Dr Who: The Big Bang

July 9, 2010

So – I had some ideas on how this would go. Some of these proved have basis – none of them were actually correct:

1. Vortex Manipulator: Yes, it plays a role. No, River doesn’t have it – which makes perfect sense: she is getting the TARDIS; she should leave the other space-time mover behind, just in case. It makes sense to have the TARDIS some ways away from the prison for the most dangerous being in the universe. I like saying  ‘it makes sense’ about Doctor Who due to my underuse of the term in previous seasons.

2. Plastic Rory: guarding the Pandorica, yes, but the because is different, leading to:

3. … Doctor in the Pandorica: Subverted, and in the opening sequence, no less. Amy is in there. I like young Amy, but older Amy needed to be in the main action also. They were quite brilliant in her understanding from the exhibits around her what happened to the box and who has been protecting her. And it made sense, in a technobabble way, for her, simultaneously setting up:

4. … Pandorica helps save the universe it helped destroy: I thought it would be a ‘ride out the destruction’ thing. Imagine m surprise when it flies into the Sun and helps reboot the entire universe from its internally preserved atoms. Not that it is the Sun, it is of course:

5. Earth survives when everything else explodes?: because the TARDIS is that Sun. Aw yes. That beautiful, beloved blue box, saving us as it destroys us, trying to help even while it it dying.

6. Yes, the coated doctor is significant: I assumed it was time travel – it was his timeline unravelling. Ultimate tragedy in those words.

So those are the details.

The Feelings?:

Dear Lord.

I mean, it is clever, witty, brilliant, tragic, hopeful, romantic, fist-punching-the-air …

You see, there is little Amelia, growing up in an odd world without stars, with less hope & more people taken from her. And the wee nose twitching like a rabbit. Awww. Then older Amy pops out of the Pandorica, and tells us this is where it gets complicated…

Then: Roman Rory, cradling a near-dead Amy, making heart-wrenching jokes, asking for an impossible miracle … at which point the Doctor appears in a fez with a mop, like a genie. Then disappears. Then reappears. Then is released from the box, with ‘I have a future – that’s nice’ & ‘footprints of the never were’. Then he checks that Rory is still human, a la ‘The Lodger’, and you know he is doing it by the look on his face, & you love him and Rory for their reactions. And then you love them all over again for their reactions to Rory’s decision to stay to guard the Pandorica.

Meanwhile, you love Amy all over again for taking all this in her stride –  working out the year from the height & hair of her younger self, demonstrating that, why yes, she IS a time-traveller & totally deserves it  – then her knowing, without a doubt, what Roman Centurion would stand vigil over her for the better part of 2,000 years.

Then the doctor appears on “-trouble”, in the middle of trouble with the revivified Dalek – which, despite being under powered & partially fossilized, is one of the most chilling Dalek’s since their return to the series. Then: We’re going to run into a dead end where I’ll come up with a plan not to be in one. Then: Rory the security guard shoots it. Then there is a reunion appropriate to 2,000 years, while Doctor & little Amelia banter.

So, the Dalek restarts, the Doctor pulls off a temporal flashdance both hilarious & meaningful, from handing over the sonic to stealing little Amelia’s drink. Rory spawns a thousand fanfictions with the exchange: “How did you stay out of trouble for 2,000?” “Badly”.Then the Doctor-from-the-future has been shot, dead, & little Amelia disappears into a never-been & it turns out River Song is trapped on a time-loop TARDIS at the heart of an exploding star – perfectly foreshadowed by her parts being slow-motion, & heartwarming that the TARDIS is protecting her.

So, Doctor rescues River – who can still banter beautifully, again proving herself hundredfold a true time-traveller, Amy & River collaborate to destroy the fez, the Doctor hatches a brilliant plan to restart the universe. Then, he is shot by the Dalek – Rory & Amy discover that the ‘dead Doctor’ gambit was a Kansas city shuffle to get the Dalek out of the Pandorica’s regeneration range, while River shows the cold badass we know her to contain, succeeding in making the then-last Dalek beg.

