7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOILERS)

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Samurai8472, Apr 27, 2013.

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Grade "Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS"

Poll closed Jun 6, 2013.
  1. Geronimo!

    39 vote(s)
    33.1%
  2. Good

    46 vote(s)
    39.0%
  3. Average

    24 vote(s)
    20.3%
  4. Not worth salvaging

    7 vote(s)
    5.9%
  5. This episode should have stayed in the center of the TARDIS

    2 vote(s)
    1.7%
  1. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    Well, dismissing Lungbarrow wouldn't make much difference as it isn't even the book which introduced the looms. Helps if you actually read the literature you have a strong opinion on! I recommend it, as Lungbarrow is a very strong, evocative story from one of Doctor Who's best ever writers. Not the weird anti-sex manual that people here seem to picture.
     
  2. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    I first got into Doctor Who fandom in 2006. Seems like a lifetime ago for me, but some people have been in it a lot longer than that. Once “initiated,” I soon began to hear the most common and discussed opinions on the classic series and its various spin-offs, including the Virgin New Adventures. Possibly the first I ever heard of them were about the Looms, devices used to “weave” genetic material into fully formed adult Time Lords rather than having children the conventional way. It’s something of an understatement to point out just how hated these things were and indeed are. “The stupid books in the mid-90s changed too much! They hated the idea of the Doctor having sex in any way whatsoever, so they made Time Lords not be able to have sex and Susan not his granddaughter!” is a general summary of what’s brought up anytime someone mentions the Looms. Many people haven’t read the primary* book that deals with them, Lungbarrow, because looms exist in it and I’ve even seen people who won’t go near the entire NA range all together because of the looms.

    At first, I bought into this thinking, hook, line, and sinker. I myself was loomed out of early RTD Who so of course the Doctor was a sexual person and to say he doesn’t have sex is silly. Of course Susan is his actual granddaughter. Of course Time Lords just have sex and have babies; what the heck were these people’s problems to make such a convoluted system just so the Doctor would remain someone who can never have sex? Then, sometime down the line, I did the smart thing. I actually read Lungbarrow. And all of a sudden, everything made sense. Much of what I had been told about the Looms was straight-up misinformation, exaggeration, and distortion.

    So a while ago, I decided to write-up a list of things that one should be aware of when discussing the Looms and how many of them differ from what you might hear said about them.

    1. Lungbarrow is a damn fine novel in its own right. Beyond anything else, even if you don’t like the particular idea of the Looms, that doesn’t mean you may not like the novel or shouldn’t give it a try. It’s not a front-to-back manual on the inner workings of some fictional machines. It’s a wonderfully surreal mystery, loaded with atmosphere and ideas flying at you from every direction, that has the Gothic sensibilities of the Hinchcliffe era, the straight-up weirdness from the 60s, and a common similarity to Ghost Light (unsurprising, since Ghost Light was rewritten from a planned TV version of Lungbarrow). You may hate the Looms just as you did the day before, but still think it’s a great book in its own right.

    2. It doesn’t mean the Time Lords don’t have sex. The Looms are not the natural or “normal” way for Time Lords to reproduce. It’s a loophole to get around all Time Lords being prevented from having biological birth. The books take the show’s idea that in the early Rassilon days of Gallifrey, the universe was a weirder, more magical place, full of darkness and superstition, and that the Time Lords, led by Rassilon, helped to eradicate it, even on their home planet. As described in Time’s Crucible, the early rulers of Gallifrey were a matriarchal group of soothsayers, but before they left and were replaced by the days of an engineer-as-founder-of-society, some of that early universe magic was used to curse all Gallifreyans with sterility. The Looms were the response, a new and logically efficient way of having kids. But that has nothing to do with having sex! It just has to do with the actual reproductive process, but guess what, loads of people have sex for reasons other than to start the reproductive process and in many cases, actively trying to prevent its occurrence while still performing the act. And more to the point, it is actively shown in the story to be a Bad Thing that things have gotten this out of hand, and by the end of Lungbarrow, the curse is lifted and Leela becomes pregnant with Andred’s baby, shown unabashedly as a Good Thing. It’s hardly shown by the author as an awesome and kick-ass way to make people without that whole stupid sex thing, which the Doctor never has. Ah, which reminds me…

