Tuesday, July 11, 2006

By any other name

So, Rose leaves Dr Who and, I'm not ashamed to admit, eyes were not entirely dry at Cultural Snow Towers. I've loved this series (Intertextuality! Sarah Jane! ELO!); although the whole project does induce a sort of wistful melancholy at the thought of what Tom Baker might have been able to do with a half-decent budget and a smidgeon of CGI.

One thought. The last two episodes have established that there are multiple parallel universes, and movement between them is feasible, albeit difficult and unwise. Does this mean pretty much anything is possible? The original series operated on the principle of canonicity, so that if something happened, it happened; it couldn't be contradicted in subsequent stories. This did necessitate increasingly daft explanations as to how Davros was able to reappear, but at least it imposed some sort of continuity, not to mention discipline, on the writers. Oooh, when it looked as if the Brigadier had retired by the time of the Queen's Silver Jubilee, the letters they got!

But now, the Doc can just find himself confronted with something that's logically impossible, say "Oh bum, must have slipped through into a pesky parallel universe again!" and carry on saving the (a?) world. Sounds a bit like cheating to me.

And it means they could even bring back Adric.

11 comments:

Joel said...

Yeah, the New Who's replete with these kind of conceptual WD-40s like psychic paper, Tardis translation circuits, and the sonic screwdriver, (although obviously that's been around for ages). As long as there's a good story with lashings of verisimilitude and excitement I can't bring myself to care. In balance it was a cracking series. But it could still be better...

Spinsterella said...

No pic of David Tennant?

Hmph.

(Didn't actually watch any of it so can't comment further)

Tim Footman said...

Joel: I seem to recall that the translation thing was hinted at very obliquely in a T. Baker story called The Masque of Mandragora, when Sarah Jane suddenly realised she couldn't speak Renaissance Italian. But some psycho monks started getting lairy, thus preventing the Doctor from explaining.

Spin: For you, sweetie, David Tennant in something his Auntie Morag made.

Robert A. Swipe said...

I too prefer the days when Patrick Troughton could save (a) the world by the simple expedient of reversing the positrons.

Life was so much more straightforward then, wasn't it?

btw Tim:

"...treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry"

If that's aimed at me, you'll be hearing from my lawyers...... as soon as they've qualified....

Billy said...

I do like "the Who" as any flaws can be explained away with "it's only a show for kiddies".

And wasn't Billie brilliant? I didn't see that one happening. I'd offer to marry her in a flash if it wouldn't promote an Evelyn Waugh style confusion.

Tim Footman said...

Bob: I think the original review got off on a defence of "fair comment".

Billy: Of course, their friends called them He-Evelyn and She-Evelyn. Which clearly still too ambiguous, as she quickly began an affair with a bloke called John.

Waugh fictionalised the whole thing in A Handful Of Dust, but gave his rival the name John Beaver. I've always thought this was his way of calling the guy a cunt, but I was dissuaded from putting this theory in my dissertation...

Spinsterella said...

David Tennant and Evelyn Waugh in one post - oh, I'm a happy woman.

A friend of mine worked as a beaver leader (as in scouts and cubs). They had to give her a space-related name for some reason.

She vetoed 'Beaver Mother-Ship', but ended up with 'Beaver Star'. Which is worse, if you ask me.

patroclus said...

At uni I was in a mixed hockey team called Beaver Patrol. Oh, the shame of it...

corin said...

I once worked on a show with Beaver Arts Theatre Company. This was a company run by women, and apparently chose the name for exactly the reason you're all thinking.

'Masque of Madragora' was a cool episode. But in terms of weird parallel universes you've got to check out Patric Troughton's 'The Mind Robber'. Absolute preposterous lunacy. They even managed to get away with an alternate Jamie! That adventure was the height of surreality in Who.

Tim Footman said...

I would have gone for Pudenda Players. For the actors, the hockey and, what the hell, the scouts.

The Mind Robber is, indeed, preposterous. In a nice way. The alternate Jamie was, however, the result of the real one getting chickenpox. Or that's what I heard.

Will said...

I don't think the original series worried too much about canonicity - it was the fans (except in the eighties when some fans were influencing the production office). There was little attempt by the series to reconcile the various creations and descructions of the Daleks - you could expect stories to be consistent from week to week, but not from decade to decade.

The usual response to apparent discrepancies is "It's something for the fans to work out" ;-)