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Old January 4 2013, 03:48 PM   #142
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Re: The Impossible Girl: Who IS Clara Oswin Oswald?!?

ToddCam wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
The motivation is irrelevant; the methodology is the problem.
You can't just say it's irrelevant when I was responding to your declaration that I had a "desired" conclusion. I was refuting the "desired" part.
Taking it too literally. Again, your motivations have nothing to do with my objection. I'm not concerned with what you want or what you feel. I don't even know who you are. This isn't personal at all. I'm only talking about the methodology of the argument. The point is that you started with the conclusion and selectively interpreted or finessed the data to justify it. Which is effectively meaningless, because it can be used to "prove" any piece of nonsense.

A good point, but also terribly annoying. I guess Doctor Who is a show whose fans apparently demand less internal consistency than say, Star Trek, but as a fan I find the "throw out what's inconvenient" thing to be pretty lazy.
Oh, I've seen Doctor Who fans demand all sorts of things, but what fans demand from a show often has little to do with what the show itself contains. Doctor Who's strengths have never included consistency or internal logic. For nearly half a century, it's always been a make-it-up-as-you-go kind of affair. After all, they didn't have reruns or home video in the early years of the show. And since the show was aimed at children, nobody expected the viewers of a current serial to remember the events of a serial from five or ten years earlier. Not to mention that the producers kept changing, and new producers can't be expected to remember or choose to honor what their predecessors did.

So DW continuity has always been extremely loose and inconsistent. The recent stuff about time being overwritten is just a rationalization for what's always been part of the show.

And you know what? That's not lazy, not for this kind of storytelling. Doctor Who is a tall tale. It's a fantasy about a wizard with a magic box. It's a bedtime story for children, and it's got the bizarre, contradictory, stream-of-consciousness logic of a child's narrative, and that's perfectly appropriate in this context. If you choose to sit down and let someone tell you a ridiculous tall tale, then you have to expect that they'll change the story and contradict themselves and throw logic out the window whenever it suits them. That's the whole point of a tall tale.

intrinsical wrote: View Post
Where do you get the idea that the Timelords have been permanently erased from time?
That's not what I meant. What I meant was that, given the flexible temporal logic of the Who-verse, it doesn't work to assume that the Time Lords were alive prior to a certain calendar date and killed off after that date. And given that we've now been explicitly told that events we've seen in past serials can be erased from history, we can't assume that if the Doctor went back to where he left Susan, say, she'd still be there.

What I'm really saying, more fundamentally, is that Doctor Who chronology has never been that linear or sensible. Events always happen in relation to story chronology, even where time travellers are concerned. True, Moffat has done a lot of playing around with time travellers meeting each other in backward order, but the original show never bothered with that. Whenever two Time Lords met anew, it was always after their previous encounter from both of their points of view, no matter where they were in objective time. Whenever the Doctor returned to Gallifrey, no matter where he was in objective time, it was always after his previous visit. Whenever he encountered the Daleks or the Cybermen, no matter when he was in history, it was always after their previous encounter (and the Cybermen's design kept evolving forward even as the stories jumped all through the timeline). And once he'd left a companion behind, or even lost them to death, he never went back to visit them again. The show never cared to delve into the chronological conundrums of it; time travel was just a plot device for getting the Doctor and his friends into trouble, and the only order of events that mattered was story order.

The whole "All the Time Lords are dead now" idea is just the same kind of storytelling. No, it doesn't add up in linear terms, but it's not trying to, any more than the original show ever tried to make sense of the temporal logic of the Doctor's encounters with the Master or the Daleks or whoever. Trying to make coherent sense of it is like trying to explain the physics of how a cloud can provide structural support for a giant's castle or the biochemistry of how a goose can lay golden eggs (although Isaac Asimov took a stab at that once). It's misunderstanding the type of narrative that Doctor Who is.
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