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Who @ 50

"go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine"

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My vision of the Doctor during the Time War
alumfelga wrote in who_at_50
As I started watching Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston, Time War and the way it ended was always one of the most interesting topics to me. I've written my vision of the Doctor during the Time War, based mostly on pieces of dialogues from RTD era. I reject the War Doctor as shown in The Day of the Doctor and describe an alternative one, along with not-sure-how-canonical Eight. I disagree with that statement and claim the Doctor was able to push the button and kill them all.

If you're interested: The Doctor uses the Moment - my vision

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Yeah, me too. I think that should've been Eighty-poo in the war and special.

Paul certainly still looks like the Doctor - the man doesn't age! - so he easily could do it. I'd like to see Eight using the Moment.

Most of the Doctors and Companions still look like themselves. Even those who played the first Doctor's Companions look like themselves.

But yes, Paul does'nt look like he's almost 60 now, and did'nt look like he was almost 40 when they filmed the TV Movie. He will propably stay looking young for another one or two decades.

That should've been Doctors 5 to 8 plus 10 returning for the specials, since the actors required would'nt have looked much different from how they did in their respective runs. The Companions don't look too shabby either. A teamup like that would've been awesome. They could've named it "The Six Doctors".

And there was no need of any excuse for Eleven to not have any regenerations past him. The metacrisis thing wasted one regeneration, and the healing River thing wasted another regeneration, making Eleven the last, without no need of a War Doctor.

I can only think there wouldn't be "The Five(ish) Doctors reboot" if Peter, Colin and Sylvester were in the 50th anniversary special. Maybe it was worth it? ;)

There could still have been a docudrama special about them returning.

Like you, I also disagree with that statement.

That said, that may have been SM's intent in changing the end of the Time War - to let the Doctor find another way - but he didn't achieve it. The Moment came up with the idea that the stasis calculations could be done in a moment and made the Doctor figure it out by showing him that his incarnations are the "same man, different face". Then, it opened the time lock on the war to let them all in. The Doctor did not find the way to save the planet and even if he had, he could not have implemented it without the Moment's help.

Edited at 2016-11-30 08:57 pm (UTC)

You're right, it wasn't even his plan! He only did what the Moment has thought of and wanted him to do. What a good weapon, it finds another way for you. They should have made more of them. It makes The Day of the Doctor mean even less than I thought.

I really enjoyed reading your vision of the War and the War Doctor. The more times I've watched Day of the Doctor, the more obvious it is to me that the War Doctor was really just a hastily pencilled-in substitute for Nine when Christopher Eccleston decided he didn't want to return to the show (rumour has it that it almost happened, but alas...), which would imply that in Moffat's original vision it was Nine who had destroyed Gallifrey, but I'm not sure that I believe that given the hints in Rose that he had only just regenerated from his own p.o.v. For me, it really makes sense that Eight pulled the trigger - the idea of this most gentle and poetic of Doctors performing such a terrible deed, for the best of reasons, seems to me almost too horrible not to be true. What do I know though, eh? :D

Apart from that, though, I find myself nodding in agreement time and again while reading your take on the War and the Doctor's role in it. And I agree completely that the notion that the Doctor would be incapable of such a deed doesn't really line up with some of the things he actually has done over his incarnations. He's more than capable, imho.

Regarding the darkness of RTD's worldview, in spite of his rather jolly public persona, it's definitely a big part of his writing, on Who and some of his other projects as well, and it's arguably when he's at his most compelling as a writer. Prime Whoniverse examples include Turn Left, Midnight and most especially Torchwood: Children of Earth. RTD, I think it is fair to say, does not entirely share the Doctor's somewhat rosy view of humanity and its nature...

Oh yes, it's clearly seen War was invented when Christopher turned down the offer (I read he said no the moment he was asked, but S. Moffat still wrote a script with Nine, hoping he'd change his mind).

I think you can read hints in "Rose" in both ways. Davies' intention was probably to tell us he's just regenerated, but he could have regenerated, pressed the button and come to Earth almost straight away. We can choose what we want to believe.

I'd like to see Paul playing the scene when the Doctor uses the Moment almost as much as I'd like to see Christopher playing it.

You're probably right about RTD. I do think he's at his best when he writes dark, and I wonder how he came up with the idea of the Doctor killing his own race. He must have been thinking of a way to get rid of the Time Lords, and then had an insight.

I don't know if I agree that RTD has a dark worldview. In my opinion, at least in comparing RTD to Moffat, RTD's characters simply have depth. They aren't perfect; they aren't "good" or "evil"; they can't be described in a couple of sentences. RTD's characters have backgrounds and histories, have good and bad traits, struggle with themselves, make mistakes and often don't learn from them. Midnight is a great example of this - in a single 45-minute story, we get to see the surfaces, backgrounds, attitudes, and darkest traits of seven different characters. When you have characters who consider evil - or at the very least, questionable - acts, that creates the darkness of the narrative.

To Moffat, the Doctor is a hero and a trickster who does the right thing, and if he can't do the right thing, he'll find "another way" to do the right thing, and that's how we got "The Day of the Doctor". To RTD, the Doctor is a person who, like everyone else, has selfish desires and makes mistakes, and tries his best to do the right thing. The original ending of the Last Great Time War is the result of presenting that person with an impossible choice that he could not wiggle his way out of.

I use the word "dark" in context of "dark compared to other family programmes". RTD's DW stories aren't fairy tales and say doing the right thing can (and probably will) be fatal for you. Donna's story can make you feel there's no point in trying to follow your dreams and try to be a better person, because you'll only lose it and go back to where you started. If I was ten, I'd rebel against all those sad endings - this isn't a world I want to see! As a grown up, I can believe in a man in a blue box only because the stories aren't fairy tales (or are they fairy tales for adults?) and characters feel real. And yes, "real" leads to "dark", because it's how we are as people.

I think Moffat chooses to write a better world to comfort children. A world where anything can be done. But there's an episode I call "Moffat's RTD episode" - "The Beast Below". He says it's his least favourite episode, but I love the idea that people would torture the space whale and choose to forget about it. The information is available but no one wants to know. This is real, deep and hence what we can call "dark".

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