Then the Doctor says goodbye to Amy – really, really goodbye, because she’ll never remember her ‘imaginary friend’ once she has her family back. Then he flies the Pandorica into the heart of the still-exploding TARDIS – understated awesome. Then he survives – and he loves when he does that. Except he hasn’t – it is last week, at Space Florida, as his timeline unravels. He is dying. He is dying  in a way that means he never was. Then he holds the hands of the close-eyed Amy when she felt afraid & alone, & the whole dialogue from that original playing is turned on its head.

And he meets little Amelia, waiting for him in her garden, puts her to bed, & tells her, with an outpouring of love in his voice towards the TARDIS we’ve only heard hinted at in the prior seasons, about how he loves that blue box, impossible, ancient & new, blue & huge, small. The tragedy of the TARDIS exploding wasn’t just the unevent of the universe, it was also losing what was his magnificent, impossible friend.

Then Amy wakes up – Mum, Dad, Rory! – remembers the Doctor right into her wedding reception. Why/How was River there? – under Davies I’d say this was a throwaway, under Moffat there IS a reason we haven’t met yet. Then the Doctor dances, has the ‘yesyesyes’ conversation with River and then Amy and Rory don’t allow themselves to be left behind. ‘Goodbye?’ ‘Definitely goodbye.’ ‘GOODBYE!’

There is no explanation of who River is, what the Silence is or who took control of the TARDIS – and this is magnificent in its multi-season archness. Rory & Amy have to be one of the first married couples on board and Rory, while ‘Mr Pond’, isn’t a tin dog. Where are they going?  To chase an Egyptian Goddess on the Orient Express In Space at the request of Her Majesty. I really want the special to be here already – not the least because everything else is ending.

Yeah – it is a summary. Because that was the part I liked – all of it. It is great science fiction & high fantasy. It teases us with a great villain team-up – then uses a single Dalek to scare the poop out of us. The universe explodes – and we can talk about fezzes without turning them into idiots. It is a love story that spans 2,000 years – it several, in fact, and they are all wonderful stories. It induced horror, and nobody died – several people that hadn’t existed at he start came back in fact. The whole season makes sense, repeats themes throughout and is a gem throughout.

Seriously. I mean, I want to read Matt Smith’s fanfiction about the Doctor, the Pyramids and Albert Einstein to get by.

And that is 1222 words.


Daftwager Twitter: Day 58 – Part 2: Brunel’s Hidden Kingdom

July 9, 2010

Day 58:


07:00; Standing on a bridge over ice-cold waters now. Bag in hand, containing the brain of a dead man wired with the soul of an unborn machine. Certainly hell bound heresies, all of them. I step off –

08:00; *sleepy*

09:00; …

10:00; …

11:00; …

12:00; …

13:00; I join my ragamuffin band of Water-Travellers, as they demand to be called these days, for dinner. Call them what you will, River-Gypsy Rat-Stew is as exquisite a dish as it is accidentally poisonous …

13:10; … which a test-taste declare this to be neither. Still, this was the only steady transport out of London, with the trains down, & my SteamGear inspector’s credentials won me temporary succour aboard.

13:20; True, descending slowly, from the bridge above, onto their house barge, was an unorthodox way for an SteamGear inspector to arrive. Surprising what shouting ‘Surprise Inspection!’ will explain away.

13:30; They offered me a bed on their load non-perishable processed textiles. I accepted, bedded down, became invisible & bedded in the bed of the barge’s widow-owner. Quilt: had a tog value of eighteen.

13:40; Oh, she wasn’t in it at the time. She was hurriedly concealing all those smuggled drugs that haven’t seen the light of day since docking in London stuffed in 3 purple donkeys & a raffia-working of Christ.

13:50; Should SteamGear inspectors like myself discover she is disseminating drugs through the country’s canal system, its industrial veins, she would be disconnected from the Central Chain Haul Hall. Scary.

