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…
What does a nine-hundred-year-old Time Lord have faith in?
Turns out, not much.
After destroying the Daleks and the Time Lords in the Time War, the Doctor is left to roam the galaxies and timelines without any ties, any anchors, other than his companions. By the time Ten and Rose Tyler find “The Impossible Planet,” we’ve seen that the Doctor relies on facts and logic and data–if there isn’t an explanation then it must be impossible. And if we had seen as much of the universe as the Doctor, we would probably feel the same way. However, on this impossible planet on the brink of a black hole, the Doctor is repeatedly faced with the impossible and is forced to question everything he believes in.
On this planet, the laws of physics are declared impossible; there’s a language on the wall that is so old that the TARDIS can’t translate it (which is impossible); and there’s something possessing the Ood which claims to be the Devil. All impossible, according to the Doctor.
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.
Finally, a semi-new episode of Who! We have crossed into part 2 of series 7 and get to meet the current DW companion, Clara Oswin Oswald, the Doctor’s Impossible Girl (played by Jenna Louise-Coleman). We only have this and one more episode in the 11 of 11 series, and I had a really difficult time picking series 7 episodes to rec, until I remembered this one. Although we have seen Clara in 3 episodes prior, Rings of Akhaten is the companion’s first visit to another planet. Audiences are introduced to time and space travel through Clara’s eyes, and it is spectacular. The setting is brilliant, the dialogue, moving and Clara reveals her fierce bravery and already-complete loyalty to the Doctor. I am excited to focus on a Neil Cross episode, as well. The British writer has penned some of my favorite tv shows and films, such as Lutheron BBC One starring Idris Elba , Mamawith Jessica Chastain, and two episodes of DW in series 7, this and Hide. Cross often writes horror and suspense, so this particular episode is very different than his usual fare, but impressive, nonetheless.
AKA The Episode That Reminds Us of the Magic in Doctor Who