Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Latest Day Of The Doctor Trailer, And Thoughts On Rose's Return

I recently looked at the first trailer for The Day of the Doctor and the BBC have now released a second one.

As always, all images are (c) the BBC.

The Doctor (I guess the eleventh) has now listened to Idris/the TARDIS from The Doctor's Wife and accepted that a police box's doors open outwards.

This reminds me of Rassilon leading a group of Time Lords into what I assume was the Council chamber in The End of Time, so this must be Gallifrey. The figure on the far right reminds me of the figure I thought could be a Sontaran in the first trailer. Presumably the Capitol Guard uniform is of that style - and the thought came to my mind whether an unregenerated Maxil were still a there. Come on, give us Colin Baker in a cameo as the Castellan.

Great men are forged in fire - hmm, so this is the Day of the Doctor, the day he is forged in the flames and becomes who he is.

The first time I saw this, I thought the lady running was Clara Oswald.

I don't think it is, taking another look, but this got me wondering. In The Name of the Doctor, the Great Intelligence enters the Doctor's timestream, to turn all his victories into defeat, and Clara follows him/it to undo this. But she didn't encounter the missing Doctor while doing this.

Does this mean that the missing Doctor had no victories that could be turned into defeat? Surely, even during the Time War, he must have had some victory that could be overturned? Or did the Great Intelligence assume that in the light of the Doctor's ultimate defeat in the Time War, any victories in it were insignificant?

This then raises another issue - surely there were pre-Time War victories for this missing Doctor? Which brings me to an idea floating around in my mind. We know, from The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords that the Master was resurrected for the Time War, as a perfect warrior. Is it a case that the Time Lords were not just bringing back to life those they thought would be suitable, but making existing Time Lords suitable? How would this be done? Well, in regeneration, a Time Lord's personality and character can change somewhat. At the end of The War Games, part of the Doctor's sentence is to change his appearance - indicating that the Time Lords have the power to not only enforce a regeneration, but to decide on its outcome.

We don't know much about the eighth Doctor, but suppose he was not considered suitable for the Time War, and therefore the Time Lords carried out a forced regeneration on him. If so, then the missing Doctor was only the Doctor through the Time War, and had no victories that the Great Intelligence could turn into defeats, and therefore no reason for Clara to meet him in one of her parallel existences.

Yes, I know the fan speculation that this is the eighth Doctor, which would give some sort of backing to my idea above. Is that Clara behind him? After all, they must have met at some point.

I've put these two together although this goes a bit out-of-sequence. We have seen the eleventh Doctor ride a motorbike in The Bells of St John, so guess this is his one from that.

Familiar from the newspapers. Guess this is outside the National Gallery, where the significant painting is. But why is the eleventh Doctor visiting it? I presume that is a UNIT helicopter airlifting the TARDIS. And why is the telephone panel open?

This starts to clear things up. In the previous trailer, we had the tenth and eleventh Doctor in the forest, and the tenth Doctor saying "You've certainly come to the right place" - presumably to the missing Doctor. We also saw Elizabeth I running through a forest. With her in the background of this scene, it is clear that this is the same forest.

This is interesting. UNIT base? I presume the women are Kate Lethbridge-Stewart. And the obvious explanation for there being two of her is that one is a Zygon infiltrating UNIT.

On the board on the right it is clearly Kamelion - but how did UNIT know about him?

And what is the 00:56 on the clock? Is it 56 minutes after midnight? Or is it a countdown - and if so, in minutes or seconds?

The "Oh, you've redecorated.... Don't like it" is, of course, the second Doctor's line in The Five Doctors and the eleventh Doctor's in Closing Time. The three Doctors with Clara in the elevent Doctor's console room - but where is Rose Tyler?

The three Doctors together - looking at the board behind them, I guess this is the UNIT base. What is the image on the screen on the right?

