Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Doctor Who Week: The Story Thus Far - Part 3

You should really just go and watch the last 213 episodes of Doctor Who if you’ve got the time. Which you probably don’t since the new season starts tomorrow (see countdown to the right); unless you happen to live in a blue box. At the very least you should watch last season, but if you can’t manage that here’s a (not so) quick summary:
Continued from yesterday's post...
Something you should know about the TARDIS: Just leave it alone. Don’t ask why sometimes it’s late and sometimes it’s right on time. Try not to think about how it might show up right outside the PM’s War Room in one story and then land in Wales when you meant Rio in another. But if you can’t just accept that it makes for better TV, here’s a theory that I made up but probably wasn’t the first to think of:
The TARDIS is sentient, to a degree. It is an interdimensional space/time vehicle that can think. It is a piece of technology so far beyond our comprehension that we’re like plankton in the presence of an iPad. Also, it has been utilized by not only the Doctor, but many other members of his race throughout time and to who knows what ends. In other words – she’s going to do as she damn well pleases. If she wants you in the Cabinet War Rooms, you’re going to be in the Cabinet War Rooms. Best not to ask why.

So the TARDIS materializes in the Cabinet War Rooms during the London Blitz and it is made clear that the Doctor and Churchill are old buddies and Churchill needs a bit of help. Well, needed a bit of help a month ago when he first called.
But now everything’s slightly more okay because a genius Scottish inventor by the name of Bracewell has created some dandy war machines that are really good at blowing Krauts out of the sky! Except that the war machines turn out to look like and sound like and pretty much be Daleks and not only that but Pond doesn’t recognize them as Daleks even though the whole entire Earth has been attacked, invaded, enslaved and even planet-napped entirely by the murderous cyborgs like a jillion times.
But we’ll worry about that later, because right now there are Daleks hanging around the PM and they are bound to be up to no good. Despite using psychological tricks like asking the Daleks what their plans are and hitting them with a giant pipe wrench, the Doctor is unable to divine their scheme. And then, finally, after he loses it and screams, “I am the Doctor and you are Daleks!” the shit hits the fan. The Daleks are all like, “That’s right and you totally fell for our plan, loser!” and blast a bunch of soldiers and dematerialize.
Here’s something you should know about the Daleks: They are always up to no good and they are always dicks like that.
It turns out Bracewell is an android that the last three Daleks in existence planted on Earth after narrowly escaping the thirtieth time the Doctor has wiped them out entirely (Lesson – you don’t ever just get rid of popular, money-making villains; especially when you can make fifty completely different variant toys from the exact same mold). Bracewell was programmed to “invent” the Daleks and present them to the British government in their time of need in order to draw the Doctor’s attention so that he can identify them as Daleks. He needs to identify them as Daleks so the Dalek Progenator will accept their command to generate new Daleks consisting of pure DNA. The Progenator will not do this for the three remaining Daleks because the Progenator is an ancient device and the last Daleks are so far removed from the original species that it will not recognize their commands. But once the Doctor – who is programmed into every piece of Dalek technology as the equivalent of Satan – identifies them as Daleks the Progenator cranks up and starts Progenating.
The Brits figure out where the Dalek ship is just in time for the Doctor to pop up there in the TARDIS and wave a cookie at the Dalek survivors and claim it’s the remote control for the TARDIS self-destruct and if they don’t cease and desist he’ll blow them all to Dalek Hell. Daleks have bad eyesight and no experience with teatime comestibles, so they hold off from blasting the Doctor, but are sneaky enough to activate the Progenator once it’s warmed up or whatever.
And out pop five shiny new redesigned Daleks that some people hate and others merely loathe. Personally I don’t mind them. I’m not sure the colors shouldn’t be a bit more subdued, but overall they look pretty neat. But I can see where people might think Stephen Moffat ordered them out of the IKEA catalogue.
The new Daleks (which technically are supposed to be old Daleks) are even bigger dicks and know what a cookie looks like, so they shoot a beam into London that turns all the lights on right before the nightly German air raid and tell the Doctor they’re going to vaporize him now, thank you very much and then proceed to vaporize the (former) Dalek survivors just to show they mean business. Straight gangsta.
While all this is going on, Pond has convinced Churchill to let the remorseful Bracewell (who had no idea he was a robot or a double agent) fit some Spitfires with gravity bubbles and laser blasters to go and take out the Dalek ship. They eventually destroy the beam that was keeping the lights on in London and then go for their final run to destroy the Daleks. And then the Daleks drop the knowledge that Bracewell runs on a “Oblivion Continuum” (read: giant bomb) rather than a couple of double-As and if they activate it the Earth is kaput.
The Doctor realizes Shit Just Got Real™ and calls off the Spitfires, returning to the War Room.
And then the scariest thing in the whole episode happens: the Daleks retreat. Which they have never, ever done before; almost always to their detriment. What this signifies is that the Daleks’ ability to reason has finally surpassed their desire to exterminate. This is definitely going to be a problem in the future. They are still, however, enormous dickweeds; so they activate Bracewell’s “Oblivion Continuum” before they go.
But the Doctor and Pond (mostly Pond because she’s a chick) defeat the device using the Power of Love™. And if that sounds unreasonable to you, then you might just want to remember that the Power of Love is a curious thing. It makes one man weep, another man sing. Change a hawk to a little white dove. Deactivate a Dalek super-bomb – that’s the Power of Love.
