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Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old August 6 2014, 09:28 PM   #76
Allyn Gibson
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Doctorwhovian wrote: View Post
Does the novel explain how long the War Doctor fought in the war? The reflection in "Night of the Doctor" looks like 1970's I Claudius/Alien John Hurt, for instance, and we know the Doctor usually ages slowly in his current body (The Matt Smith Doctor, for instance, seemed to last quite a few centuries-such as in season 6-before visibly aging on Trenzalore).


I'd like to think the Doctor himself doesn't really know for the most part, especially given the fluctuating ages given by the original series and to a degree the novels.
Ever since "Night of the Doctor," I've taken the Doctor's stated age as marker of how long it's been since he gave up being the Doctor to become the Warrior. (Since new Who ages aren't consistent with old Who ages, there has to be a point where the Doctor restarted his count.) So, the War Doctor lived for eight hundred and some, the ninth Doctor for a few decades, the tenth for about five years, and the eleventh Doctor for eleven hundred or so.
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Old August 7 2014, 01:06 AM   #77
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

"Cinder had heard it said that in simple, linear terms, the war had been going on for over four hundred years." - Engines of War

When Eight became Warrior, the GTW had been going on already, long enough for the Time Lords to get a nasty reputation. Presuming we're not going straight from Dark Eyes III to the latter, let's say "Night of the Doctor" happened within the first, oh, ten years of the war.

Four hundred years seems about right for Warrior to age visibly from forty to around seventy. Given that River could "take the age down a little" with a conscious effort, Warrior may have subconsciously been letting events visibly wear him down a little more than normal as well. (Four becoming haggard and starting to go grey in Season 18, after all, coincided neatly with him becoming all depressed and fatalistic.)

The novel also reveals Rassilon's resurrection also happened in the early days of the GTW, which strongly implies (to me at least) that his predecessor, Romana, is no longer among the living in any incarnation. (Whether killed by the Daleks, or a treacherous Time Lord, is yet to be revealed.)
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Old August 7 2014, 01:32 AM   #78
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Hm... the Eighth Doctor spent 600 years in Orbis, and he didn't visibly age at all. So the Doctor can control his aging now? I'm not sure.

At the same time, I wonder how Rassilon came out of the Divergent Universe. He was stuck on an endless loop, by the Divergence. And I always thought Romana was one of the two people kneeling like Weeping Angels in End of Time (the other being Susan, obviously).
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Old August 7 2014, 02:24 AM   #79
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Hm... the Eighth Doctor spent 600 years in Orbis, and he didn't visibly age at all. So the Doctor can control his aging now? I'm not sure.
Not consciously, like I said. He's never had any real control over regeneration, let alone the aging process.

The Orbis thing I didn't know about - I haven't gotten to the Eight audio dramas yet! Wonder how long a year on Orbis is...

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
At the same time, I wonder how Rassilon came out of the Divergent Universe. He was stuck on an endless loop, by the Divergence. And I always thought Romana was one of the two people kneeling like Weeping Angels in End of Time (the other being Susan, obviously).
Engines of War says Rassilon was sprung from his tomb in the Death Zone, so he obviously made his way back there somehow (or the Time Lords used the tomb itself to pull him out of the Divergent Universe).

Susan/Romana...I just don't know anymore. Fed up or not, I can't see the Doctor not trying to rescue any family/friends from Gallifrey before going for the Moment, unless he thought a) it was impossible to get to them or b) there were no family/friends left to be saved. For all I know, Romana was the woman Rassilon blasted to dust for suggesting it might be best for the Time Lords to fall. Leela and K-9 Mark I are both already gone by then, and who knows what happened to K-9 Mark II.
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Old August 7 2014, 03:14 AM   #80
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Nightowl1701 wrote: View Post
The novel also reveals Rassilon's resurrection also happened in the early days of the GTW, which strongly implies (to me at least) that his predecessor, Romana, is no longer among the living in any incarnation.
Bah! I would imagine Romana is clever enough to know when to high-tail it out of there and back into E-Space or something.
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Old August 7 2014, 03:45 AM   #81
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
Nightowl1701 wrote: View Post
The novel also reveals Rassilon's resurrection also happened in the early days of the GTW, which strongly implies (to me at least) that his predecessor, Romana, is no longer among the living in any incarnation.
Bah! I would imagine Romana is clever enough to know when to high-tail it out of there and back into E-Space or something.
If we're including The Gallifrey Adventures Audios, the Final twist of the 6th and Final Series suggests why Romana wouldn't run from the Presidency during such a crucial time.
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Old August 9 2014, 02:30 PM   #82
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

