Viewing posts tagged time can be rewritten

Time Can Be Rewritten: Night of the Doctor

"Man, this is the second-worst episode of Doctor Who I've been in."
Because my Patrons are just so gosh-darned nice.

It was, of course, one of the highlights of the Fiftieth Anniversary. A tremendously sentimental and cool moment for fans, a fantastic way of officially revealing what the Hurt Doctor was, and a lovely gift to Paul McGann, who will pretty much never have the TV Movie be someone’s introduction to his Doctor again. And we have a full set of regenerations now, if you care about that sort of thing. Just about the only thing it isn’t, really, is a satisfying ending to the Eighth Doctor Era.

It tries, and that is a real part of its charm. I mean, one is pretty much sure Moffat included the litany of Big Finish companions as an acknowledgment of the Eighth Doctor Era - you know, that messy, historical thing that actually happened. The one with a giant bone thing in the sky, and he’s traveling with a fish, and there’s that girl from Jonathan Creek. Lego. They’re all made out of fucking Lego. Moffat probably even knew what would actually happen, which was that Big ...

Time Can Be Rewritten Final: The Day of the Doctor

Which makes it all the stranger that he doesn’t.

Even before time was rewritten, of course, this was true. Davies deliberately inserts a gap between The Waters of Mars and The End of Time, even opting to develop the running Queen Elizabeth I joke within it. In this regard, The Day of the Doctor slots in with precision, just as it does with The End of Time, which it goes out of its way to make sure it still fits in with. So much so that Tumblr became an entertaining place in the immediate wake of The Day of the Doctor, as scads of people cried foul about how it contradicted the Davies era only to have scads of people point out all of the tiny little things that Moffat did to actively and meticulously match the Davies era. 

As with many fan debates on Tumblr, the immediate fallout of The Day of the Doctor had no shortage of straw men, with people angrily reacting against points that never actually got made. (See also the “legions” of fans who aren’t going to watch Peter Capaldi because he’s old and unattractive.) Still, there’s an interesting fault ...

Time Can Be Rewritten 41 (The Gallifrey Chronicles)

Good morning everyone. Some orders of business before the post. First of all, the Kickstarter continues to be blowing me away. As I mentioned over the weekend, I was needing more stretch goal ideas. T. Hartwell had the winning idea: an art book version of the Logopolis entry formatted to look like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Read about it here, and consider contributing. The costs for ebook and print editions are the same there as they will be on Amazon, so if you're even going to buy the Hartnell second edition when it comes out, go ahead. There's also some new rewards to check out.

Second, if you missed it, I got invited to join Mac Rogers as a panelist on Slate's Doctor Who recaps for this season, and got to discuss Hide with him this week. Given that the episode had what some are immodestly calling a shout-out to this blog (I remain silent but terribly amused), this was perhaps an auspicious omen. Certainly I had fun, and if you want a preview of some of my thoughts on the Moffat era it's probably a good read. That's up over here.

Let ...

Time Can Be Rewritten 40 (Lucie Miller/To the Death)

By the end of the Lucie Miller run, of course, things had changed somewhat. The audios were no longer being made for first transmission on BBC 7, although they still got around to being aired there eventually. The audios were instead transitioning to their current form, namely the Dark Eyes box set in which an entire short season of audios drops in one $60 box set ($35 for digital download) - in other words, to fan products supreme. But this transition didn’t rip out the existent DNA of the Lucie Miller run. These were still designed to be new series inspired stories for the modern era, as opposed to ones mimicking or following from the logic and structure of past eras.

But equally, now they were back to being aimed at the same fan audience of virtually everything else from Big Finish. And in the big conclusion to the Lucie Miller run, the two-part Lucie Miller/To the Death (another convention absorbed from the new series) we can see very clearly what the implications of this are. We’ve got Susan, her son Alex, Daleks, the plot of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the Meddling Monk, and, for good measure ...