As the TARDIS dematerializes, we see the Mysterious Space Crack once again in the wall of the War Rooms. This means something…
I mentioned River Song before. I probably didn’t mention her enough though. She is the classic enigma wrapped in a riddle with a mystery on top. We first met her a couple of seasons ago where it was revealed that she was from the Doctor’s future – possibly even his wife. All we really know is that she can fly the TARDIS better than the Doctor and is sassy as all get-out. Like, gay dudes would give up their gym memberships just to hang out with her for a day sassy. We all love her because she is the only person in the recorded history of the Doctor that puts him as utterly off balance as he puts everybody else.
So River Song gets busted writing something on a big chunk of stuff in a vault at some undetermined time and place in the future.
The next time we see the Doctor and Amy they’re in a Space Museum (Spuseum). They come across a familiar-looking chunk of stuff and the Doctor recognizes the writing on it as Old High Gallifreyan. Obviously not just everybody is fluent in that, so he nicks the chunk and hot foots it out of the Spuseum with Pond in tow.
The Old High Gallifreyan directs the Doctor to specific coordinates in space and time, which he shows up to just as River Song blows herself out of the airlock of the starship she wrote the message on and just before said starship crashes on the planet below.
It turns out Doctor Song (she is a Doctor but god-willing not The Doctor in any way, shape or form and that theory has been postulated) is working with the armed forces of whatever government is in charge at the time and that they had a Weeping Angel in the cargo bay. This is very, very bad as the Weeping Angels are the most effective and cunning assassins in the universe. On the creepy scale, they’re like the Gentlemen or ShadowMan. What they are is statues of angels that can only move when nobody is looking at them. When they do move, they move really fast. While they don’t technically kill you, they do displace you in time (putting you thirty years in your own past, for example).
Naturally, this means everybody involved wouldn’t mind a bit of advice from the Doctor.
So he and Amy and Doctor Song and the military head into the caves the starship crashed into to make sure the cargo is secure. Fortunately, there is a video monitoring system set up to ensure the captured Angel is always being watched (so it can’t move). Unfortunately, the Angels can travel through any visual medium and this one escapes into Amy’s eye after she gets locked in the room with the video screen. This is another case of us knowing stuff before the Doctor or anybody else does, so just sit tight on that information.
After the base camp is set up and everyone is convinced the Angel is contained (yeah, right). They naturally have to go fetch it. In order to do so the clerics (soldiers) must navigate the catacombs of the species that previously inhabited the planet, which is full of statues of the dead. Naturally they want to keep the Doctor on – strictly for consulting reasons, not because he has this habit of saving the day. Also, the cleric commander pulls River Song aside and asks her if the Doctor knows the truth about her and her – gasp! – prison time and tells her to watch it if she wants to keep things that way.
The Doctor also comes in handy because he has been to this planet and is familiar with its two-headed former inhabitants.
In typical horror movie fashion the team splits up and the rear guard is taken out fairly quickly by… something. Right around the time a young cleric named Bob is being murdered the Doctor realizes that all of the statues are one head shy of resembling the planet’s former inhabitants. Oops. That’s no moon. I mean, those aren’t statues – they’re Weeping Angels. Hundreds of them. And they’ve been following behind our party the whole time. And then Bob checks in on the communicator, only it isn’t Bob it’s an Angel using Bob’s voice (Angel Bob) to tell the Doctor how fucked he and his team are.
So the Doctor says, “Silly Angel Bob – don’t you know you shouldn’t ever back me into a corner?” and does this neat thing that you really should see because I can’t quite explain it other than to say it results in the opening of the next episode, which finds our team inside the crashed spaceship, but with the Angels hot on their tails. Naturally the team is on the wrong side of the ship, so they have to make their way through a forest to get to the right side. You might be wondering why there is a forest in the middle of a spaceship. How else are they going to produce the oxygen?
Before the party enters the forest that ominous crack from Amelia Pond’s bedroom shows up and the Doctor realizes the Weeping Angels are feeding off of the energy leaking out of it. And also that the crack seems to be following them, which can’t be good.
Over the course of the pursuit Doctor Song and the Doctor have both noticed that Amy is counting down to something. The Doctor figures out that something is the Weeping Angel emerging from her eyes, so Pond has to shut her eyes to prevent the Angel from escaping and killing her in the process. This means Amy can’t keep up with the group so the Doctor and Doctor Song move ahead to the other side with plans to teleport Pond and the rest of the clerics ahead once they get to the other control room. Time is of the essence because the Angels and the crack are both catching up to them.
The Doctor makes it to the control room in time to teleport Pond back, but the Angels show up shortly after. Followed by the crack, which the Doctor schemes to have them fall into. Anything the crack touches ceases to have ever existed, so the Angel in Amy’s eye is gone as well.
The Doctor finds out Doctor Song is a criminal whose crime is “Killing the best man I’ve ever known.” And also that they will meet again when the Pandorica opens.
The Doctor and Amy head back to Earth for a bit where Amy jumps the Doctor’s bones and he sums it up to jet lag. He also realizes that the next day is the date of the event that creates the ominous crack, so he drags Pond back in the TARDIS and they’re off.

Continued tomorrow...
Until next time, stay creepy

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