The Engines of War hardcover arrived in the mail on Thursday. After the week I've had, I needed it. I needed it badly.

I wanted to love Engines of War. I only liked it.



So, in the end, Engines of War is a mixed bag. It gave me what I wanted -- a novel starring John Hurt's Doctor. But I needed more from it. It could have been so much more.
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Last edited by Allyn Gibson; August 9 2014 at 03:58 PM. Reason: On second thought (and a check of the book), one sentence was plainly incorrect.
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Old August 11 2014, 12:06 PM   #83
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

On Gallifrey Base, someone posted that he found the Doctor in Engines of War to be too much of a "good guy" Doctor. He wanted the "Warrior" that he thought "The Night of the Doctor" promised.

Here's my response:

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Old August 11 2014, 02:41 PM   #84
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

^Good analysis. I agree -- the point of "The Day of the Doctor" was that the Doctor was wrong to see his Warrior incarnation as a corrupt version of himself, that he truly was the Doctor all along. So the novel would've missed the point if it had done as that poster suggested.

And I question whether we'd really want to see adventures of a "bad Doctor." So many people these days seem to glorify darkness and grittiness and antiheroism, but while there's a place for such things, it wouldn't be good for every character and franchise to go there.
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Old August 11 2014, 03:01 PM   #85
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Haven't read the novel yet, but based on Day of the Doctor, my disappointment with the War Doctor came more from the fact the Doctor has always been implied to have a hidden dark side. We see it in the Seventh Doctor being manipulative, with how the Tenth Doctor dealt with the Family of Blood, and then there's the Dream Lord, a manifestation of the Doctor's dark side. The Doctor has darkness, and it would have been nice to see a Doctor who embraced the darkness and channeled it towards accomplishing his goals. As it is, the Doctor considered unworthy of the name and had his existence turned into a repressed memory is actually kind of mild compared to things we know the "legitimate" ones have done.

That being said, I agree that it is important that even a dark Doctor should still clearly be a good guy. A lot of people get a hard-on about wanting to see the Valeyard and a truly evil Doctor, but that really isn't something I want to see. Besides, in Trial the Valeyard wasn't really evil or menacing, just a dick.
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Old August 11 2014, 03:51 PM   #86
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
The Doctor has darkness, and it would have been nice to see a Doctor who embraced the darkness and channeled it towards accomplishing his goals.
That sounds more like the Master to me. The dark side is something to be resisted and contained, not indulged. Even in war -- especially in war -- it's imperative to hold on to your principles and not compromise more than you absolutely have to.
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Old August 15 2014, 11:47 AM   #87
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

If the War Doctor was always going to be the Doctor ANYWAY, I again fail to see the reason why an incarnation had to be retconned into existence, when the Eighth could've served the EXACT same purpose, and layer it with a meta-textual reference to how he's often been refered by some fans as the Not-Doctor.

If you're gonna "invent" an incarnation of the Doctor, it has to serve an actual purpose that would make sense in the long run. Night of the Doctor clearly showcased the Eighth sacrificing himself to be NOT himself. Doctor no more - and thats not just because he fought in the war, but because he himself has to be different from his usual self to distinguish himself from his other incarnations.