    3. It doesn’t mean the Doctor doesn’t have sex. For some reason, people are convinced the reasons the Looms were created because it would finally prove once and for all that the Doctor is asexual. Now, I gather that back when it first came out, there were quite a lot of people who wanted the Doctor to be an asexual figure only and who therefore promoted the theory as “proof,” although since I’ve been in fandom, I’ve seen waaaaaaay more people mention and complain about those people than I’ve seen those people themselves. But the Doctor having sex, or not having, sex is a complete non-sequitur to the Looms. As already said, the Looms doesn’t mean Time Lords aren’t born equipped with genitals or that they’re incapable of sex; simply childbearing. Even more importantly, the very next book after Lungbarrow has the Doctor have sex with someone off camera. If it really was some master plan to remove sexuality from the Doctor all together, why would Rebecca Levene let Lance Parkin put that in the very next book? There’s no evidence this is what Marc Platt or anyone else had on their mind.

    4. Why the Looms were actually created. Okay, so if it isn’t the fan myth that “They were created to get rid of any sexy Doctor notions!” then why were the Looms created? First, let’s go to what Marc Platt’s actually said on the matter, via his introduction to the once available online version of Lungbarrow:

    Simple! The Doctor’s an alien, he was going to write a story about the Doctor’s family, and he decided to create an alien family rather than just do what was expected. Also, it conveniently solves a question about how a society of near immortals who can live for thousands of years could go on for millennia without overpopulation (certainly, anytime we’ve seen Gallifrey on screen, it’s looked a little… bare).

    5. Susan is still his biological granddaughter (technically). This is the other big issue when it comes to Lungbarrow, Susan. Now, obviously, a family system without parents/grandfathers is going to leave Susan looking like a loose end. But unlike, say, Eric Saward who once wrote a piece saying Susan was descended from Rassilon and had no relation to the Doctor whatsoever, Marc Platt specifically goes out of his way to try and justify both concepts; the Doctor is from a family of 45 Cousins and Susan is his granddaughter. It’s all tied in with another early Rassilon era idea from the Cartmel era (when Lungbarrow was first thought-up), that the Doctor was Rassilon and Omega’s associate and fellow partner, a version commonly referred to as “The Other.” It’s a clever way to both justify the faces shown in The Brain of Morbius (because within the context of the story, it’s obviously earlier Doctors and not Morbius himself as is commonly hand-waved away) while still having Hartnell’s Doctor be the “First Doctor.” At the end of his life, the Other threw himself into the Looms and was later “rewoven” as the Doctor, who grew up not knowing who he was before. When Hartnell leaves Gallifrey, he does the impossible and visits an earlier point in Gallifrey’s history, where he meets Susan. Given that these are those early days, she is the biological granddaughter of the Other. The First Doctor has no memory of her (or anything from his Other days), but she distinctly and assertively knows he’s the exact same person as her grandfather, even if he’s in a different incarnation. Is this more complicated than what’s shown in An Unearthly Child? Absolutely! But isn’t it all? We’re not told they’re Time Lords, we’re not told they’re from Gallifrey, Susan openly says to have made up the name TARDIS (a claim more credible post-The Deadly Assassin if she truly was from the early days of Gallifrey)… Yes, it’s perhaps overly complicated in order to squeeze in both ideas… but what matters is that Platt easily could’ve just had Susan be some random Time Lord the Doctor decided take longer and were later brainwashed into thinking they were related or something, but he explicitly has Susan be his granddaughter and even if he doesn’t remember the incarnation that “made” her, the Doctor her grandfather.

    If you’ve read all this… and especially if you’ve actually read Lungbarrow… and still dislike the idea of the Looms, that’s fair enough. Everyone’s got different tastes and one person’s favorite story is another’s least favorite. But if you’re just ragging on them because of what you’ve “heard” about them from second-handed sources (including this, I suppose!), do yourself a favor and try to read the damn book and figure out where you stand yourself.

    *Bonus question:

    6. Why is it Lungbarrow that gets all the hate and not Time’s Crucible? It is, after all, the book the Looms came from and yet whenever they’re discussed, you hardly hear anyone mention that it came from that first and then was only elaborated on in Lungbarrow.

    If you're a loon for liking the Looms, then the mad have taken over the asylum. XD
     
  3. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    I love the implication anyone who isn't monogamous is a "scumbag sex fiend." :guffaw:
     
  4. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    Ah, "Lungbarrow" -- currently £1500 new or £86 used on Amazon. I don't think I'll be reading it anytime soon.
     
