buying presents for people who aren’t obsessed with anything is fucking impossible…
DO YOU EVEN LIKE ANYTHING?
Chimamamda Ngozi Adiche, We Should All Be Feminists
The most powerful thing anyone has ever said to me: “You deserve to take up space.”
SO MUCH THIS.
Prix du café à Nice
These two gifsets appeared in quick succession on my dash, and basically sum up my problem with the Major Retcon Bomb that was DotD.
By taking away the most terrible choice the Doctor had to make, he becomes that much less brave, that much less heroic, that much less the-man-who-would. Yes, the guilt and the grief that he experienced as Nine, Ten and earlier Eleven are no less real because he believes that he committed genocide. Yes, the strength he demonstrated in continuing to live on and fight for the universe are no less admirable. BUT. He no longer represents the kind of person that people look to in times of crises to make the difficult decisions. He no longer embodies the type of courage required to choose what is right instead of what is easy. And I think that takes away a very large chunk of what the Doctor has come to represent to me (and I think, to many other Whovians as well).
I am of two minds regarding this. On the one hand, I agree with you that the Doctor has been in some ways diminished because he was able to make his greatest sin just disappear. One of the things we saw in End of Time was that the Time Lords really were impossibly corrupt, and they wanted to destroy everything except themselves. The Doctor did not kill all the Time Lords because he was evil. He did that because they posed a threat to the entire universe and they had to be contained.
Sometimes great men have to make terrible decisions, and that’s part of what makes them great men; they can see the whole picture and know what’s best for the largest number of sentient beings. In DOTD, the Time Lord’s intentions were handwaved away and they did not touch on them at all. The Doctors did not eradicate the most dangerous threat to the universe, They kicked the can down the road because they felt guilty. And it does not surprise me that the architect of that cop-out was Eleven, who became so much more irresponsible and childish after regenerating from the pain-racked Ten.
On the other hand, the story of the Doctor as a guilt-ridden refugee who can’t enjoy anything or forgive himself because of what happened at Gallifrey is getting a bit long in the tooth. Eight years now. Something needed to change in the narrative. Moffat was right about that. Now, I would have preferred for the Doctor to have gotten some kind of redemption for his crime rather than merely erasing it, but I understand why they made this decision. And while I am not completely happy with all the decisions Moffat has made as a show runner, and I think his era is both more shallow and less coherent than RTD’s was, well… he’s doing a better job than I would!
I think at this point I have a choice. I can either accept that current Doctor Who is more shallow than the era I fell in love with, and continue to watch it because it’s still fun. or I can reject it because it’s not quite the same anymore and miss out on what there still is to see. Yes, I liked RTD better. Yes, I liked David Tennant better. Well, they are gone and they aren’t coming back, so I can complain or I can watch what there still is to see.
And here is where we get to the ultimate weakness of Moffat’s writing.
He doesn’t write about good men having to do bad things and needing redemption to move on. He writes about bad things just being erased so that the good man no longer has to feel bad about it. There are no more tough decisions because all the Doctor has to do now is go back in time and make sure it never happens in the first place.
There is no peril anymore. Oh, a companion might die? Rubbish! Let’s just go back in time and make sure they don’t. Doomsday? Well, why isn’t the Doctor going back in time and locking Rose in the TARDIS while he does his thing? The Waters of Mars? Let’s just go back to before the guy bit into the carrot and stop all of it from happening in the first place. Pompeii? Well, now he knows what’s going to happen, let’s just get all the people out of the city first. What? It’s a fixed point in time? So what? So was the end of the Time War. And now that has no longer happened, so why not go back and save those 20,000 people. Or does it only work when it’s his own people he’s saving?
OOPS! Now, instead of a good man who’s had to do some terrible things, or leave people to die because it would be worse to save them, we’ve got an absolute dick who will go back and save his own people, but will stand there and watch humans die by the thousands.
Well done, Moffat. Now you’ve made the Doctor a worse person.
