Since we took a week off, this post we are combining the last two episodes of Doctor Who, which have highlighted on the relationship between the Doctor and his companion, the link to and representation of a long term connection to humanity. Both episodes reveal a Doctor who shares a precarious bond with humankind that has become damaged by prejudices, preconceived notions and the Doctor’s struggle with his own heroic nature.
This week for our Villains of Note series, we will take a look at one of the most underrated and terrifying bad gals in all of the Whoniverse, Madame Kovarian.
The Eye Patch Lady.
Eye drive, cohort of The Silence, psychopathic tendencies, good with gangers, can’t stand the flirting.
Madame Kavorian heads the rogue Kovarian Chapter (formerly of the Papal Mainframe), who go to great lengths to acquire River Song (aka Melody Pond) and train up a child in the ways of a psychopath. Kovarian kidnaps Amy as soon as she shows signs of pregnancy, switching real-Amy with ganger-Amy, and then does it again with baby Melody Pond. She also keeps River in an abandon, creepy orphanage and trains her to murder the Doctor and manipulate his friends. What she didn’t see coming was the fact that River might just fall in love with the Timelord. Kovarian, who is from the Doctor’s future (around the time Eleven is on Trenzalore), knows the end game and all about the crack in the Universe that plagued Eleven from his very first days in that face. She is from a time when the Doctor is protecting the crack in time (and subsequently, Gallifrey) in Christmas town, Eleven’s last days. She believes that, if the Doctor allows Gallifrey to return, the universe will be destroyed. Kovarian’s fundamental beliefs lead her to kidnap a Timelord/human hybrid child and helped change the value set of the Papal Mainframe toward keeping the answer to the first question (Doctor Who??) a mystery.
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.
Oh, the Doctor Who feels. This episode is full of them. The show opens with Amy Pond fangirling over van Gogh paintings at the Musee d’Orsay with the Doctor spotting something alien painted into one of the artist’s pictures. Eleven decides to take his companion to investigate the strange face in the van Gogh portrait and meet the painter. At this point in the series (this is episode 10 of Matt and Karen’s first season together), we have watched the relationship develop between the Doctor and Amy, while the Timelord Victorious lay dormant inside of him. In a previous post, I briefly discussed the idea that the Doctor is a god, and when he acts like a god, people get hurt. In Vincent and the Doctor, Amy develops a relationship with a troubled Vincent van Gogh, even though she knows less than a year after their meeting, he will commit suicide.
First of all, let’s get this straight. I totally ship River Song and The Eleventh Doctor. If you follow The Collective on Pinterest or on Tumblr you know this to be true.
When I first acknowledged my Wholigan tendencies, it was after two very special episodes of Who. Silence in the Library and The Forest of the Dead. I couldn’t get into the first season, didn’t understand the hype with the second season, so I began jumping around to watch episodes that other Whovians suggested (like a Timelord). I enjoyed the hell out of Blink and Tooth and Claw, everything Donna and in the middle of season four, we meet River. I loved her feisty, comfortable banter with the Doctor and then, all of a sudden, this brave, smart woman sacrifices herself for Ten, who cares, of course, but doesn’t seem to understand; Donna doesn’t understand; viewers don’t understand either. Before, I had watched seasons three and four out of sequence, not focusing on the larger story arc because I didn’t watch season one or two and therefore had no idea about Rose and the Doctor or why he needed Donna and why everyone hated Martha (still don’t get that one). In the Library, I began to care about his story; the tale of the Doctor and the TARDIS. I wanted to know who this River Song was, and lucky for me, I was watching on Netflix and didn’t have to wait two years, like the rest of the world.