Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Doctor Who??

There is an old story of a magazine writer who wrote serialized adventure tails. After on particularly amazing cliffhanger, he asked for an increase of pay, and quit when he didn’t get it. The editor tried desperately to get someone to write the hero out of his predicament, but no one could solve the problem. Finally he was forced to hire the writer back. The next story began with the line something to the effect of: “After escaping from his last tight spot…”

That is what this season of Doctor Who has felt like. We all saw the older, future Doctor die in the first episode, but knew that when that moment finally came around to happen that it wouldn’t. We knew that because there is another episode coming later this year and a whole season ordered for next year. The show must go on. So, when the final episode aired telling an entire tale that “never happened” and resolved the season-long dilemma in a way that we all suspected it might, (“That can’t have really been the Doctor!”) no one should get too upset. The truth is that something very good should come of all this.

For years now the Doctor has been becoming more and more of a celebrity within the stories themselves. Everybody and their dog knows of him. In the old days the standing joke was that people would ask who he was, he would say: “The Doctor.” They would ask: “Doctor who?” Nowadays they all see the blue box and know what is going on. He has saved the current Earth too many times. What Moffat has done over the past two seasons is erase the more visible cases of the Doctor saving contemporary earth, and now cause the universe at large to think that he is dead. He can go back to being the little incognito traveler setting things to right without much fanfare.

One big question remains for this geek, however. If the Doctor did not tell River his name, what did she say to the Tenth Doctor when they first meet to convince him that she was someone to be trusted?

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