The concept of Fixed Points in Time appears to have fallen by the wayside. The Tenth Doctor was tortured with guilt and vilified as a monster no morally better than The Master because he could not stand to watch the Mars colony be destroyed, and he seized authority of time and space in order to save some lives. He was roundly condemned for his arrogance and hubris. Now, the Doctor routinely changes fixed points in time whenever it suits him, but it is not regarded as hubris because he’s going “La-la-la-la-la I don’t like this so let’s fix it!” rather than “THE LAWS OF TIME AND SPACE WILL OBEY ME!”
But it’s basically the same attitude, in slightly different packaging. Ten’s just aware of the cosmic cost of what he’s doing. The stakes are just a lot lower now and the characters are more shallow. It’s more like a kiddie show again.
But it’s still better than no Doctor Who at all.
Wow, I’ve seldom had an essentially-text post gain so many reblogs and different views!
I do agree that the harping on the Doctor’s guilt for 8 years (and more than 400 years in the Doctor’s timeline) is getting a little old. But surely there should be other ways of moving past that, rather than erasing much of NewWho lore. Part of character development (do you know what that means, Moffat?) involves the Doctor growing around the events in his life and the choices that he has made. Acceptance is a part of maturation.
Sure, it will always be a major life-changing event, and its effects are going to haunt his future choices. Sure, I don’t expect him to have a la-la-la-I’m-so-fine guilt-free existence for the rest of his however many remaining lives. But as time passes and character development occurs, I expect that this and his many other experiences to shape his
world viewuniverse view and give him strength when he has to make difficult choices. I’d like to believe that in the 400 years since the Time War ended for the Doctor, he would have travelled extensively and seen just how many civilisations he benefited from his most terrible choice. I’d like to believe he learnt that as protector of the universe, sometimes you just have to swallow your feelings and do what is right for the universe (and not what is right for himself) because nobody else would. Most of all, I’d like to believe that he would know better, especially after Waters of Mars, than to mess with fixed points in time!
There’d better be some repercussions from his meddling.
As long as Moffat is writing it, there probably will not.
Do you know how good writers help the Doctor get past the Time War? By writing it. No need for retcons. Just write it.
Beautiful book covers created by Dana Tanamachi for Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Books for children. Every cover was created in a bigger size with chalk then photographed and taken for reproduction. If you want to buy the books: Peter Pan, The Wizard Of Oz or Pippi Longstocking you can buy them on Amazon.
Through crimson stars and silent stars and tumbling nebulas like oceans set on fire, through empires of glass and civilizations of pure thought, and a whole, terrible, wonderful universe of impossibilities. You see these eyes? They’re old eyes… and one thing I can tell you, Alex: monsters are real.
I think Cosmo did some justice on this one
I feel this to my core.
Lol at #3. Seriously my friends family is obsessed With Bebe and it’s all plain clothing that costs way too much and barely anyone can fit into it
when you turn thirteen and want to paint your nails black
I’ll rummage through an old drawer and give you my own polish.
when you look at me and say, “momma, I’m lost.”
I’ll turn you towards the mirror
and say, “run darlin’, don’t ever let them find you.”
when the first day of high school comes
and you hurry to get out of the car with nerves in hand I’ll tell you,
“don’t run, walk slow. you’ll make it through.”
when you go on your first date I’ll remember my first date.
I’ll remember the look on my own mother’s face
when he didn’t open my car door
and baby, if he doesn’t open the car door remember your momma saying, “he doesn’t get to open anything else either.”
one day that boy will break your heart
and when you lock yourself in your room
I’ll buy you a journal, a brand new pen, a 2 liter of strawberry soda
and a potted violet with a note saying something like,
“white oleanders are poisonous and so is heartache.
violets symbolize something that I’ve since forgotten
and strawberry soda drowns the salt in your tears.”
one day you’ll pack your things,
I’ll write you letters and send you candles in the mail.
you’ll marry young or maybe old.
you’ll have a daughter of your own and watch the sun rise in her eyes.
just remember to never look up what violets symbolize
and when she looks at you with tears in her eyes
saying, “momma, I’m lost.”
turn her towards the mirror
and say, “run darlin’, don’t ever let them find you.”