Monday, November 25, 2013

New Who Views: Young Doctors and Love or Romantic Moments

With the passing of the Fiftieth Anniversary, this week’s peek into my rather deranged head had to be about Doctor Who.  However, if I start talking about “The Day of The Doctor”, I will quickly disintegrate into a pile of incoherent squees and cheers, benefiting no one.

There’s something magical about having first heavily gotten into the show around the time of “The Five Doctors” 20th Anniversary special, and being able to share the 50th Anniversary special with my family when the franchise is at least as much fun as it was thirty years ago, and probably healthier.

One totally groovy thought before I continue:  when the time of the 100th Anniversary Doctor Who in home holographic special, complete with smellio and fondlevision, comes around – Matt Smith will be about the same age that Tom Baker is now!

Comparing the anniversaries is a good starting point for today’s post.

Yes, I’m actually starting now, sorry for the loss of nerdly control there.

I grew up during the very strict, “No hanky-panky in the TARDIS” years.  Therefore, I find the way they’ve introduced the Doctor's romantic side interesting.  The new show’s episode length and format gives a stronger focus on the companions and their families, and less to the crowd of the week.  This makes looking deeper into the emotional interactions of the TARDIS crew almost a necessity.

It’s very similar to how the Daleks were re-introduced by the writer looking at and addressing all of the basic complaints and/or jokes about the Doctor’s most feared enemies to make them a viable threat.

Relationships to continuing companions appear to be handpicked based on various assumed conditions from the classic series concerning the expectations of interactions between the Time Lord and his assistant.

“With them facing danger all over the universe and spending that much time travelling together in his little box, there must be romantic feelings between the Doctor and those young ladies he travels with.”

Rose Tyler

“Even if the Doctor is incapable of falling for a human, his mystique, personality, and the fact that he constantly saves their lives means his companions must have unrequited attractions to him.”

Martha Jones

“It doesn’t matter if the only relationship between the Doctor and his companion is formed of a love of discovery and adventure, and they’re unromantic yet the best of friends, everyone must think that they’re obviously a couple.”

Donna Noble

“The companions have a massive crush on the Doctor, regardless of whether or not he sees them in the same way.  The only way that crush could be overshadowed by someone else must be by a truly epic romance.”

Amy Pond Williams

“If the Doctor actually had a “normal” romance it would be anything but. It would likely defy space and time, confuse everyone including the couple in question and involve an individual that would never be satisfied in the companion’s role as the Doctor’s assistant.”

Professor River Song

“No matter the Doctor’s intentions, any woman invited to travel the universe in a little box with a strange man must assume he has ulterior motives.”

Clara “snog box” Oswald

“Right. This guy is constantly bringing beautiful young women on all his travels, yet there’s no evidence he fancies any of them. He must be…you know.”

Captain Jack Harkness

This seems to indicate the people behind the show paid close attention to possible reactions to the Doctor’s new romantic side, and set about addressing fan issues.

This leads me to the question: What was so different about Rose?

The Doctor definitely treated her differently than any past or future recurring companion. However, there’s some evidence that he normally doesn’t see humans as potential long term relationships at all. Such as:

Completely ignoring, or not noticing Martha’s pining.

Being able to invite Joan Redfern to travel with him, but unable to share the connection they did when he was human.

Constant denial that he and Donna were a couple.

Freaking out when Amy kissed him because he’s over 900 years old and she’s “human.”

Clearly there was something going on with Rose, especially with the Tenth Doctor. (Tennant, I'll be sticking with classic numbering as long as I can.  I have enough trouble counting normally being a Star Wars fan.)  His human duplicate was “given to her” as the ultimate parting gift and was very happy about it.

The obvious answer is she helped him heal after the Time War.  Therefore that is definitely wrong, because this is Doctor Who and the obvious answer is never the right one.

I believe that the Doctor saw Rose Tyler as a human, and therefore refused to have romantic feelings toward her; even though he did treat her as if he did on many occasions.

Here’s what led to the theory the part of my brain dedicated to this sort of thing, instead of anything practical, worked out.

Rose did help the Ninth Doctor recover from the time war, and there was a connection, but not nearly as strong as with the Tenth.

Her first Doctor threatened to leave her behind, both in “The Unquiet Dead” and “Father’s Day.”

He brought both Adam, and Captain Jack on board, kinda for her.

He got angry when she was threatened or kidnapped, but nowhere near at the levels of dangerous rage the Tenth Doctor displayed. See “The Wire” for Tennant at his foaming at the mouth finest, and "The Satan Pit" for the amount of trust he placed in her.  

While her link with the Tenth Doctor was visibly stronger, it still wasn’t a true romance.

His adventures with Madame Pompadour during, “The Girl in the Fireplace” was during what should have been the height of their relationship.

His time with Reinette seems to be typical of how the Doctor experiences relationships:  Short term (from his perspective) and seemingly done on a lark for entertainment while on a mission, if Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe are any indication.

The Doctor also pushed Rose to the background to obsess over Sarah Jane in “School Reunion.” (That may have only been David Tennant geeking out, however.) 

The Tenth Doctor invited Mickey to travel with them, seemingly oblivious, or pretending to be, about Rose’s protestations.

