Human Nature/Family of Blood–extended thoughts.

Okay, now that I’ve had a chance to digest this…

Holy freaking shit.

I thought ‘Dalek’ and ‘The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances’ blew my mind.

My first moment of startlement was completely fortuitous — the date on the newspaper is fifty years to the day before the day I was born. As if the opening wasn’t disconcerting enough…

Seeing several past Doctors in his notebook in ‘Human Nature’ was what had me off the couch, jaw hanging open, staring in stunned (and delighted) surprise. I highly recommend pausing through that whole notebook segment and deciphering what you can of his scrawl.

A cow-orker mentioned that this story retconned some of ‘The Enemy Within’, or at least provided a more canonical explanation than the Doctor being allegedly half-human. I had my doubts–TEW had a number of canonical problems, of which the Doctor’s ancestry was one of the largest (we won’t even get into the whole issue of the Daleks executing the Master and then cheerily–by Dalek standards–handing over the remains to the Doctor to take back to Gallifrey).

Okay. She was right, yes, I can buy the semihuman part now. We still are going to leave the Daleks and the Master out of things. ;)

The part that absolutely laid me out flat was in Family of Blood, where the Doctor and Joan get a flash of what their lives together might be like … and knowing it’s the one thing that The Doctor can never have–or even worse, that he did have once, or the Gallifreyan equivalent thereof. We know he had a family (mentioned at the end of Gridlock), and he himself has said he was a father (forget which episode)–and of course there’s the matter of Susan, his granddaughter from the First Doctor episodes…

Yeah. If you know more than just the restart canon, this is a pair of episodes that dig deep. I’m already preparing myself for a comparative letdown for the next episode or two, because while for all I know, Blink and Utopia are just fine as episodes, I can’t see how they can have the same impact.

I mean, dayamn.

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15 comments so far

  1. bizarra on

    From here on out… the season has the same impact as these episodes. Trust me. Blink is wow.. Utopia will also blow your mind. :-)

  2. dragonscholar on

    I hear you completely on these episodes. I was floored and KEPT GETTING FLOORED until the very end. Fine details, great acting . . . wonderful.

    And Joan. Gods, it was like he had met his perfect woman (perhaps Joan is reminicent of his wife – she reminded me vaguely of Romana II . . ) and the end where she essentially calls the Doctor a coward who brought danger to others . . . heart-wrenching.

    If not the best episodes, damn close.

    As for the half-human, well there’s been so much foofaraw over Galiffreyan genetics, I can see that – it probably doesn’t matter much more than to explain his attachment to earth.

    And the book? They could EBAY that sucker for a MINT. Would go awesome next to the book of G’quan.

    • Well, The Doctor has always been fond of Earth, for unclear reasons — the best that I’ve come up with is that we’re fun to watch. I flatly reject the TV movie’s assertion that he is half human by birth as being. One of the theories I find most interesting (and compelling) about the predominance of the humanoid form was that Omega, in a fit of xenophobia, seeded the universe with life that shared the external appearance of a Gallifreyan–or “humanoid”–but not with the power the Time Lords had.

      And something else I’ve wondered about for a long time — if Susan’s his grand-daughter, where is his son or daughter? The original series pretty much left that question alone, but I think RTD is going to tackle it in the new.

      I really need to spend some time single-framing my way through the book. :)

      • dragonscholar on

        I have a vague suspicion he’s using some of the RPG concepts as well. The RPG’s theory is that the doctor had a family but a political fallout on Gallifrey and an unsuccessful Coup, possibly involving the Master, killed most of them. That fuelded his disgust, his desire to leave, and his tendancy to interfere.

        • “It is a fact that I do tend to get involved in things,” as the Second Doctor said to Jamie. I don’t know. I consider the RPG background to be useful and interesting theorizing, but non-canonical unless the TV program says otherwise. Before the restart, I would have been inclined against the Doctor’s self-imposed exile being the result of major family tragedy. Now … now I don’t know. One also wonders if we’ll ever find out what became of the Rani and Romana … and if either of them happens to still be around, that makes things *really* interesting, as now you *have* to add sex into the character dynamics.

          I am partial to the theories that The Doctor and The Master were good friends when in the Academy (they, and the Rani, were all Prydonians). It would explain the way they interact perfectly–they both have at least a grudging respect for each other (at least while Ainley wasn’t the Master).

          • dragonscholar on

            Many people joke that the Master, the Doctor, and the Rani were some kind of Harry/Ron/Hermionie group.

            Who was who, of course, is another question entirely.

            I consider the RPG non-cannon, but I feel (and its intuition only) that its had some influence on the restart.

            • Well, there’s so much source material, canonical and non. The status of the New Adventures book series is cloudy, although I wouldn’t be surprised to find some of the more popular and consistent bits slowly folded into canon. The RPG’s main contribution is that it had to really focus on Gallifreyan society and the history and nature of the Time Lords more than the TV show ever did — and it’s not unreasonable to think that our viewpoint character is an unreliable narrator, since the Doctor rejected traditional Time Lord society and ways. When we see the High Council, the Lord President, et al., we see it through the Doctor’s somewhat biased eye.

              • dragonscholar on

                An excellent point. Which is why I hope the TV series is indeed picking up pieces from various sources to give us a better picture. Lets just say you’ll get a bit more anyway about their culture in upcoming eps . . .

            • Oh, and the Doctor was Ron. The merry prankster, the unserious student, the late bloomer (by his own admission — see Terror of the Autons).

              • dragonscholar on

                The doctor also had at least one brother. I wonder if he came from a large family . . .

                . . . and was there a Doctor equivalent of Fred and George?

                • Terror of the Time Twins! That would be a perfect Hartnell or Troughton episode!

                • And now that I think of it, there was a Fred, canonically. From “The Ribos Operation”, first episode with Romana I:

                  The Doctor: …One more thing. Your name.
                  Romana: What about my name?
                  The Doctor: It’s too long. By the time I’ve called out, “Look out…” What’s your name?
                  Romana: [slowly] Romanadvoratrelundar.
                  The Doctor: By the time I’ve called that out, you could be dead. I’ll call you “Romana”.
                  Romana: I don’t like “Romana”.
                  The Doctor: It’s either “Romana” or “Fred”.
                  Romana: All right, call me “Fred”.
                  The Doctor: Good. Come on, Romana.


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