Saturday, May 4, 2013

You Don't Love Me, You Love Magazines: An Operation Blue Harvest Update

Things have been pretty quiet here at The Horror this week.  It's been a very emotionally taxing week in my life.  But a new issue of Doctor Who Magazine just came out, and it gave us some big information about both the season finale and the 50th Anniversary special.  I should probably subscribe to DWM, but for the time being, a Google News alert for "doctor who" seems to be working just fine.

Although I would like to have as many framed pictures of Matt Smith as possible.
In a totally heterosexual way.
Let's start with the season finale...

The Name of the Doctor

I got this all from Blogtor Who.

Like I predicted, Vastra, Strax, and Jenny are all coming back.  When the episode description said that the Doctor's "friends" would be captured and taken to the fields of Trenzalore, I figured it had to be more than just Clara.

Richard E. Grant is coming back in this episode as a "posthumous" Dr. Simeon, which I think we all know means that the Great Intelligence is the main villain of the episode.  This is further confirmed with a quote that has been revealed from the episode.  "How's the intelligence--still great?" - The Doctor.

Clara's true identity will be revealed in this particular episode.  Does this mean her weirdness is linked to the Doctor's real name?  That might explain why the TARDIS showed Clara the Doctor's real name. It might be a clue that she needed to hear.  We've seen the TARDIS give clues about the future before ("The only water in the forest is the river"), and we know that it can predict the future.  There's no doubt that the TARDIS knows who Clara is, hence why it doesn't like her.  Although it seemed to like her enough to save her...

Okay, so most of that is stuff we already knew.  But here's the bombshell:  Not only will River be's going to be a "post-[L]ibrary" River!  It seems that the word "impossible" means very little on this show.  River seemed to be clearly killed in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead."  How on Earth has she survived?  One possibility is that she somehow faked her death.  Why that would be necessary is beyond me.  Another possibility is that she hasn't actually given up all of her regenerations after all.  Will we be see a future regeneration of River in this episode?  Or possibly some other time in the future?

Another interesting idea is the fact that, just because the Doctor "saved" River's consciousness in "Forest of the Dead," doesn't necessarily mean she had to die there.  A version of her consciousness could easily have been "saved" even if she wasn't about to die.  Somehow, River found a way to survive, but an echo of her consciousness was still on the sonic screwdriver.  Or maybe her consciousness found a way out of the Library computer.

The magazine also reported that not everyone will make it out of this episode alive.  Hopefully the person to die will be someone relatively inconsequential, like Jenny.  We'll see.  It would be pretty cruel to bring a post-Library River back and then kill her off again immediately afterwards.  But Moffat has said that he has an "endgame" for River.  Who knows what that means.

Now, on to...

The 50th Anniversary Special

Doctor Who Magazine also reported that David Tennant is without a doubt the only Doctor coming back.  I still stand by Rule 1.  It stands proudly as the subtitle of this blog.  It's absolutely possible that Moffat is lying.  Doctor Who Magazine is not opposed to lying on Moffat's behalf.  When "The Impossible Astronaut" was coming out, DWM had 4 collectable covers, each one with a different main character on it:  River, Amy, Rory, and the Doctor.  The headline said that one of them would die, and this time it wasn't a trick.  Clearly, it was a trick.  We all know that the Doctor's escape from the Silence was absolutely a trick.  So maybe they're lying.

However, we have to begin preparing ourselves for the possibility that this isn't a lie.  If that's the case, we all need to remember that David Tennant and Matt Smith paired together in the same episode is an awesome thing!  If we had to choose only one past Doctor to bring back for the special, my number one choice would be David Tennant.  Tennant's cool as a cucumber Doctor will contrast well against Smith's bumbling hipster version of the same character.

However, io9 dug up a brief 19 second video of the filming that clearly shows the crew filming an old fashioned police constable walking past the I.M. Foreman scrap yard at 76 Trotter's Lane.  For those of you who don't know, that's the exact shot that the first episode of the classic series opened with.  It looks like, somehow, we're returning to the beginning.  While Moffat says he wants to move the series forward at all times, the little tidbits that we get from behind the scenes show that that's not entirely true.  The villains are going to be the Zygons, the 10th Doctor will return, and we're going back to Trotter's Lane where it all began.

Even if we don't see the return of any Doctors before Tennant, there's nothing that stops them from bringing back other characters.  Carole Anne Ford, who played the Doctor's granddaughter, Susan, and William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton, remain the only original cast members from 1963 that are still alive.  Either of them would be a perfect addition to this episode, especially if the episode is going back to Trotter's Lane.  Someone else has to come back, even if it isn't a Doctor.

You know what would be a great idea for a special?  "The Five Masters."

While I've been saying that I think Susan will come back soon, and I still think there's a good chance of it, I have one concern.  I've recently started to listen to and read expanded universe material.  In Eighth Doctor adventures, Susan meets her grandfather again.  I used to say that we can't claim that expanded universe is cannon, but since there are actually a lot fewer contradictions between expanded universe and television than I thought, I'm starting to view those stories as all cannon.  This is not to say that a return of Susan can't happen without contradicting the Eighth Doctor adventures, I can't imagine that it wouldn't contradict it.  If you bring back Susan, you have to have the conversation about how the Doctor left her behind.

Tomorrow, my least favorite Doctor Who writer is going to be writing an episode that looks really boring.  Let's hope I'm wrong.

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