He also insisted Rose go to Pete’s world before opening the door to the void in “Doomsday”, insuring they’d be separated forever.  She defied him and returned, but there has to have been some other way he could have protected her…

Leave her in the TARDIS,
Leave her on a safe, but distant planet,
Leave her in the past, maybe the year she was missing, in a nice little bed and breakfast in Vermont for the weekend, and pick her up after the threat was over.

No, the man supposedly in love with her, decided the only way to protect her is by putting her in a parallel universe where he can never see her again.  He also stalled juuuust long enough after she said, “I love you,” for the sun to burn up completely before he could answer.

Sounds kinda like the spaceman version of, “We need some time off.”

Finally look at the way he reacted to losing her. 

He was a mopey Time Lord for a while, but immediately invited Donna, and then Martha to travel with him afterwards.

Just after Martha left due to his “obsession” with Rose, he looked to be getting mighty friendly with Astrid “Voyage of the Damned.” 

In fact, as joyous as the reunion was with Rose in “Journey’s End” he was awfully ready to happily continue his travels with Donna after plopping her back on Pete’s World with her consolation Doctor.

He reached ultimate depression and world weariness after losing Donna, his best friend, not his girlfriend. 

It was the first time he decided against travelling with anyone.

The next time that happened was again with friends (and, oddly, in-laws), when he lost Amy and Rory in “The Angels Take Manhattan.”

If the Tenth Doctor wasn’t in love with Rose, then why did he act differently toward her than any other companion?

The answer, as the song says:  “It’s in her kiss.”

When did the Doctor first kiss Rose?

In “The Parting of the Ways” right before he regenerated into the Tenth Doctor and changed the way he acted towards her.

What condition was she in?
She had absorbed the time vortex.

And when else have we seen a woman filled with glowing time energy that the Doctor had a deep romantic attraction to?
Idris in “The Doctor’s Wife.”

The Doctor treated Rose differently than any other female companion because of her brief connection to the one woman he truly loves, and always will, the TARDIS.   It's possible Billie Piper played "The Moment" in “The Day of the Doctor” because they wanted to include her and yet avoid how much additional time they would have to spend on a Doctor/Rose reunion in the story.  But that still supplies no in-story reason, which I am about to.

She was the Bad Wolf entity who has shown the ability to reach throughout time and space to warn the Doctor. Being powered by the time vortex from the central column means Bad Wolf was the TARDIS.  It's likely that interference from Bad Wolf caused The Moment to become sentient in the first place and she left a little of herself inside it (She specifically corrected herself that she wasn't "Rose Tyler" but "Bad Wolf".)  to allow passage in and out of the time lock and permit the Doctor to cross his own time stream...thirteen times!  Notice the knowing smiles she had when she talked to the War Doctor about parking far away and asked "Didn't you want her to see it?"  and when she mentioned the sound of the TARDIS bringing hope, "even to you."  Also notice that when the Doctors came out of the vision of what they would destroy on Gallifrey, the TARDIS windows lit up when she grinned.

It would explain why she appeared as Rose to an incarnation that had yet to meet her...Idris had a great deal of trouble with  the difference between past and future too.  Also, she acted giddy and cute, like "Sexy" did around the Doctor, not quite like the real Rose, and certainly not like one would expect a weapon of mass destruction to act.

Finally, it explains WHO remembered the events of the Anniversary Special.  The Zygon plot would have had two Doctors meet in the original timeline, making the Eleventh Doctor kind of remember what happened while the Tenth didn't.  It took intervention of Bad Wolf, formed at the end of the Ninth Doctor's time, to bring the War Doctor into the Zygon plot, and the other two back into the Time War.  This action changed the time line, and led them to forgetting it when the anomaly passed.

The TARDIS always does whatever she can to help her "thief," even bend the laws of time itself to correct a decision made when he wasn't himself that would haunt him for centuries..

And the Doctor loves her just as much in return.
Just how much does he love “Idris”?

Almost any enemy, evil alien army or world conquering threat gets one chance.

CyberKing Mercy Hartigan was offered a trip to a new uninhabited home before being destroyed.  

Dalek Caan was offered a truce before he escaped.

The humans and Silurians whose goal was to destroy the peace between their races were given second chances.

Zygons who had already killed people in the past and present were given treaty talks.

The Sycorax were given a chance to flee after killing several,and threatening a large chunk of the population including Rose. The Doctor was greatly angered enough to depose a government after the alien's choice to flee peacefully was not honored. (Paving the way for the Master as Prime Minister AND his weak willed successor that submitted to the 456’s demands in Torchwood: Children of Earth.  Oopsie!)

Sontarans who almost killed Donna, Martha, and the whole Earth were given a choice.

The Master tortured him, Captain Jack and Martha’s family for a year, enslaved humanity, and brought in the Toclafane.  The Doctor offered to take care of him.

Weeping Angels killed “Acolyte Bob” and were trying to kill Amy. They were given a warning first.

Davros, tried to kill Rose, all of his other companions, and the universe itself.  He was offered escape as his ship was destroyed.

House stole the “Old Girl’s” true body, which would have eventually killed the TARDIS.  The Doctor gave chase, and didn’t offer him another place to inhabit, or a chance to go home in exchange for releasing his allies.  The Doctor flew straight at him, and let “Sexy” destroy him without warning.

DO NOT mess with the Doctor’s wife.

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