14:00; Yes. Disconnected from the chain, the clean means of motion provided by the infinite torque of the London’s only Singing Gear, she would be adrift without trade or profit in a sea of economic troubles.

14:10; Slower than the road, yes. But the road would be far slower, without such canals. Imagine a world that didn’t transport raw & finished non-perishable materials, by canal – the traffic jams – outrageous!

14:20; Air transport is expensive. Water-Travellers, in lines of barges, along chains, linked to a gear of infinite torque at the city centre, is cheap, clean & a smuggling network. Always – a reassuring dark side.

14:30; Singing Gears have been harnessed to more sinister engines. Of the five the Germans posseses, one is wedded to the Meinschaftworks; everything from rooftop mills where they make the wind, to the –

14:40; – mine-deep shafts, where they quake the earth. The mass production of over half the world’s weapons goes on there, Ratman’s chiefmost designs amongst them. That is a well-purposed Singing Gear.

14:50; Of course the Germans have the most Gears. They salvaged the most power sources during the War & Fall. Britain’s biological sciences leapt forward after what it found. America – got the computers.

15:00; Rare good it did them in the Crash & Depression. Quite the Achilles heel. The current Steal Gear going on at length about his ancestor’s attributes in that era, informs emphatically that this was the case.

15:10; But enough of interplanetary invasions & interdimensional intrigues: back to drug-smuggling-widow & mother-of-8, Minya Teche. What fault her fall? She would certainly lose this express lane location.

15:20; Very fast lane; excellent time. The reward for reporting her would be fiscal fun. But she is a mother of 8: all full grown men, steeped in murder. Still, it is 1/2 day until Whitby: won’t report her, until then.

15:30; She is low hanging fruit for a man about to be inducted into a shadowy organisation whose credit control girdles the globe. Which is exactly why I should act. Devil, deception & death are in the details.

15:40; Far too many of my patrons & employers forgot such details. Once does that, one adds an epithet of “The Invidious …” to one’s name, dresses in excessive & impractical leather – & falls in a snake pit.

15:50; One must have dignity in death to the degree that it wasn’t accidental. I cannot sufficiently insist upon this. Such existentialist vaudeville is the fatal step, turning the art of villainy into the fare of music hall.

16:00; Now a prank is a different matter. Always has an element of a con’s profitability, but also a con’s anonymity. To commit a killing joke known only by oneself is to entertain the only one worth the effort.

17:00; We stopped: Teche to unload stock, & I to make a telephone call.

18:00; Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise formed in the furnace of The Fall – co-ordinating with by-royal-appointment physicians of House Rigour & the brilliant young Doctor William Bedlamb.

18:10; Both of these had records from the end times of the English elves in the Elizabethan era. As I approach Whitby, I think not of the Fall, or the Crash, but of when, 200 years after leaving the elves return.

18:20; Returned, of course, boasts somewhat more consent on their part than was forthcoming. More precise: the beasts, driven out 200 years previous, were dragged back to England, kicking & screaming.

18:30; The symbiotic dryad-woods on the verge of destruction, the insect elves of Titania & the lizard elves of Oberon performed their ‘magic’: the high-energy mathematical quantum transformation, in elohim.

18:40; Elf minds, like that of Library Ann, are geared to autistic super-calculation & mega-computation. Of sufficient number & age, they can manipulate & integrate the ‘data’ we commonly refer to as: reality.

18:50; It aligns with legends of their powers: weather & probability manipulation, matter transmission & restructuring and interdimensional perception. Quite like angels, only: less righteous, very more physical.

19:00; By this mastery of angles, in the manner of the angels, they always know where they are, always know they can go anywhere else. Smug buggers – whom the Industrial Revolution was revolting against.

19:10; Like most second-hand master-bastards of the angle method, they didn’t like iron – magnetic fields – or the rest of the unified field litany. Also: the double right-angle of a cross – disrupts the symbolism.

