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More wanderings down Whovian Memory Lane

Finished "Logopolis" and watched "Castrovalva" last night. (Discovered that taking the tape out and putting it back in, instead of starting it directly from the rewind, seems to improve the automatic tracking, at least for a while. May have to go back and try that with Female Transport.)

I keep squawking about how much easier everyone's life would be if the Doctor would WARN companions about regeneration before it's already happened and he's too synaptically scrambled to make any sense...completely forgetting that he actually did tell Adric. Or rather, the Watcher did. But since the Watcher "was the Doctor all along," it (mostly) counts. He should have a Watcher every time, to keep regeneration from traumatizing his companions as much as it does him!

Y'know, all those renegade Time Lords who kept trying to steal the rest of his regenerations? Clearly weren't thinking about having to actually go through them. Because his regenerations have a strong tendency to SUCK. Mind you, one has to wonder how much of that is because they tend to be triggered by severe bodily trauma, which probably doesn't happen much to "normal" Time Lords leading sedentary non-interfering lives on Gallifrey.

amilyn, the Nyssa/Master confrontation isn't in either of these after all. I do think you're right about her getting hold of the tissue compression eliminator and threatening him with it, but I think it might be in "Timeflight". I was pretty sure I remembered it being Five who talks her out of killing him. I don't remember much at all about the plot of that one, but I think it may also involve being forced to work together with him. And I definitely remember miniaturized corpses all over the place. I get the sense the producers REALLY liked that toy. Probably because it allowed them to get away with killing rather a lot of minor characters quite horribly -- personally, I call it pretty graphic, but I suspect it actually went right over the heads of the Beeb suits. It amazes me that they still considered Who "children's programming" at that point...

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
sventhelost
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:26 am (UTC)
I think the Doctor's regenerations being so wacky are a part of both the nature of the bodily trauma and also a sign that his mind is a lot less settled than his Gallifreyan counterparts. I would imagine dying and coming back again to be unsettling, and that, even if it were more calm and prepared for, it would mess him up a bit more than the usual imbalance of the space-time continuinuinuum.

I feel a drabble coming on. Oh dear. *hides from the plot bunnies*
wiliqueen
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:34 am (UTC)
Oooh, interesting way of looking at it. Certainly I think he's always been different, and that it's mostly in a psychological way. That's something I hope they get around to making clearer in the new series: the "lonely god angst" (as nostalgia_lj has so entertainingly dubbed it) didn't start with the destruction of Gallifrey.

He's not just alone because his people are gone. He's ALWAYS been alone because he was never really one of them. And he's drawn to humans because there's something in them that is like him in ways fellow Time Lords never were.
sventhelost
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:45 am (UTC)
Oooh, I like how they dub it!

Yeah, definitely had a loner thing. Romana was close, but too close, in the end, because she chose to stay and help. The guy from the first Colin Baker episode who was also a renegade/exile type was similar, as well, but I can also understand why, because 900 years of putting yourself in harm's way for not much thanks? Gotta kinda stink.

Man, now I have two different drabbles.... *shakes fist in mock anger*
cdaae
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:26 am (UTC)
Those are two of my favourite episodes. I remember wondering as a kid why it was called Logopolis when Logos means Word, and they were using numbers. Then in Religious Education we did all this stuff on the use of the word Logos in the Bible, and the other philosophical uses of it at the time, and learned that the Logos was thought of as something that created the world and held it together in some way, and the whole thing made sense. Wish I could remember the details.

And I love Castrovalva because it's from an MC Escher picture, and uses all these Escher things.
sventhelost
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC)
Ditto on the Escher.

Also, Castrovalva has one of my most favorite Whovian lines: You have made us, man of evil, but we are free!

Cheese and nobility in one. *happy sigh* I may have to break out my tapes this weekend, too. :D
wiliqueen
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:30 am (UTC)
I may have to break out my tapes this weekend, too. :D

Wheee! I'm a trendsetter! ;-D
wiliqueen
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:30 am (UTC)
Plus, there was that big deal made about how the Logopolitans spoke ("Mutter. Intone.") the calculations aloud.

I always like regeneration stories just because they're regeneration stories, but "Castrovalva" has the bonus of being a good story besides. (As opposed to, say, "Robot" or "The Christmas Invasion"...)
hildy
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:46 am (UTC)
I was just thinking the other day, after watching a clip from Romana's regeneration, that we really don't know what a "normal" regeneration for a Gallifreyan is like. Because this is Doctor Who with the Great Adventure every week, we don't get the "died in bed, woke up better" stories. Is it like Highlander that regen has to be triggered by a traumatic event? Or is it just "Eh, tired of this old thing, I'll go with something new"?
wiliqueen
Jun. 30th, 2006 12:15 pm (UTC)
Or is it just "Eh, tired of this old thing, I'll go with something new"?

Romana's certainly was. Although of course that sequence is symptomatic of the veering a bit too silly that was going on at that time.

Considering the way Gallifreyan society is characterized, though, I have to think that's closer to the norm than the Doctor's typical massive crisis. Although, of course, one assumes that on Gallifrey you have the leisure to take it easy for a day or so while the nervous system heals, whereas the Doctor is invariably forced to try to stay on the (deadly hazardous) job. It's probably as much that as the violent trigger of the regeneration itself.

And of course, if they do die in bed, it brings up the likelihood that the Doctor's life expectancy is considerably shorter than a typical Time Lord's, even though he seems virtually immortal from a human perspective. Thirteen shortened lifetimes are going to be considerably shorter in the end. It also makes me wonder about the Master's age relative to the Doctor's -- his being at the end of his last incarnation while the Doctor is in his fourth implies that he's older, but it could be just that he's wasted his own lives as carelessly as others'.

The old RPG had a regeneration difficulty stat as part of the character generation for a Time Lord. There was also a particular trait you could buy, called "controlled regeneration" or something like that, which they gave to Romana, as a particular talent of hers above and beyond just having easy regenerations. The Doctor, of course, had a difficulty at the highest end of the scale.
neadods
Jun. 30th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC)
I think that part of it is the Doctor going through trauma with no chance to recuperate (as you say, it's a deadly hazardous job). But I also think that another part is that the Doctor is shown to not have the control that other Time Lords (Romana) have over the process... and since we know that the Time Lords go to Time Lord school and he was a crappy student, I'm also partially assuming that he slept through the pertinent classes.
wiliqueen
Jun. 30th, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC)
Time Lords go to Time Lord school and he was a crappy student, I'm also partially assuming that he slept through the pertinent classes.

*snerk* Very true. I was forgetting about that aspect of it...
lyssie
Jun. 30th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
Well, Romana's was also dictated by Mary Tamm saying, "I'm not coming back" and them scrambling and going, "Oh, crap, we really weren't prepared for this..."

wiliqueen
Jul. 1st, 2006 09:31 am (UTC)
Well, yeah, but it wasn't as if they weren't used that from Doctors.

The whole "trying on bodies" sequence was fun when I was, like, 11, and it's still amusing in and of itself. But it was just a sliver too silly, and didn't have to be just because Mary was leaving.
lyssie
Jul. 1st, 2006 12:32 am (UTC)
I'm fairly certain the confrontation is in Timeflight. And Nyssa ends up getting talked down by the Xeraphas dude, iirc. hrm. should watch it.
gryphons_lair
Jul. 1st, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
BTW, and mostly off-topic...

I was browsing Best Buy online today, and they've got "Dr Who - First Season" as an Upcoming Release in their DVD catalog. So of course I thought of you. :-)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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