It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to these pages, so I thought “What better way to ease myself gently back in, than on a seven minute short?”
Now being a fan of derision and ridicule I was quite looking forward to sharpening my knives and going for the jugular on this one. I mean, do you remember the dire multi-Doctor story that landed them in Albert Square? It’s lucky I wasn’t writing then – I may have had to break my no sweary word rule.
But this was a totally creature altogether. There’s almost nothing that I can think of to fault it. I mean I know that Peter Davison looked older (because he was) and the explanation was breezed over liked it actually made some kind of sense (“The two of us together has shorted out the time differential.” Huh? So why didn’t David Tennant look any different?) but it was great fun.
I was surprised that nobody mentioned Adric
It really was something for the fans wasn’t it? Although how many of us were yelling at the TV, saying “Well you should know why he had the celery, you were him and you explained it all to Peri in Caves of Andozani.”? I didn’t actually shout because Mrs C. thinks I should dial back on the whole talking to inanimate objects thing. Apparently they don’t like it.
But really, there were so many little gags and references in there. I’ve just jotted down a few of my favourites here –
The repeated “What” is becoming part of the fun now. It’s almost expected like Sam Beckett saying “Oh Boy” and the end of each episode of Quantum Leap.
The explanation of how Doctor 10 knew how to save the day because he remembered watching himself do it when he was Doctor 5 was just put down to the “wibbly wobbly timey wimey” nature of things. Having just watched Blink again recently I thought that was kind of fun.
Peter Davison can still pull off indignant
I also enjoyed the fond digs at the fans. A name check for “that L.I.N.D.A lot” and also the exasperation felt about having groupies. “I can’t have you lot knowing where I live” Very funny stuff. Peter Davison can still pull off indignant very well can’t he?
There were also, of course, the references to the old show. Although when Doctor 10 was asking where Doctor 5 was, and he covered Nyssa and Tegan, I was surprised that nobody mentioned Adric, but then realised that they had in fact talked about the decorative vegetable a couple of times.
One little question here, actually. 10 mentioned to 5 (I’m becoming a little more informal here, you can tell can’t you?) that the Master had just turned up again (albeit sans “that rubbish beard”) so why didn’t he remember that he was still around? Surely that kind of insider knowledge might have come in handy somewhere along the way – It would at least stopped him constantly moping about being all alone.
I did laugh at the expression on 5’s face when 10 went in for a high-five. It was kind of a “What on earth are you doing?” kind of look – Which I must admit is the expression I would pull if somebody tried that kind of thing with me, too.
There’s no real reason for including this quote, but I thought it was such an accurate description that I wanted to include it. “I go zooming around space and time saving planets fighting monsters and, let’s be honest, being pretty marvellous.” Lovely stuff.
Perhaps Time Lords have a slow beard growth or something
And finally an explanation as to why the TARDIS is the way it is. It runs Windows as it’s Operating System! 5 let slip when he complained about the desktop theme having been changed. This really does explain it all. Why the TARDIS keeps crashing all the time for no good reason, why a lot of people can’t get into it and why nobody can get it to look any different. Mind you, if this really were the case, shouldn’t the TARDIS be a beige box, rather than a blue one?
And I never knew that the Doctor shaved. Okay, we’ve never seen him go to the loo and only rarely eat, but it’s odd after all those days he’d spent in captivity or in some primitive civilisation with no access to running water or toiletries that he hasn’t ever ended up looking like Don Johnson. Perhaps Time Lords have a slow beard growth or something.
The “You were my Doctor” speech was really quite touching. I can imagine a young David Tennant sitting at home watching Peter Davison being pretty marvellous – I thought that was very sweet. Of course, it does mean that I’m now older than the Doctor, which is a bit depressing, but I suppose it was going to happen at some point.
Unbelievably, I’ve been going on for a while now and can’t think of one bad thing to say. Perhaps this being charitable thing has got to me.
I imagine that I’ll just have to save my bile and rage for Torchwood when it comes back. I would say for the Christmas special but Kylie’s in that and nobody could be mean about her. I remember when she was Charlene, you know. Long ago that was.
One final question. Do you think that the Belgium reference was an homage to Douglas Adams or is it just that nobody likes the place?
Anyway, top marks. 10 out 10. They can do that again next year.