Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Looking Forward to Gallifrey 22

My Dad and I plan to be at the next "Gallifrey" convention in Los Angeles, and I am excited for lots of reasons!

I am especially looking forward to meeting the people from one of my favorite eras of Doctor Who: the Fifth Doctor!  Peter Davidson is promised to be there (for real this time!) as are Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse, and Janet Fielding.  It’s basically the entire crew of the famous “crowded TARDIS” together in one place!

I am also looking forward to buying more Daleks - five inch RC ones if I can find them.  I am also hoping to be wearing a fez.  Yes, my Dad's getting us both fezzes.  And why?  Because fezzes are cool. 

For my costume, I plan to go as Adric -- only with a fez.  My dad's costume will be less interesting; he’s just going to add the fez to whatever he’s wearing at the time.   We're hoping to buy genuine fezzes made of wool and not one of those cheap five-dollar fezzes that you get at a craft store.   But we’ll see.

But why the fezzes, anyway?   Obviously, in honor of the Doctor’s fez in The Pandorica Opens.  But an even better reason is because my dad and I enjoyed the episode of The Two Minute Time Lord podcast in which Chip jokingly ranted about people going to the convention wearing fezzes.  He predicted that Gallifrey 22 would be one gigantic sea of fezzes. So naturally we want to try to let him know we are fans of his show by deliberately wearing the dreaded fez.  And we hope hundreds of other fans will do the same!

I wonder what his response will be…

Star Whale

I know a lot of people don't care much for The Beast Below and Vampires of Venice. I, personally, however, enjoyed the entire first year of the Eleventh Doctor very much. Why people disliked Vampires of Venice I don't know, but I have a guess on why people didn't care much for The Beast Below...

The Star Whale was an interesting idea, but my hunch on why people didn't like the episode was because of apparent flaws in the logic of the whale: how does it survive in space, and why does it throw up the Doctor and Amy inside the spaceship?

This goes back to a statement I think Jules Verne made about science fiction: It cannot be as such without scientific evidence to back it up. Truth be told: there is an explanation on how it survives. Perhaps it survives on atomic particles or asteroids. It may even make its own food by moving near stars and absorbing their energy, like a plant or algae does with our own star. It may even be partly heterotrophic (searching for food) and partly autotrophic (making its own food). Another explanation: the reason it was coming to Earth was not to help the people, but to find food.

Oh, and about the vomit?  If it really was a kind of whale, it would have a blowhole.  So the reason the Doctor and Amy weren't spewed into outer space was because they went through the blowhole and not out the mouth. Earth whales do not "throw up" out their mouths, but vomit from their blowholes. That blowhole was, possibly, connected to some part of the ship, and would expel the Doctor and Amy into a sort of storage area, allowing them to escape unnoticed.

That's what I think, anyway.  What do you think?


Doctor Who was - and still is - a popular science fiction program across the globe. One aspect of the show I especially admire is that the hero resists using violence whenever possible. We've now seen him in eleven different personalities -- starting with the crotchety old man first seen in a junkyard, who turned into the fun-loving, recorder-playing "cosmic hobo," and so on. Whenever the Doctor "dies" and regenerates, his personality, attitude, and taste in clothes all change. But one thing remains constant: he will never fire a gun.

Many people think that, to have a good story, you have to have cars exploding, or guns firing during every frame of the film, or people getting sucked into jet engines. Sure, Doctor Who has a lot of that, but that's not all it is. Despite the violence in it, the main purpose of the show is to how bad violence is, not to show how it can be used to get your way. As the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davidson) says to Davros: "I just haven't had as much practice with killing as you have."

Here is a paradox: I also enjoy the ultra-violent Daleks - they are exact opposites of the nonviolent Doctor. Their mantra, "Ex-ter-mi-nate," sends terror down the backs of anyone who knows what they are and what they're up to. But the Doctor, one way or the other, manages to stop them. Yet, despite the fact that he could destroy the Daleks at any time, he always gives them a chance to get away - not because he wants to, but because he abhors killing, and doesn't want there to be more deaths than are truly necessary. That's who the Doctor is: a role model for people in our violent culture.

What do you think?