19:20; Angels are entirely metaphysical – true perception of their form resembles more architectural diagrams than form. They loves crosses & atomically-perfect gold. Elves, half way there, get torn to shreds.

19:30; If this sounds like certain breeds of vampires: bat elves, symbiotic with humans. These ‘haemovore-elves’ constitute the more ‘magical’ vampire breeds, the common vamp depictions & 8 of 108 Santas.

19:40; Thankfully the Red Lady is the ‘interesting-blood-disease’ type of vampire – they make better doctors. Bat elves, as with the other elf varieties, have no place in a hospital except as patients: contagious.

19:50; House Rigour: surgeon to monarchs since providing a male heir (albeit short-lived) to Henry VIII, later, confirming Queen Elizabeth’s virginia intacta. Royalty-loyalty: possibly lied on both occassions.

20:00; Lied for/to the crown; kept mum on secret mummy, vampire, werewolf & lizard-elven monarchs secret. True loyalty. Alternate spellings in antiquity: House Rigor, House Rigore, House Wright-Guerre.

20:10; Dr William Bedlamb: collated, categorised, & analysed 200 years of the New Bethleham Sanitorium & Madhouse’s ‘files’; the warden’s ledgers, written about patients, with an eye to stand-up comedy.

20:20; Bedlamb formed new theories of the mind. I steadfastly call those theories the foundations of neurochemistry & psychiatry. Quite incorrect, but it does allow Britain to wrest that title from the Germans.

20:30; For 200 years the elves were the subject of plays, ballads & raunchy bodice-rippers. Then the Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise found elf colonies – in South Africa & in South America.

20:40; Britain, moving beyond its coastal trade colonies in South Africa for no better reason than because everyone else was doing it, had discovered British elves – lording it over the native, elven populations.

20:50; Similarly, after the Spaniards opened up South America, the Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise were in there faster than one could say ‘Alexander Von Humboldt’ – yes, after the French.

21:00; Both elf colonies, having teleported to their respective Hy Brazils 200 years previous, had learned the human-devised methods to control elfkind & imposed them upon a vastly superior native number.

21:10; In the interim, the British had an evolutionary leap, in their biological technology, courtesy of their retro-engineered Fall technology: specifically interspecies, Britain being the invasion’s hybridisation hub.

21:20; Hybridisation was exactly the matter – the elves, in a succubus-incubus manner, had in the past overcome lacklustre reproduction by human breeding. Now they had a quicker method – a viral elf STD.

21:30; Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise were designated to investigate contamination claims & decontaminate, aggressively. I think of this, naturally, because: I approach their 1st battleground.

21:40; Why Whitby of course. 1st city in Europe whose demimondains contracted syphillis from voyagers returning from the new world. Syphillis, known then as the PsyPhylum: the virus of the mind, you see.

21:50; PsyPhylum, when under constant exposure to elven pheromones, alters brain chemistry & physical appearance, reducing the infected to a fairy attendant. Without pheromones, brain & body rots away.

22:00; Under the auspices of destroying the rarer, man-eating-plant variety of elves, a massive purge of these infectious fiends was conducted. Afterwards, the dangerous disease was dealt with, wisely: profit!

22:10; Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise – seized equipment & personnel from Rigour & Bedlamb & infected bordello girls & boys from Whitby & London, under General Surgeon martial law.

22:20; The CGCDE: are as to any crown’s biological exigency, what the Heartless Fellows of Alternation, Ignition & Engine are to mechanical extremity. They bury the bodies: those they don’t freeze, or burn.

22:30; Usually have some body modification – never showily so. Black suit & tie, white shirt & blood of some ill-defined colour. Congenitally bald. Excellent surgeons; can keep people alive, through anything.

22:40; The elf-struck humans were transported to underground laboratories. The virus was sampled from them – then they were totally sterilised. Their brains were vivisected first for study, then for “business”.

22:50; Thus CGCDE possessed humans of extreme attractiveness (pheromone) & extreme mindlessness (brainwashing). They were sold en masse to brothels; no risk of infection, pregnancy or disobedience.

