Doctor Whom

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rmsgrey
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:19 pm UTC

ameretrifle wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Moffat's taken some aspects of the show back toward what they used to be in the old series

This is the first time I have ever heard his direction characterized that way. Could I ask exactly which aspects you mean?


The most obvious is the move away from the "Lonely God" to the "madman in the blue box" - the deconstruction of the Doctor from "whole armies have turned and run at the sound of his name" - the predator of the Daleks, the Oncoming Storm, the great warrior - to an eccentric kindly old man bouncing around time and space in a blue box and somehow always turning up somewhere where he's needed.

In the old series, the Doctor wasn't the most powerful single being in the universe - other Time Lords were out there, and collectively exercised authority over him, and there were other, more powerful beings - the Black and White Guardians, the Eternals...

Russell T Davies unashamedly saw the Doctor as a superhero - this semi-mythical being who was on first name terms with the people running the galaxy. A recurring theme in Moffat's run has been that the Doctor setting himself up as the public face of truth, justice and the Doctor's way just means his enemies get better organised - the Big Bang, Demons Run, Lake Silencio, Asylum of the Daleks - all consequences of his making himself too big.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby ameretrifle » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:50 pm UTC

See, I totally agree with your assessment of Tennant's run. I could not stand the Lonely God routine at all, and it drove me away from the show. What had not occurred to me for a second was that Moffat was improving on this. Where you see consequences finally being doled out for his arrogance, I just see more plots centered around the Doctor being the center of the universe (and getting into trouble for being the center of the universe, because the center of the universe (which he is) gets into trouble with bad people). I've seen it not as hints that he isn't the center of the universe and shouldn't portray himself as such, but a more realistic view of the grim consequences of being so important (which he still obviously is). It's not ditching the concept, it's just playing slightly new games with it; he may be having all these learning experiences, but it doesn't mean a damn to me unless he actually learns something from them. When he stops believing he's the center of the universe, when it is widely acknowledged that other powerful non-villain entities exist, then I'll agree that they're taking a step back to be more like the old series.

But I almost never like anything Moffat writes, so obviously my opinion isn't going to be a charitable one. It's more than possible you're right, and he's been deconstructing the trope for years, and someday soon, it will finally be explicitly acknowledged by him and the people around him that the Lonely God idea was stupid.

But if it is, it's been far too many years getting there for me to care anymore. Far too little. Much too late.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:01 pm UTC

ameretrifle wrote:But I almost never like anything Moffat writes, so obviously my opinion isn't going to be a charitable one. It's more than possible you're right, and he's been deconstructing the trope for years, and someday soon, it will finally be explicitly acknowledged by him and the people around him that the Lonely God idea was stupid.


It would be extremely unprofessional of Moffat to come out and say that Davies was wrong about something - but the show has been making it clear that Moffat doesn't like the Lonely God idea - the Doctor used Lake Silencio to try to disappear from history (and Oswin helped out with the Daleks' records) and various people - particularly River - have been yelling at him about what his footprints all over history have been doing...

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby ConMan » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:18 am UTC

Part of the problem is that now that he's *been* the Lonely God for so long, it's hard to pull that importance away from him. He's saved the universe from every possible threat a hundred times over, and it's nearly impossible to think of a way you could write a plot where him walking away and letting other people solve the problems is the right decision (and the one he actually makes).

For example, ("The Name of the Doctor" spoiler)
Spoiler:
Having the GI go and alter the Doctor's history causes entire star systems to blink out of existence, which I'm pretty sure is more than just a Stolen Earth reference.


I think the two things that can be done to rein this in a bit are (1) taking a lot of the Doctor's power away from him, which there have been small moves towards doing, and (2) putting the focus more on the Doctor trying to save individual people rather than the universe, which I think has happened a bit more especially in the last half season. The other thing, I suppose, would be to bring in someone who is "better" than the Doctor against which he can only win small victories, which I don't think we've seen recently, if at all, and of course then the problem is "why haven't we seen this antagonist before?".
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Jorpho » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:31 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:The most obvious is the move away from the "Lonely God" to the "madman in the blue box" - the deconstruction of the Doctor from "whole armies have turned and run at the sound of his name" - the predator of the Daleks, the Oncoming Storm, the great warrior - to an eccentric kindly old man bouncing around time and space in a blue box and somehow always turning up somewhere where he's needed.

In the old series, the Doctor wasn't the most powerful single being in the universe - other Time Lords were out there, and collectively exercised authority over him, and there were other, more powerful beings - the Black and White Guardians, the Eternals...