  5. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    This is response to Nagisa Furukawa's post, which is too lengthy to quote.

    I can only speak for myself, but I was an avid fan of the Virgin NAs and generally enjoyed them. I even enjoyed many of the mysterious glimpses we got of the Doctor's past in the novels tied to the Masterplan. I disliked the idea of the Looms as soon as they first appeared in Time's Crucible, mostly because they seemed like yet another attempt to make Susan something other than the Doctor's granddaughter (most of these attempts were fan rationalizations, but not all (lest we forget the Lady Larn). I don't know what the creators' rationale was, but I do remember the glee that some fans took in the confirmed asexuality of the Doctor at the time. Lungbarrow was a book that I had looked forward to for some time, but found it very lacking after all the great buildup by authors such as Lance Parkin. It wasn't an awful book, but just "meh" in my opinion.

    But all of this is really moot since the 96 TV movie and the new series have contradicted the existence of the looms anyway. The 96 TV Movie had The Doctor mention his parents & there have been several references to his having been a parent/grandparent (Which I know some have interpreted as a memory of The Other's parents/kids/grandkids), but the clincher--for me--was the flashback to the Master as a child (Since the Looms supposedly spit out fully grown Gallifreyans) and the mention in The End of Time to the Master's father.

    So, while I have enjoyed certain aspects of the Masterplan, both in the McCoy era and the VNAs and wouldn't mind some of those threads picked up, I am not a fan of the Looms and the convoluted explanation of Susan's relationship to the Doctor that came out of it.
     
  6. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    Well put! :bolian:

    It would be amusing if Moffat put a weird twist to all this by having Clara's mom or dad be River's kid by the Doctor. What with one Clara having the same birthday as the start of the series and being the same age as the first run, having the new Clara as the new grand daughter should crack the Internet fan boards pretty effectively.
     
  7. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    I don't remember the fact that the Looms made fully-grown Gallifreyans? If that's the case, you also have the Doctor's cot and the story that the Third Doctor tells about being a boy.
     
  8. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    Speaking of, I nearly started crying when Clara opened that one door in this last episode and the Doctor's cot was sitting there. I miss the Ponds. :(
     
  9. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    Me too, although it was the right time for them to leave (actually the right time for them to leave would have been at the end of series 6). Doesn't stop me missing them though.
     
  10. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    With the references popping up, Amy's book, the cradle, it's not impossible for Clara to be a grandchild or great grandchild of Amy and Rory.
     
  11. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    One does wonder if such references are just there to be cute or if they serve a larger purpose.
     
  12. Nightowl1701

    Nightowl1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    I'm thinking, rather than a descendant, Clara could be an ancestor of some Past Companions - Zoe Herriot (with her computer skills and nonstop cuteness) or Leela (with her "I'll never scream" courage and "it's not that impressive, really" attitude), maybe.
     
  13. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    Well, I do wonder, many, or most of the Clara episodes mention or allude to music or songs. Whether this is an indirect reference to River or not, nothing is there to say, but it seems to be there to me. There is an unknown shop girl who gave her the Tardis number (very likely to be River). And the overt references to Amy and River last episode with the crib make me think that Moffat wants to tie together River, Amy, and Clara in some fashion.
     
  14. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    They are all Susan's descendants.
     
  15. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    I loved this episode. Carry on. :)
     
  16. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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  17. starsuperion

    starsuperion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    Not only did we get to see vital systems of the TARDIS and we got a schematic of the ship..but we also got to see the eye of harmony! Excellent episode! It was much more exciting then previous tardis corridor romps.
     
  18. Robert D. Robot

    Robert D. Robot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    At one point-- after hearing the line about the "machine that makes machines"-- I thought that maybe the zombies were actually 'badly-formed-robot-antibodies' created by the damaged,
    'snarling' TARDIS to protect itself against the intruders. Turned out not to be the case, I realize.

    Still, not sure why dying, irradiated future versions of the salvage guys & TARDIS crew would be stalking their present-day selves.... (?)
     
  19. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    To create a temporal paradox so that their future versions couldn't exist, perhaps?
     
  20. Robert D. Robot

    Robert D. Robot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: 7X10 Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS(Grading/Discussion)(SPOIL

    Hmmm...! Good Idea!