23:00; The risk of infection was paramount at the time. Apart from the psyphylum panic, various venereal diseases, influenzas – & cholera having claimed Prince Albert – were never far from the Queen’s mind.

23:10; The CGCDE began producing ‘designer-demimondains’. Perfecting a rudimentary vat-grown-clone technology, (lifespan from 3 months to 3 years) they pioneered a post-prostitution London of 1800s.

23:20; Not true clones – used human genetic material, but primarily salamander or insect stock. Quite bald, no larynx &, according to Bedlamb, never displayed any intelligence besides his training them tricks.

23:30; E.g. : “Birdlike. An ebony swan. Her nose: long, narrow & elegantly curved. The eyes were large brown almonds, the pupils glowing from within. She smiled, her wide mouth exposing wonderful teeth.”

23:40; “Although slender almost to the point of emaciation, there was a fierceness about her which I could not wholly understand.”-R. Rankin. Moralists: ‘the animal urge of men’ best to be relieved by animals.

23:50; Religious: ordered bird-winged ones to worship as angels & scale-skinned ones to kill as demons. Scientists: saw wonderful opportunity to study the human anatomy without turning to ‘resurrectionists’.

23:00; Darwin: moralist, religious & scientist and whose theories of evolution were fundamentally proven by the creation & speciation evolution of these ‘clones’; fiercely disliked the whole clone-elf entreprise.

23:10; But that was but social element of the scheme. Soon Isambard Brunel’s ‘Hidden Kingdom’ of water, waste, purification & power was populated with brainless blue otherwise-albino bull-elf clone work.

23:20; They dug shafts, turned wheels & maintained tunnels. Brunel headed up the joint CGCDE & HFAIE operation to harness the Singing Gear, disperse the Great Miasma & purify the city water & waste.

23:30; When asked what the bull-elves were building, Brunel said: ‘Locks & More Locks’. The MoreLocks became their name, as the Eloi Polloi – Elf-people – became that of their overground counterparts.

23:40; Dicken’s commentary piece on this second class citizenry – Edwin Drood & The Blue Elementals – went unfinished due to the author’s death. Suspicions of assassination prompt outcry against elf work.

23:50; By the end, the royals resided in the Crystal Palace, a great glass castle, hovering unsuspended/supported over London by means of a Singing Sword resonance of a ‘rediscovered’ Excalibur pretender.

00:00; Star of India, recut, served as a vibrating heart, that kept it aloft. The Houses of Lords & Commons were attached, to opposing sides, lesser nobility’s houses dis/as/cending at the Queen’s dis/pleasure.

00:10; London’s grey miasma had been replaced by a purifying, yellow gas, Londoners crossing from sealed house to sealed house with oxygenated nosegays, on the orders of hypochondriac Queen Victoria.

00:20; Most felt that this madness served the public, better than the Kaiser’s love of Meinschaft’s wind-up Europans or Doc Von Quatloo’s clockwork cyborgs, or the Tsar’s Iron Serfs’ & haemophile wizard.

00:30; The Clock Doctor’s 1st return from the future was the jarring shock needed to rally the Dickensians. He narrated his tales of ‘fast’ (Time Traveller) & ‘slow’ (Sleeper Awakes) time travel to H.G. Wells.

00:40; Wilberforce worked on the ‘More Locks’ & Gladstone worked on the ‘Eloi Polloi’; by 1900, Babbage tech had replaced bull manual labour, & the superior madams had seduced back their old clients.

00:50; Far more complicated than that, but: the immediate practical upshot of it – bordelloes were required to be extremely secure, sanitary & possess basic degrees of intellectual, & physical accomplishment.

01:00; By ‘secure’ & ‘sanitary’, I am unsure if that covers Whitby’s new La Pantalon Rouge being designed to turn into a giant drill-mech in emergency, & possessing sanitary standards of my own laboratories.