The Doctor's Name

After this season's Doctor Who, I have a theory about the title character's name.

Fanon would say that Doctor is an alias he gave himself. After all, what kind of parents name their kid Doctor, or even Master, for that reason. The Doctor has always been vague on this, refusing to elaborate on this title he's given himself. The writers know they can't just reveal his real name, it would ruin the mystique and mystery.

When the show started out, this was fine. He was a mystery man with a mystery past. However when other Time Lords are introduced, they also refer to him as the Doctor. You'd think they would know his original name. I compare it to Kryptonians calling Superman "Kal-El" or Themyscirians calling Wonder Woman "Diana."

My thoughts on this are based on a little examined aspect of Gallifreyan culture..

Not all Gaillfreyans are TimeLords. The TimeLords are the elite nobleborn. While not exactly stated, it would be reasonable to assume that lower class Gallifreyans can't regenerate. It is perhaps worth noting that when the Doctor talked about being the last of his kind, he only referred to TimeLords and not Gallifreyans, would he have cared if other people from his planet were still around?

In The Caretaker, Danny Pink referred to the Doctor as aristocracy and an officer and the Doctor was enraged in the way only a penetrating truth can evoke. He is an aristocrat. Sure he mingles among all different races and classes, but he's still used to being treated as a TimeLord.

So my theory is that in this noble class, when a young TimeTot reaches the age of maturity, they pick a name that is used thereafter. Much like in our world, Lhamo Thondup is referred to as The Dalia Lama, Andrew Albert Christian Edward is called The Duke of York, etc. It is a cultural thing for TimeLords to use this instead of their birth name. It's not that they don't know his name, but they respect his position in their society. And this applies no matter what a TimeLord has done, such as The Master or The Rani. When the Doctor returns to Gallifrey in Hell Bent he bides his time in a barn and is visited by a kindly older woman. She doesn't refer to him by any name, but I got the feeling she knew the Doctor when he was younger (perhaps all Gallifreyans have long lifespans compared to humans) and may have known his birth name and been the kind of person who could get away with using it. Like you could imagine Pope Francis having a grade school teacher or babysitter who could get away with calling him "little Jorge."

This would also explain why the Doctor and Master, who are said to have been childhood friends, never refer to each other by other names. Why condone his delusions of being a Master, unless it was part of the conventions you grew up with. Even the detractors of people like Popes still acknowledge the title.

We can thus assume this applies to other TimeLords like Rassilon, Borusa and The Rani. Maybe even Romanadvoratrelundar, or she just wasn't old enough to go through the ceremony when she met The Doctor.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

A Little Doctor Who Math

So I was watching some Doctor Who with ben_who and wondered which Doctor had the longest screen appearance, and the best way to determine this.

I know this is a question that has been asked a million times and the answer depends on what criteria one uses.

It's easier for a show like Star Trek, where the series have basically the same number of episodes per season and the episodes are about the same length.

But for Doctor Who where a season might have a few episodes or a lot. An actor might have been Doctor for a span of years with hiatuses here and there. And the episode lengths in the old days are different from nuWho.

For my purposes I wanted to go with total air time. Count up the episodes and how many minutes in each.

There were some questions I had to answer, such as Regeneration episodes. Did they count toward the old Doctor, or the new? What about multi-Doctor episodes. What about the serials where the Doctor didn't appear?

My rule of thumb is that all episodes of a serial belong to that Doctor:
A Doctor gets credit for a specific episode of a serial if he appeared in it, such as for a Regeneration sequence.

It is the character who matters, not the specific actor who played him (so this covers cameos after the actor died).

It must be the character, not just an image. For example, in The Eleventh Hour and The Next Doctor we see projections of other Doctors, but they don't appear as characters. For The Name of the Doctor, each of the prior Doctors has a cameo so they all get credit for the whole episode.

I'm also including variants, and getting nitpicky about them. The Valyard and the Dream Lord were incarnations of the Doctor, The Watcher (from when 4 turned into 5). And since it is canon, I'm considering the Tenth's regeneration in Journey's End to count as a separate Doctor (and the metacrisis one to be a third "Tenth" Doctor). This did lead to speculation on which Tenth Doctor appeared in subsequent episodes. I decided that the Tennant Doctor who teamed up with Eleven and War was the "second" one, it made sense in how one would fit his adventures with Queen Elizabeth in the timeline.

