What is a fobwatch to a Time Lord? A device that holds his memories safely tucked away, hidden from danger, even from himself? We see the Gallifreyan time piece throughout the Classic Who series, but we really get concrete information about the device in series 3, starting with “Human Nature” S03E07.
According to the story, Time Lord science developed the Chameleon Arch, which allowed the user to change the biology of himself, with the help of a perception filter, a headset that scrambled one’s brain and a fob watch, to keep the memories tucked safely away. The user will not remember any part of himself while the Chameleon Arch is in place, and that in itself can be problematic, as we see with Ten and, later, the Master. Audiences first see the fob watch outside of Classic Who in “Human nature/The Family of Blood” S03E08&09, when the Doctor uses the Chameleon Arch to become a fully human John Smith, with Martha as his maid. In 1914. Yeah, I’ve got issues with the turn-of-the-century racism, but that’s not the point of this post…
When I started watching Doctor Who, I received many well wishes from good-intentioned Whovians and a few warnings. Most extolled David Tennant’s amazing hair, chided the campy special effects, and let me know just how much I would hate Martha Jones. Now, I am not one to do what I’m told. That’s why I’m a Wholigan, friends. So, when people tell me I will definitely, without a doubt LOVE or HATE anything, I am disinclined to believe it. You know me, I didn’t start at series 1 or even Classic Doctor Who. I jumped around the time vortex, watching episodes that friends rec’d to me, enjoying one-shot stories of the Doctor and his companions. I didn’t understand the explicit dislike many Whovians have for Martha, probably because I didn’t meet Rose first and I held no loyalties to any specific companion.
Earlier today, the Collectress and I had a conversation that went something like this:
The Collectress: I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not normal. When I fantasize about meeting a celebrity, I dream about us drinking a pint and sassing people.
Me: Or driving around, hunting things?
The Collectress: Pretty much.
Me: Or going on grand adventures across space and time?
What’s normal, anyway?
I mean…come on. That shit sounds brilliant. I almost wrote “fantashtic”.
The Collectress: I’d love to sass people on adventures throughout space and time.
Me: I don’t know what to write about for today…how about sassing people through space and time? Sounds perfect.
This got me thinking about meeting my favorite actors and what I might do. But then, I decided I’d much prefer to hang out in an alternate reality with my favorite fictional characters.
Screw real life!
First of all, who would you want to meet? Currently, I am obsessed with Dean and Castiel. I don’t mean Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, no. I mean DEAN AND CASTIEL. I want them to be my gay best friends.
This is the final installment of the “11 of 11” series and I am a bit sad. I began this series when I heard that Matt Smith was officially leaving DW, and now that it is almost November and with less than a month to the 50th anniversary episode of Who, well, my feels, guys. My feels.
I don’t want Matt to go! As a newly inducted Wholigan, this is the first time I’ve lost a Doctor on the linear time line. If you’ve know my “New to Who” story, you know that I didn’t watch Doctor Who in order, I jumped around in the series, finding episodes that entertained me, all the while desperately trying not to fall in love with the show. It was an unexpected love affair, and it wasn’t until River Song showed up in series 6 that I realized I’d inadvertently become a Whovian. I love David Tennant as Ten, don’t get me wrong. I, too, swoon over the fangirl favorite and adore every episode in which he sexily runs around, fighting nefarious aliens, falling in love with Rose, showing off to Martha and laughing with Donna. I cry when I watch “The End of Time” and never want to see him go. But Eleven. Eleven is the Doctor who fell in love with River Song. He is the Doctor who laughs away the pain of being Ten, Nine and the others, while remaining immensely powerful. He is still the Timelord Victorious, but with a bow tie and new best friends. Eleven never forgot life as Ten, he just refused to fall into a pattern of despair and self loathing. Eleven allowed himself to fall in love with River, to create a family in the Ponds and who, when that family is finally lost, discovered something to live for in the mysteries of the Universe and of Clara Oswald. Matt Smith has played Eleven’s ridiculously huge story arc fearlessly, with finesse that makes the role look easy. He goes from dark and intense to silly and childish in a matter of seconds, never afraid to utilize emotion, physical humor or emotional pain to drive the character forward. Peter Capadli definitely has bigger-on-the-inside shoes to fill. No one thought Matt could do it, and then suddenly, the show is an American hit, a internet sensation and new audiences across the globe are falling in love with time travel and the TARDIS, as Britain has been for years. But Matt Smith is moving on, Whovians. There’s no doubt he will do well after Who. He is young, attractive (in a Timelord-y sorta way) and has range. This episode, Nightmare in Silver, proves it. So, goodbye Eleven. You will be missed, mourned and meme-ed for many years to come.