Tuesday, November 26, 2013

50th Anniversary Repeated Meme: I Hurt Myself Today

Any excuse to include a picture of Sara Kingdom
Any excuse to include a picture of Sara Kingdom.
Central Premise Recycled From: The Three Doctors (Clara: “There's three of them now!” Kate Lethbridge-Stewart: “I think there's a precedent for that.”).

Moffat Auto-Recycling: Moppets (see below); the Doctor's mad romance with a beautiful historical figure, including antics on a white horse. Something nasty's happened to seemingly innocent statues. Sonic screwdriver as penis-substitute (The Curse of the Fatal Death). Nasty aggressive aliens which turn out to be OK sorts, once you negotiate with them. The Doctor as saviour, particularly of small children. Trenzalore.

Recycling Other People: The Moment is a mashup of Neil Gaiman's Sandman characters Death and Delirium, and Gaiman's own Idris from “The Doctor's Wife”, with an arguable element of Head Six from Battlestar Galactica thrown in. The Big Red Button from “Journey to the Centre of the Tardis”. A ghost shows the Doctor events to come (Trial of a Time Lord and/or Warriors' Gate). Nightmare of Eden featured images containing real live monsters which get out and wreak havoc (there's also elements of the wizard art in the Harry Potter series). The Bad Wolf makes a reappearance. Monty Python's The Meaning of Life features a Machine That Goes Ping. The Sarah Jane Adventures episode “Mona Lisa's Revenge” featured paintings coming to life. Memory-wiping people and Captain Jack's repeated deaths (Torchwood). Wish for the Doctor to save you and he will (qv Russell T. Davies). Alan Moore and David Lloyd's DWW comic “Black Legacy” involved a superweapon with a personality. Gallifrey's fate is a mashup of what happens to the Fendahl's planet in “Image of the Fendahl”, and how the Master hides his Tardis in “The Keeper of Traken”. "The Judgment of Sutekh" by Lawrence Miles (history has been rewritten, but nobody knows about it).

Moffat Simultaneously Recycling Himself And Other People: Motorbikes in the Tardis (The Doctor Who Telemovie, The Idiot's Lantern and The Bells of St John). The gag about Queen Elizabeth I marrying the Doctor has been ongoing since 2007. The Silent also memory-wipe people.

Evil Household Objects: River Song's red shoes are deadly enough to warrant inclusion in the Black Archive.

Doctor Who! “I'm looking for the Doctor...” “Well, you've certainly come to the right place...”

Hats! Tennant and Smith meet fez-to-fez.

Moffat Moppets! The imminent destruction of Gallifrey is made poignant by the device of including as many gratuitous sad-looking children as possible, including one carrying a stuffed rabbit (well, if Gallifrey has cats and mice, presumably it could have rabbits as well).

Murray Gold's Top Ten: The Gallifrey battle scenes provide yet another opportunity to go all Carmina Burana on us. Carl Orff *did* write a few other pieces, you know.

Clara's Job This Week: Schoolteacher, at Coal Hill School. At least she seems to have given up dying for the moment.

Continuity Frakup of the Week: At least three, all deliberate. Tom Baker's presence as The Curator, and the number of regenerations the Doctor has used so far (plus Moffat's own remarks on the same), are sure to keep the hashtags active until Christmas. Less remarked-upon is the fact that one of UNIT's pictures shows Mike Yates with Sara Kingdom-- did the First Doctor secretly drop round UNIT in the 1970s/1980s, or did the parallel-universe Sara of “The Destroyers” get her hands on a Dalek time machine?

Other Frakups: One UNIT soldier sports a full beard (perhaps UNIT has laxer hair regulations than the rest of the military?). The hut in the desert contains leaves and agricultural equipment (that's one rapid desert?). Although the Zygons copy clothing and accessories, they don't copy Osgoode's inhaler or, apparently, Kate's mobile phone (since, when Kate changes into her Zygon form in the Black Archive, her phone doesn't change too).

Continuity Resolutions: Most of the problems with the Zygons get either resolved or flagged up, e.g. how they manage to know so much about the people they duplicate, and the fact that their shape-shifting includes clothing and accessories (though not inhalers). The memory thing explains how none of the past Doctors and companions involved in “The Five Doctors” remember its events.

Hurt or Eccleston? Regeneration scene aside, about the only lines that would need changing were Eccleston to play the War Doctor are the one calling John Hurt “Granddad”, and the one referring to his “posh gravelly” voice (but substitute “Jug-Ears” and “Northern”, and you'd be fine).

Nostalgia UK: It's an Anniversary Special, so practically every second minute involves some sort of shoutout to past history. So many people have been involved in spotting them that I'm just going to refer you all to Google.

Item Most Likely To Become a Toy: It just amazes me that there has been no release of a John Hurt action figure yet; although apparently a War Doctor Sonic Screwdriver was released as a convention exclusive at the Doctor Who Celebration. Oh, and if anyone from Character Options is reading this (evidence points to no, but what the hell), I'm adding a request for a Night of the Doctor McGann to my usual request for a dress-up Madame Vastra and Jenny.