Russell T Davies unashamedly saw the Doctor as a superhero - this semi-mythical being who was on first name terms with the people running the galaxy. A recurring theme in Moffat's run has been that the Doctor setting himself up as the public face of truth, justice and the Doctor's way just means his enemies get better organised - the Big Bang, Demons Run, Lake Silencio, Asylum of the Daleks - all consequences of his making himself too big.
What an elegant way of putting it.

ConMan wrote:He's saved the universe from every possible threat a hundred times over, and it's nearly impossible to think of a way you could write a plot where him walking away and letting other people solve the problems is the right decision (and the one he actually makes).
That would be quite the twist.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby ConMan » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:16 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
ConMan wrote:He's saved the universe from every possible threat a hundred times over, and it's nearly impossible to think of a way you could write a plot where him walking away and letting other people solve the problems is the right decision (and the one he actually makes).
That would be quite the twist.

Episode opens, standard "Alien world where something's not quite right and person gets randomly killed". Cue opening credits. TARDIS lands on new world, companion starts picking up hints of wrongness. Doctor starts investigating, discovers terrible alien thingy. Doctor gives broad description of situation to on-world authorities, including sympathetic character. Authorities express scepticism until bad aliens show up and start doing overt bad stuff.

Companion: "Doctor, we've got to do something!"
Doctor: "You're right. And there's only one thing I can do. Come on."

Doctor runs to TARDIS, companion follows. TARDIS dematerialises. Authorities take up arms against bad aliens.

Companion: "We're running away?"
Doctor: "We're not running away. We're going to the one time where we can be the most useful."

Sympathetic character works out bad aliens' weakness from description Doctor gave, spreads word. Bad aliens defeated. TARDIS materialises in front of sympathetic character.

Doctor: "Did you get them? Good job. I baked you a cake."

Doctor offers cake - possibly with edible ball bearings on it - to sympathetic character. Doctor and companion leave in TARDIS. End credits.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:57 pm UTC

ConMan wrote:Part of the problem is that now that he's *been* the Lonely God for so long, it's hard to pull that importance away from him. He's saved the universe from every possible threat a hundred times over, and it's nearly impossible to think of a way you could write a plot where him walking away and letting other people solve the problems is the right decision (and the one he actually makes).


It's not just about him saving the day - it's about him being seen doing it - less of the "he's saved you all so many times and you never even knew it" and more of the "Doc-tor! Doc-tor! Doc-tor!" and saving the day by having everyone clap their hands if they believe in fairies the Doctor.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:47 am UTC

How did you guys all forget human nature/the family of blood (also from season 3)?
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:22 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:How did you guys all forget human nature/the family of blood (also from season 3)?


Because I've been trying to avoid specific spoilers for Jorpho's Zohar's benefit?

Yeah, Tim Latimer's little speech sums up the Lonely God aspect pretty well - and then there's the ending...
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Jorpho » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:55 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Because I've been trying to avoid specific spoilers for Jorpho's benefit?
Eh? I've seen it all. I'm immune to spoilers.

The speech from Family of Blood does indeed seem awfully far removed from anything done since Smith came in.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:01 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Because I've been trying to avoid specific spoilers for Jorpho's benefit?
Eh? I've seen it all. I'm immune to spoilers.

The speech from Family of Blood does indeed seem awfully far removed from anything done since Smith came in.


Sorry, wrong username - there was a guy last page saying he was just starting the third Davies season...

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:54 pm UTC

No, I meant when talking about S3 recommendations, no spoilers in saying it was an excellent set of episodes.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby charliepanayi » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:52 pm UTC

They'll be announcing the new Doctor on Sunday (7pm UK time) apparently.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:20 pm UTC

And it's going to be announced live on BBC1.

It's going to be odd having a new Doctor. I only got into watching Doctor Who in Matt Smith's first episode, and I've still only seen a handful of David Tennant's and none of Chris Eccleston's. So 11 is my doctor. Seeing someone else pilot the TARDIS will just be strange. As for Old Who - living in the UK, I've obviously been very aware of Doctor Who my whole life, but I was only 5 when the original run was cancelled, so I only have vague memories of Sylvester McCoy and none of the previous 7 Doctors.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby charliepanayi » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:31 pm UTC

And it's Peter Capaldi.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Magnanimous » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:43 pm UTC

I'm alright with this. I think he looks kind of like David Tennant, but older and with boring hair.

Also my friends had a theory that Obama is secretly the twelfth Doctor, and the shitty things his administration is doing are fixed points in time so he can't stop them.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby SlyReaper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:27 pm UTC

I'm confuzzled. I thought the next doctor was already revealed in the last episode as John Hurt a.k.a The Valeyard? Or is that some wibbly wobbly alternate universy doctor?
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Magnanimous » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:39 pm UTC

I think he is a Doctor, but not the twelfth. Or an alternate timeline or something. I haven't actually watched that episode yet...