Time Can Be Rewritten 39 (Human Resources)

Sorry I'm late. Was up late chasing a deadline on the Flood book and forgot to queue anything here. In any case, Human Resources. The cheekily-named Eighth Doctor Adventures line from Big Finish is an oddity. On the one hand it seems faintly ridiculous - yet another bite at the apple in terms of getting the fizzled McGann era to work right. On the other, with the exception of the TV Movie itself this is as high profile and mainstream as McGann ever got, in that the first season of these audios got their first airing on BBC Radio 7, with CD release following. Later seasons came out on CD first, but Human Resources is notable as one of only nine times Paul McGann appeared in a Doctor Who story that was designed for transmission to the general public instead of for sale to dedicated fans.

Like The Girl Who Never Was it’s doing so in the wake of the new series. Indeed, it’s almost certainly the new series that made the McGann audios on BBC Radio happen in the first place. Doctor Who was big business, so why wouldn’t Radio 7 try to get in on ...

Time Can Be Rewritten 38 (The Girl Who Never Was)

It’s a fair question why this exists. The continuing adventures of the Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard, long after their quasi-era had ended. Really, the entire existence of Big Finish as the last man standing from the wilderness years is strange. As we’ve pointed out before, almost all of the creative debates of the wilderness years are settled. Russell T Davies, by making Doctor Who an unequivocal part of the mainstream again, settled them. The future of Doctor Who was secured. What use can we have for the calx of the wilderness years? And this is, of course, the hardest to understand one. Nostalgia for the Davison or McCoy eras makes sense. Even nostalgia for the Colin Baker years makes sense as a sort of redemption. But nostalgia for the culturally irrelevant speck that is the McGann era? Why would we miss it? Why would we want to sustain it?

And so many of the familiar tics are present. The Cybermen on the cover make a “surprise” appearance at the end of the second episode. The first episode spends all of its effort setting up the surprise revelation of the story’s premise (also essentially emblazoned on the ...

Time Can Be Rewritten 37 (Fear Itself)

This isn’t quite the last Time Can Be Rewritten entry, but it’s getting there. All that’s probably left after this are the two Lucie Miller audios we’re going to cover and The Gallifrey Chronicles, and the latter one is a debatable case. (Of course, I suppose it’s theoretically possible that the October Destiny of the Doctor audio will manage to sneak into the Tennant posts.) But even the Lucie Miller audios aren’t Time Can Be Rewritten entries in the usual sense. They were McGann audios in the Tennant era, yes, but they were essentially another McGann timeline - a fifth draft of the Eighth Doctor. This is the last time we get a Time Can Be Rewritten entry in the proper sense: an active revisitation of a past era of Doctor Who. And it is, by its nature, a bit of an odd one.

After the Eighth Doctor Adventures had resolved themselves with The Gallifrey Chronicles, it was announced that the Eighth Doctor would continue to appear in the Past Doctor Adventures. This was a bit of a feint. The Past Doctor Adventures, after all, only lasted six more months after the demise of the ...

Time Can Be Rewritten 36 (A Death in the Family)

Lungbarrow at least attempted to feed directly into the TV Movie. It didn’t last. There’s about three dozen stories, mostly from Big Finish (whether audio or their Short Trips series), that feature an “older” version of the Seventh Doctor. Arguably the first one of these actually comes just three months after Lungbarrow in the form of Terrance Dicks’s The Eight Doctors, but claiming that would involve trying to reconcile The Eight Doctors with the Virgin line, or, for that matter, with anything at all. But I’m two weeks ahead of myself.

A Death in the Family, ironically, only minimally features the post-Lungbarrow Doctor, focusing primarily on what is normally taken as a pre-Virgin Doctor situated between Survival and Timewyrm: Genesys. (Though even that’s difficult to square away, as we’ll see.) The post-Lungbarrow Doctor appears, and is indeed absolutely central to the story, but as a peripheral character lurking in the background. But despite the relative briefness of his appearance he’s central to affairs. A Death in the Family is at its heart a story in the vein of Battlefield in which the infamously manipulative Seventh Doctor falls into the schemes of the one ...

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