I am including Dimensions in Time and Shada.

And in case anyone wondered. The First Doctor gets credit for Listen

I also included, for the sake of fun, the alternate Ninth Doctors from Scream of the Shalka and...yes...Curse of the Fatal Death.

I am not counting An Adventure in Space and Time or The Fivish Doctors since those were about the actors and non part of canon or EU.

I used the Tardis wikia as the source for episode numbers and lengths.

Here is my list, in order of most to fewest:
Fourth        3Days, 6Hours, 17Minutes
First        2Days, 13Hours, 32Minutes
Second        2Days, 9Hours, 12Minutes
Third        2Days, 9Hours, 2Minutes
Eleventh        1Day, 15Hours, 10Minutes
Tenth(First)        1Day, 10Hours, 28Minutes
Fifth        1Day, 9Hours, 25Minutes
Seventh        21Hours, 7Minutes
Sixth        20Hours, 22Minutes
Twelfth        12Hours, 57Minutes
Ninth(Canon)        11Hours, 45Minutes
Tenth(Second)        9Hours, 19Minutes
Valyard        4Hours, 15Minutes
Eighth        3Hours, 32Minutes
War        2Hours, 7Minutes
Ninth(Shalka)        1Hour, 30Minutes
Watcher        1Hour, 15Minutes
Tenth(Metacrisis)        1Hour, 5Minutes
TCoFD Ninth(Atkinson)        20Minutes
TCoFD Tenth(R Grant)        5Minutes
TCoFD Eleventh(Broadbent)        5Minutes
TCoFD Twelfth(H Grant)        5Minutes
TCoFD Thirteenth(Lumley)        5Minutes

I can provide my spreadsheet to anyone who is curious how I came up with the numbers, or wishes to nitpick with me on what counts.

[x-posted from my main journal]
  • Current Mood

Yay, new season

So I'm sure we're all excited about the new season starting, but I have some questions

First: Last year we were treated to a multi-Doctor scene including a future regeneration. Will we ever see the saving of Gallifrey from the 13th's p.o.v.? Doesn't have to be much, maybe Capaldi's just relaxing by the library when a call comes in from War, 10th & 11th.

Second: Does it make sense that Clara would have trouble seeing an "older" Doctor? She did travel through his timeline and, more than any other Companion (with the possible exception of Romana) knows that he is very old and has looked very old in the past.

And even, let's say, that she lost her memories of that time (like what happened with Rose and Donna), she still met the War Doctor. She saw, and was friendly to the War Doctor who looked more wrinkled, haggard and older than 13 (mostly due to his having been in a long war). I think it's a disservice to Clara to have the season start with her character acting like Season 1 Rose did.
  • Current Music
    Pet Shop Boys - Paninaro (Pet Shop Boys and David Jacob's Italian mix)

Who sightings

Did anyone go "Yay" upon seeing Mickey Smith, Defender of the Earth, in Star Trek: Into Darkness*?

A weird double-bonus for me. My roommate ben_who watches a serial each Tuesday for a blog of his. After returning from the cinema we saw this week's selection, The Image of the Fendahl. One of the characters, Thea Ransome, was played by Wanda Ventham, who is the mother of Star Trek 2's Benedict Cumberbatch!

Well, I thought it was cool.

*Or, Star Trek into Darkness depending on how nitpicky one is.

Er... it just me or has nobody mentioned the earth-shattering news that two lost episodes of Classic Who have been rediscovered?

Namely THE UNDERWATER MENACE episode 2 (which now becomes the earliest known surviving Second Doctor episode) and GALAXY 4 episode 3 (Chumblies! yay!)
  • Current Mood
    excited excited

Episode 15 released

In updating my podcasts this morning, I found that WhoFurs episode 15 has been released. This show covers the last two episodes of the first half of season 5, as well as a discussion of the entire first half of the season.