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Angua » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:40 pm UTC

The Valeyard must not last very long, as he's supposed to be between the 12th and 13th incarnations.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby November » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:14 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:I'm confuzzled. I thought the next doctor was already revealed in the last episode as John Hurt a.k.a The Valeyard? Or is that some wibbly wobbly alternate universy doctor?


He is the doctor we never saw, AKA the doctor before Eccelston. It makes John hurt the 9th doctor and this new on the 13th, I think, technically speaking. But since he has a new fancy name The Valeyard, I guess he doesn't get a number? It is a bit confusing, but I am very much looking forward to the Christmas special to find out.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby ConMan » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:30 pm UTC

The wording is such that JH is one that Matt Smith remembers being, which suggests he comes before him (and for whatever reason doesn't count as "The Doctor" and as such doesn't get a number). Little leaks here and there suggest that he comes between Paul McGann and Chris Ecclestone, thus presumably making him the one responsible for ending the Time War. None of it's been confirmed, though, and there's always "wibbly wobbly" to fall back on if nothing else.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Diadem » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:58 pm UTC

Damn, I was so hoping for a woman. Still this seems like a good choice.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:09 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:I'm confuzzled. I thought the next doctor was already revealed in the last episode as John Hurt a.k.a The Valeyard? Or is that some wibbly wobbly alternate universy doctor?

That's a past Doctor that isn't counted as a "Doctor" because he did something so terrible he doesn't deserve that name, which is why we haven't seen him before. He's clearly a past one because Eleven already knows who he is, and the Doctor generally avoids finding out about his own future.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Angua » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:22 am UTC

I thought that the 11th doctor knew who he was because he'd met the Valeyard before, not because he remembered being him. At least, that's how I remember interpreting it but can't remember the exact wording used so maybe it does sound more like he was a previous incarnation rather than a future one.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Carlington » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:25 am UTC

AFAIK, like ConMan said, Hurt is supposed to slot in between McGann and Ecclestone. He's an incarnation that, for whatever reason, the Doctor has forgotten about. I thought he was only meant to be appearing in the 50th Anniversary ep., though. Presumably, well be finding out more about the Time War, though, given his position relative to the other Doctors.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Jesse » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:48 pm UTC

Aye, it was made very clear in the last episode that while he is an incarnation, he's not considered a 'Doctor' because of whatever he did that was so horrendous.

I'm okay with Capaldi, very good actor. To be honest, I don't want a female Doctor until Moffat's gone from the show, I can't imagine him being able to write a good female lead.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Zarq » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:40 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:Aye, it was made very clear in the last episode that while he is an incarnation, he's not considered a 'Doctor' because of whatever he did that was so horrendous.

I'm okay with Capaldi, very good actor. To be honest, I don't want a female Doctor until Moffat's gone from the show, I can't imagine him being able to write a good female lead.


That's what I was thinking. I'm not at Moffat's part of Doctor Who yet, but if Coupling is anything to go from ...
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:57 pm UTC

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby WibblyWobbly » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:05 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Funny.

A few words for future potential companions:
Spoiler:
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:21 pm UTC

I had a debate with a friend this morning, and I want some outside opinions;
My friend holds that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's the same doctor, different body. He's just slipping into a new skin, so to speak.
I hold that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's more akin to reincarnation, wherein he has some/all of the memories of his past lives, but that he's a new/different person. Same role, same soul, different body, different person.

What do you all think? Is it like changing your clothes, or is it like the Avatar Cycle, wherein Tennent is a unique and different individual than Smith?
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Diadem » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:24 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Funny.

Nice, very nice. I love it.

Sorry, let me correct myself: I fucking love it.


Izawwlgood wrote:I had a debate with a friend this morning, and I want some outside opinions;
My friend holds that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's the same doctor, different body. He's just slipping into a new skin, so to speak.
I hold that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's more akin to reincarnation, wherein he has some/all of the memories of his past lives, but that he's a new/different person. Same role, same soul, different body, different person.

What do you all think? Is it like changing your clothes, or is it like the Avatar Cycle, wherein Tennent is a unique and different individual than Smith?

I'd say in between those. He clearly views himself as the same entity, and most others view him as the same entity as well. But there are definite changes that go beyond mere appearances. There are personality changes as well.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Angua » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:26 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I had a debate with a friend this morning, and I want some outside opinions;
My friend holds that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's the same doctor, different body. He's just slipping into a new skin, so to speak.
I hold that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's more akin to reincarnation, wherein he has some/all of the memories of his past lives, but that he's a new/different person. Same role, same soul, different body, different person.