Nothing against the War Doctor, but this once again proves that the sole reason he was invented was to generate an ultimately pointless speculation towards the 50th.
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Old August 15 2014, 12:23 PM   #88
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Nothing against the War Doctor, but this once again proves that the sole reason he was invented was to generate an ultimately pointless speculation towards the 50th.
I'll be the first person to say that Moffat mercilessly trolls his fandoms (like just the other day when he said he wants to do a Sherlock/Who crossover but his Sherlock compatriots won't let him, damn it!), but I really, truly doubt that Moffat's "sole reason" for inventing the War Doctor was to rile Who fandom. I doubt that was even in Moffat's top five reasons.

I believe Moffat when he says that, when Eccleston passed on "Day," he saw an opportunity to do a one-off "mayfly" Doctor and cast an actor of stature and heft.

I recognize that the War Doctor doesn't work for some people, and these people have their reasons.

I admit that I have great difficultly giving credence to those whose reason for rejecting the War Doctor is because he doesn't fit with how they think the Time War went down and who fought in it because series was totally silent on what happened after the 1996 film and before "Rose." It was widely assumed that McGann led into Eccleston, but we didn't know that and there was nothing binding on the production team about that assumption.

If you don't think the character was conceived well, I have an easier time with that. The character in "Day" is a bit of a mess of characterization, and that's on Moffat. The character works for me, and that's on the strength of John Hurt. His Doctor works in spite of the material, not because of it.
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Old August 15 2014, 02:14 PM   #89
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

While I would've loved to see McGann return, I think it was a brilliant idea to reveal that there was an incarnation of the Doctor we didn't know about. After all, there was this huge gap in the Doctor's life story that we only got glimpses of, an era full of mystery, so why shouldn't it have surprises that go to the core of our understanding of the Doctor himself? And it's an inspired twist to recognize that "the Doctor" is his title, not his name, and that it's therefore possible that he could've had an incarnation in which he didn't call himself the Doctor, so that "the eleventh Doctor" wasn't necessarily his eleventh life. I love how that played with our assumptions.

Besides, I don't think either McGann or Eccleston would've worked in the role as well as Hurt did. McGann did a terrific job in "The Night of the Doctor," but still came off as a more youthful, fun, Doctory figure -- not as dissimilar from his successors as Hurt was, and not as world-weary and worn down by long, hard experience. And Eccleston wouldn't have made sense in the role, since I've always seen him as the incarnation that emerged in the aftermath of the Time War. Moffat's said that he would've used Eccleston if the actor had agreed, but that he felt it worked better for the story to create a new character. And I entirely agree.
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Old August 15 2014, 03:27 PM   #90
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Christopher wrote: View Post
While I would've loved to see McGann return, I think it was a brilliant idea to reveal that there was an incarnation of the Doctor we didn't know about. After all, there was this huge gap in the Doctor's life story that we only got glimpses of, an era full of mystery, so why shouldn't it have surprises that go to the core of our understanding of the Doctor himself? And it's an inspired twist to recognize that "the Doctor" is his title, not his name, and that it's therefore possible that he could've had an incarnation in which he didn't call himself the Doctor, so that "the eleventh Doctor" wasn't necessarily his eleventh life. I love how that played with our assumptions.

Besides, I don't think either McGann or Eccleston would've worked in the role as well as Hurt did. McGann did a terrific job in "The Night of the Doctor," but still came off as a more youthful, fun, Doctory figure -- not as dissimilar from his successors as Hurt was, and not as world-weary and worn down by long, hard experience. And Eccleston wouldn't have made sense in the role, since I've always seen him as the incarnation that emerged in the aftermath of the Time War. Moffat's said that he would've used Eccleston if the actor had agreed, but that he felt it worked better for the story to create a new character. And I entirely agree.
Yea, I would've loved to seen Eccelston in the 50th, but, if he was "The War Doctor", it would've really clashed with my "Head-Canon". Like you, I always saw Eccelston as being born from the Time War being ended. I would've been fine with McGann as the War Doctor, and I love what actually aired.

Regardless wether or not it was RTD's idea that Eccelston was the War Doctor (Or that it was Moffat's original idea), it would not have fit for me, and I am glad it didn't play out that way (Though, I would've been happy to see Eccelston in the Special in some regard)
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