning, I am not a creature comforts person. It is true that I go a bit stir crazy when I don't have access to walkable shops, etc., and I do have a great fondness for hot and cold running water and HVAC , but my needs in t…

Prague Blog: Preliminary -- The Things I'm Carrying, in Video Form

In Book II of the Iliad, Homer (let's just call the author that) enumerates the forces that sailed from Greece to lay siege on Troy, and then does a similar, smaller listing of the Trojan force. The "Catalogue of Ships," as it's known, stops the forward momentum of the epic to make sure the reader understands the scene on the plains outside Troy. At the same time, it establishes a great deal about the power dynamics at play, and provides us greater insight into the characters involved. Sometimes, what (or who) you own can speak volumes about who you are. In that spirit, but with none of the grandeur, I'm making a list of all the things I kept when I left my apartment and, more to the point, all the things I am taking to Prague with me.

The first category is things I'm keeping but not taking. This includes about a hundred books, mostly from my time at St. John's; a Johnnie chair, a college graduation present from my mother; various small items of sentiment…

Doctor Who & The Punch

CW: Homophobic slurs, discussions of violence

The following post is intended to be an examination of the moral dimensions of certain actions in Doctor Who, pursued in a rationalist style borrowing from Western theories of ethics. As such, it will likely strike many readers as a chilly analysis, but I hope not an insensitive one.

N.B. After several days, and a loss of several hours work, I have given up on doing linking footnotes in the interest in publishing this before the heat death of the universe. Everything is marked, though, so Control + F is your friend. I also had help editing and proofreading this post, but due to the great Save Fail of 2017, many of those edits have been lost. Management regrets the inconvenience.
A Thought Experiment Let's say I'm walking down the street, and a guy calls me a faggot as he walks past me. As a gay dude, this has definitely happened to me. I know what to do, which is to keep walking. But what if I were to turn around, tap him on the sh…