What do you all think? Is it like changing your clothes, or is it like the Avatar Cycle, wherein Tennent is a unique and different individual than Smith?

I think it's more like a trill blending.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:28 pm UTC

The debate started because he suggested that River Song is going to be pretty pissed her husband is suddenly really old looking.
EDIT: WAIT, SHE"S ALREADY MET HIM HEADSPLODE

Diadem wrote:I'd say in between those. He clearly views himself as the same entity, and most others view him as the same entity as well. But there are definite changes that go beyond mere appearances. There are personality changes as well.
I remember some line where I think Smith looks at someone from the Tennent days, and goes "I'm not him".
Angua wrote:I think it's more like a trill blending.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:50 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I had a debate with a friend this morning, and I want some outside opinions;
My friend holds that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's the same doctor, different body. He's just slipping into a new skin, so to speak.
I hold that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's more akin to reincarnation, wherein he has some/all of the memories of his past lives, but that he's a new/different person. Same role, same soul, different body, different person.

What do you all think? Is it like changing your clothes, or is it like the Avatar Cycle, wherein Tennent is a unique and different individual than Smith?

This was spelled out pretty clearly in Ten's last episode. He said it feels like dying because it's like a new man wanders off into the cosmos with all his memories and experiences. So it's the latter.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Zarq » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:30 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I had a debate with a friend this morning, and I want some outside opinions;
My friend holds that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's the same doctor, different body. He's just slipping into a new skin, so to speak.
I hold that every time the Doctor regenerates, it's more akin to reincarnation, wherein he has some/all of the memories of his past lives, but that he's a new/different person. Same role, same soul, different body, different person.

What do you all think? Is it like changing your clothes, or is it like the Avatar Cycle, wherein Tennent is a unique and different individual than Smith?

This was spelled out pretty clearly in Ten's last episode. He said it feels like dying because it's like a new man wanders off into the cosmos with all his memories and experiences. So it's the latter.


Pretty sure Nine said it too.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Angua » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:31 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Angua wrote:I think it's more like a trill blending.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:09 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Angua wrote:I think it's more like a trill blending.
Whatnowthewhowhat?
Not a ds9 fan?
Ah, no, haven't seen any of it.
SlyReaper wrote:This was spelled out pretty clearly in Ten's last episode. He said it feels like dying because it's like a new man wanders off into the cosmos with all his memories and experiences. So it's the latter.
Curious and cool, thanks. I remember one of the newer doctors having some bit wherein he looks at someone from a previous doctors adventures, and goes "I'm not him".
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

rmsgrey
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:06 pm UTC

The new Doctor has the same fundamental identity as the old one, but a different body and different quirks - there's a little multiple personality in there, and it's established that two different incarnations of the same Timelord are metaphysically distinct entities in a way the same person age 10 and age 60 aren't - two (or more) Doctors can interact freely, while the Blinovitch Limitation Effect causes problems when two versions of the same Doctor are there.

I like the Trill analogy - for the uninitiated, Trill are a species in the Star Trek universe, first appearing in The Next Generation where Will Riker falls for one in a female host, then has trouble when it joins with a male host long-term. One of the core characters in Deep Space 9 is a Trill, and a number of episodes revolve around her.

Trill consist of a symbiont and a (humanoid) host - the symbiont carries the memories and experiences of all prior hosts, while the host matures as an independent person, develops their own personality, and then bonds with the symbiont as an adult. The joining produces a new individual - a fusion of the symbiont's and the current host's personalities.

The Doctor is a different person in each regeneration, but he's also the same person - it's hardly surprising that we don't have the language to describe exactly how individual regenerations of the same individual Timelord relate to each other, quite apart from the fact that the writers won't have worked out all the details anyway...

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learsfool
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby learsfool » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:44 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:The new Doctor has the same fundamental identity as the old one, but a different body and different quirks - there's a little multiple personality in there, and it's established that two different incarnations of the same Timelord are metaphysically distinct entities in a way the same person age 10 and age 60 aren't - two (or more) Doctors can interact freely, while the Blinovitch Limitation Effect causes problems when two versions of the same Doctor are there.

Wow. . okay, so now I'm starting to see the Doctors as overlapping people on a timeline, with each incarnation most influenced by the ones most immediately preceding.

It does open up some fun potential there, especially with the Master.

Of course, the Doctor respects no Canon! But the thought experiments certainly are fun!

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charliepanayi
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby charliepanayi » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:30 pm UTC

"Excuse me Miss, do you like pineapple?"

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying"


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