Friday, April 18, 2014

The Doctor's Scottish Medical Credentials

So I was watching one of the surviving episodes of the Second Doctor adventure THE MOONBASE (1967) the other day, and I was struck by the fact that Polly is surprised when the Doctor commits to curing the mysterious virus afflicting the staff of the moonbase.  She didn't know he had any actual training as, well, a doctor. He reassures her by oh-so-casually mentioning that he studied in Glasgow with Lister.

He means Joseph Lister, of course, the guy who had the radical idea that surgeons ought to wash their dad-blamed hands before they operated on people, and that in general being dirty was bad for you.  Since Lister's breakthrough was in  1865 and he left Glasgow in 1869, that's probably the period when the doctor was studying with him in Scotland.

But as we know, the Doctor lies.  Why would he have studied with Lister?  Would a centuries-old Time Lord need to learn about how germs are spread?  Perhaps it's more likely that the Doctor was there giving Lister hints...

And that's an intriguing possibility, especially since it might tie in with the story the Tenth Doctor gives Queen Victoria in TOOTH AND CLAW (2006). He tells Her Majesty that he's a Scottish doctor who studied with Joseph Bell. If he's lying, he chose a clever false credential, because Bell was one of Her Majesty's personal physicians. (He was also the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, but that's beside the point.)

But could he be telling the truth?  Bell and Lister were contemporaries, and the ever-curious Second Doctor could have been drawn to hanging around with both of them. And given the trouble he had controlling the TARDIS in his first and second lives, he might easily have been stuck in Scotland for a few years.

So if he really did study with (or mentor) Lister and Bell at some point during his second incarnation, that may be why as the Tenth Doctor he chose to tell Queen Victoria his name was James McCrimmon.  Perhaps when thinking back to that time, hundreds of years in his own past, when he studied medicine in Scotland -- and was reminded of the young man who was his friend and companion up to the very end of that regeneration.

Just a theory.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Third Doctor Smooching. It's About Electronics.

A very cute short film featuring Jon Pertwee doing his best impression of Danny Kaye. He explains electronics without ever once reversing the polarity of the neutron flow!  If nothing else, this film has a shot of Pertwee passionately kissing a cute girl -- something his Doctor never got to do.  The world would have to wait for David Tennant before we'd have that sort of thing going on. 

Monday, April 14, 2014


Okay, Ian and I let this blog lie fallow for far too long... nearly two years ... but we're back! It was two years of seismic changes in our lives, so if you knew the details you'd understand, but they're not relevant here. What matters here is DOCTOR WHO and we say, "On with the show!" ... or, to put it another way: allons-y!