Tenth Doctor: For once I'd like to know where I'm going

Eleventh Doctor: No, you really wouldn't

Interesting. Does the eleventh Doctor have memories of this adventure from when he was the tenth? Or is the tenth Doctor - knowing that his song is ending and that "he will knock four times" - want some information about his personal future?

One issue that has been asked is when is Rose from? In Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel the Doctor tells her and Mickey Smith that, with regards to parallel universes (and they had landed in the one that Rose would eventually stay in):

Used to be easy. When the Time Lords kept their eye on everything, you could hop between realities, home in time for tea. Then they died, took it all with them. The walls of reality closed, the worlds were sealed. Everything became that bit less kind.

And in The Stolen Earth/Journey's End the walls of reality are opened by Davros' work on the reality bomb, and by the end, the walls are closing again. But if the Time Lords were keeping their eyes on everything, then you could travel across realities.

If this is set in the Time War, then it is before the Time Lords died and the worlds of reality closed. So, Rose could be able to return into the Time War itself - and maybe this is how to get round the War being time-locked. She is the Bad Wolf after all.

A related issue is - where is Gallifrey? If parallel universes are caused by time travel altering reality, and Gallifrey is the first planet to develop time travel, then I wonder whether this places Gallifrey at the point where parallel universes meet, and that in some sense the same Gallifrey exists in all parallel universes, so you could not have a parallel Gallifrey. Otherwise you could have it that the Time War only affected the Gallifrey in our reality. And if it's a Time War, and parallel universes are caused by time being altered, then does this mean that the War produced and/or destroyed many parallel universes?

There is a final thought. This is the seventh season of Doctor Who since it returned. American sci-fi shows such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and 3 of the Star Trek spin-offs (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager) ran for 7 seasons, and the Star Trek ones ensured that a finale more-or-less wrapped everything up. Is the same happening here?

After The Day of the Doctor, we have the Christmas episode. I have heard rumours that it'll be called Silent Night - sounds logical, as it's Christmassy title and also the eleventh Doctor had to tackle the complicated and, to some extent, unresolved matter of the Silence. Why did they believe silence would fall when the question was asked? In The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People the Doctor knew about the Flesh and wanted to cut off the link to Amy Pond - and the Flesh played some part in Kovarian's plans in A Good Man Goes to War. Why did the Silence want to make the TARDIS explode anyway? There are these eleventh Doctor loose ends to be wrapped up.

An episode covering the Time War closes a major thread from that spring evening in 2005 when Rose was shown - and we are now as far from that point as Jo Grant is from a junkyard in Totter's Lane.

And so I wonder whether the Christmas episode is there to end Doctor Who as it is now - tying up all the remaining loose ends.

If we look at the history, there seem to be phases. The first, from An Unearthly Child to The War Games, was the Doctor on the run from his own (unnamed) people. I have been watching the latter of these, and trying to imagine the little thrill that would come from having some of the Doctor's back story explained. That was 6 seasons.

Then we have the UNIT years - running from Spearhead from Space and up to Terror of the Zygons, so covering 6 seasons. I know that by the time you get to the fourth Doctor's era, UNIT features less. But Robot does have him, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan leaving UNIT HQ, and intending to return. Yes, Terror of the Zygons does lie in the following season (the thirteenth), but I believe it was designed to end the twelfth.

Then the Tom Baker era from Planet of Evil to some point in the eighteenth season. You could put it right at the end, with Logopolis, or you could argue that it and its predecessor, The Keeper of Traken, were putting the elements in place for the fifth Doctor era - introducing Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka, bringing back the Master - to enable Peter Davison to hit the Castrovalvan ground running.

Then we have the fifth & sixth Doctor eras, covering 5 seasons. Finally, the darker Doctor of Sylvester McCoy, cut short after 3 seasons.

So this is what I think it would be - tying up the loose ends, revolving all plot threads, and clearing the decks for the Peter Capaldi era.

Spoiler - it's going to be fantastic.

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