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Last "School Reunion" post. (I think.)

Okay, so there's a lot of talk about "School Reunion" bolluxing the canonicity of "The Five Doctors" (or, variously, Sarah's memory thereof) because of several comments made by both the Doctor and Sarah. Honestly? It never crossed my mind that anything they said could really be construed as that much of a problem until there was talking about it. Maybe there's something I missed, that I'll catch on a rewatch and go "D'oh!" But I don't think so.

Wikipedia takes issue with the Doctor saying he's regenerated "half a dozen times" since they last met. This is unconcerning to me for more than one reason. First, he says "about half a dozen times." Second, all the Doctors were a bit occupied by the time the whole group came together in T5D. And it's possible I'm forgetting something, not having seen it in several years, but I don't recall Five having any particular interaction with Sarah that would really qualify as "met." I'm not sure she has any way of knowing what order they actually go in.

Sarah's primary interaction in T5D was with Three, and the very first thing she says to him is "It's you! ... No, I mean you you!" She knows the Doctor is the Doctor is the Doctor, but she also makes a certain amount of distinction between the two incarnations she travelled with. And Three didn't abandon her. Four (whom she never sees in T5D) did.

Finally, yes, her lines about how she decided he must have died can be taken to imply that she never saw him again at all after he dropped her off. But that's not what she says. She says he never came back. And he didn't. Borusa kidnapped her and a slew of others with the timescoop. We also don't know for sure when he kidnapped her from, but her absolutely hideous costume in T5D is really not hideous in a 1983 sort of way. It's always struck me as more a 1977-78ish sort of hideous.

So she got briefly caught back up in the Doctor's world, through no action of the Doctor's, not too terribly long after she left it. And even if it was a full seven years after she left it? It's been TWENTY-THREE years since then.

The first of those numbers is not really long enough to decide that he must have died, knowing him as she does. The second, however, is.

Either way, T5D or no T5D, the point is that he never came back. That's what she says, and what she means. It's Sarah Jane, after all -- when have those two things ever not been the same?

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
neadods
May. 3rd, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
I've been handwaving off the objections with "she probably doesn't remember." We know the Time Lords can wipe memories.

There is an interesting echo of The Five Doctors in one of the audio adventures. In that one, they are discussing ghosts and Five is having a quiet little freakout because "I once saw my other incarnations... older, as if they had kept on living after I regenerated." He decides It Didn't Really Happen because of *course* one's own past selves don't have lives after they stop being your past.
wiliqueen
May. 3rd, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
*nods* That seems to be the default rationale, and I actually don't have a problem with it. I'm just kinda puzzled by the necessity of it.

Still, if there is a necessity, I guess it's a simpler solution to explain than mine. (And how odd a universe is it where a memory wipe is a simpler solution than analysis of what someone actually says? *g*)

Five is having a quiet little freakout because "I once saw my other incarnations... older, as if they had kept on living after I regenerated."

Oh, that's delightful! Do you know which one it is? We have a bunch, but mostly only brainiacfive has listened to them.
neadods
May. 3rd, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
Off the top of my head, no, but I've only listened to a few, so the odds are small:

Spare Parts
Excelis
Chimes of Midnight
Embrace the Darkness
Neverland

I keep thinking it was Chimes of Midnight, but that wasn't Dr. 5. On the other hand, 8's voice sounds a lot like Davison's.
chiroho
May. 3rd, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC)
Actually, it DOES NOT bollox the cannocity of T5D because SJS doesn't realize during that time that the other men are actually incarnations of the Doctor. The only hint given her is in the following exchange:
3rd DOCTOR: Well, goodbye, my dear chap. (He shakes the 5th Doctor’s hand) I must say, I've had the time of my lives, haven't we, Sarah-Jane?

SARAH-JANE: Have we? Well, I only have one life - and I think I've had too much already. (To the 5th Doctor) Goodbye - err, yes, it- it was really nice meeting you.

3rd DOCTOR: Thank you, Sarah-Jane, it was nice meeting you, too.

SARAH-JANE: What?

3rd DOCTOR: I'll explain later.

SARAH-JANE: Oh. Bye.

The 3rd Doctor and Sarah-Jane enter the TARDIS.
Now whether the 3rd Doctor explained it to her or not is unknown, because the Doctor is very good at not explaining things you want him to. But it doesn't break the canonicity of what we actually saw in the episode.

Of course, as The Brigadier knew all but 1 of the Doctor's present, he'd have been able to tell SJS what had happened, assuming that they ever caught up. There's no evidence to suggest they did, but when SJS left the 4th Doctor, she does say she'll be in touch with BAGLS and Sergeant Benton, so it's supposed that they at least talked at some point.
wiliqueen
May. 4th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
Okay, so I guess that does count as "meeting." And your yet-more-convoluted is fun. ;-)
bktheirregular
May. 3rd, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
Haven't seen School Reunion yet - want to! - but can't a certain amount of canon breach be explained by the Time War and its effects? I thought that, among other things, the collateral damage of the Time War included Gallifrey and the Time Lords being not just wiped out, but erased from history...
(Deleted comment)
wiliqueen
May. 4th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
It was made fairly clear that, not only had they all died, they'd never existed -- so how could Sarah Jane have traveled with the Doctor?

I'm more than willing to go for paradox


Good call, since the Doctor himself is a walking paradox, and really was before the Time War.

Sarah, and all the others, travelled with the Doctor because he was the Doctor. His personal history still exists, even though Gallifrey and the Time Lords are no more. He's probably not even the only remaining wisp of Gallifrey's existence (whether or not he's right about being the only actual living Time Lord). Jabe had enough "rumor" knowledge to figure out what the Doctor was, and the trapped Dalek knew who he was. Even if he himself is the only remnant of their existence, he creates ripples, and they spread.

Heck, theoretically, Gallifrey itself could eventually be reconstituted in some form from said ripples.

That said, Bruce has a point -- we've really always been able to chalk things up to paradox, but specifying it as fallout from the Time War is an even handier CPD.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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