|And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China|
Just a quick update on our Patreon fundraiser, we’re just $28 a week from our final “help El actually be able to build savings instead of constantly bleeding out her Kickstarter money” goal of $700 a week. Thank you all so much for making this possible. I’m unbelievably excited to be going back to being a full-time writer. That said, this final threshold is important, so of you can help put us over this final line, please stop by the Patreon. Your support is extremely welcome. (Also, I’ve got Game of Thrones reviews for $2 patrons…)
It’s April 15th, 2017. Harry Styles is at number one with “Sign of the Times.” Lower in the charts, the remnants of the Sheeraning continue, along with Clean Bandit, Drake, and Martin Jensen. Since Sherlock, meanwhile… well, let’s start with UK news. It’s simpler. The UK triggered Article 50 and began the actual Brexit process, starting what was at the time a two year clock to departing the European Union. The new pound coin was released. And that’s basically it for major news. In the US, meanwhile… well, Donald Trump is inaugurated as President. He almost immediately commences with an attempt on his promised ban on Muslims entering the country, which immediately triggers a rash of lawsuits and protests. Less than a month later, Michael Flynn, his National Security Advisor, is forced to resign after it emerges that he lied about pre-election contacts with Russia. It emerges that another Trump advisor, Sebastian Gorka, is a member of a Hungarian Nazi group. Neil Gorsuch is nominated to the Supreme Court to take the seat that Mitch McConnell kept Obama from filling. The Dakota Access Pipeline protests are forcibly crushed. And that gaffe where the Oscars accidentally name the wrong film as Best Picture. Yeah. It’s been a big few months.
Thankfully, at last we have Doctor Who to distract us. The Pilot is a strange artifact. Its title is justified within the narrative, but clearly pulls a double duty, meta-referencing the common terminology for the first episode of a series, shot as a proof of concept for network approval. Moffat, in other words, is proclaiming a clean start. This is, of course, a partial lie. This is not a new beginning for the show, but rather an epilogue that’s marking time so Chibnall can finish saying “not all men” before casting Jodie Whittaker. But the mild perversity of that double duty is the point of the exercise here. Moffat has spoken in interviews of his idea of a mayfly Doctor, in which you do a bit of stunt casting for a Doctor who regenerates at the end of their first story. (He sort of did this with John Hurt, but that’s beside the point.) Here we get a mayfly series—a from first principles revamp of Doctor Who that starts with its expiration date already marked on the calendar.
Indeed, the ways in which it’s not a fresh start are easy to rattle off.…