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John Byrne

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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 6:33am | IP Logged | 1  

Last night I was clicking thru a few DOCTOR WHO clips on YouTube and stumbled upon one scene where the Capaldi Doctor is being confronted with the "real reason" he and Susan fled Gallifrey -- namely, that he was running from a "prophecy."

Did I misunderstand what I was watching, or has the "prophecy" malarkey that seems to infest so much fantasy fiction also found its way, retroactively, into DOCTOR WHO?

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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 8:06am | IP Logged | 2  


Did I misunderstand what I was watching, or has the "prophecy" malarkey that seems to infest so much fantasy fiction also found its way, retroactively, into DOCTOR WHO?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~``
You understood what you saw.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 8:13am | IP Logged | 3  

sigh
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 9:27am | IP Logged | 4  

The Doctor explains to Clara that the prophecy is a future prediction
from the Matrix, the future-predicting computer from "The Deadly
Assassin".

The whole Hybrid prophecy turned out to be one big red herring
anyway, with The Doctor laughing off Davros' and the Time Lords' belief
that it referred to a Dalek-Time Lord hybrid. The idea that the Doctor
had any insight into the prophecy and fled Gallifrey because of it seems
to fall into Moffat's "The Doctor lies" bit.
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Paul Gibney
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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 5  

How can a "prophecy" even work among a time travelling race? They can just go see....
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John Byrne

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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 11:37am | IP Logged | 6  

For a series in which time travel is the central premise, DOCTOR WHO has a long history of not "getting it."

A while back, for instance, I found on YouTube a clip from the episode in which Matt Smith's Doctor finds out the Brigadier has died. The nurse tells him Lethbridge-Stewart always had them pour a second glass of brandy, in case the Doctor showed up. That made me sad on all kinds of levels, as has each revelation that the Doctor has pretty much broken all contact with his various companions when they have parted ways. Absolutely no reason for this to happen given his capabilities. In fact, in makes him rather callous, imho.

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Steve De Young
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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 11:52am | IP Logged | 7  

Yeah, if you can travel into the future, you don't really need to make 'predictions'.  This whole question got me thinking.  For the Time Lords, there really wouldn't be much difference between the past and the future.  Any given moment is either past or future from the perspective of some other moment, but there is no moment which is absolute for them.  So there's all this sturm und drang about whether or not the past can be changed...shouldn't there be just as much about whether the future can be changed?  Wouldn't the Time Lords, by nature of their rules about trying to change the past, be a completely deterministic species regarding their outlook?  I would think they would all essentially be fatalists.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 12:24pm | IP Logged | 8  

This whole question got me thinking. For the Time Lords, there really wouldn't be much difference between the past and the future. Any given moment is either past or future from the perspective of some other moment, but there is no moment which is absolute for them. So there's all this sturm und drang about whether or not the past can be changed...shouldn't there be just as much about whether the future can be changed? Wouldn't the Time Lords, by nature of their rules about trying to change the past, be a completely deterministic species regarding their outlook? I would think they would all essentially be fatalists.

Or Calvinists!

Time travel tends to lead one away from the concept of Free Will. Everything that every was or ever will be is there already, stretching out before and behind us like a strip of film. All a time traveller can really do, then, is create what happened, not change it.

Unless...

The Universe is, as we know, rather on the large side. Infinite, y'know. And in an infinite universe, nothing can really be said to be absolute. Logic tells us we should not be able to go back in time and prevent the assassination of Lincoln (Grandfather Paradox), and yet the Universe is so vast and utterly uncaring that it would not give two figs if we did just that. Especially since, in an infinite universe, all events, no matter how small, are probably repeated an infinite number of times. An infinite number of me are typing these words right now. Also a nanosecond sooner. And a nanosecond later. And so on.

So, what cares the universe if that pattern becomes infinity minus one? Or two? Or a billion?

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 12:26pm | IP Logged | 9  

Is DR WHO suffering from the same mindset that comics are? Where the past must be revisited constantly, where everything has to be tied together, where nothing is accidental, there's a reason/prophecy for every occasion?
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John Byrne

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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 1:24pm | IP Logged | 10  

Is DR WHO suffering from the same mindset that comics are? Where the past must be revisited constantly, where everything has to be tied together, where nothing is accidental, there's a reason/prophecy for every occasion?

Moffat seems to me to be the ultimate fanboy -- and that's not a good thing. He reminds me of those comic fans/pros Julie Schwartz called "archeologists." (Guilty!)

It can be fun. But it can also be a trap, when a writer feels he has to cross every T and dot every Lower Case J. I've seen some good writers stumble down that path, and become lost.

(A few years back I was discussing a project with one such writer, and when I mentioned a "chapter" set in the Past, he said "Finally! A chance to do an origin for [Forgotten Character A].")

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 1:35pm | IP Logged | 11  

It can be fun. But it can also be a trap, when a writer feels he has to cross every T and dot every Lower Case J. I've seen some good writers stumble down that path, and become lost.

***

In the case of DR WHO, I feel a large part of the appeal of the character is his mystique. I grew up watching Tom Baker's Doctor. "I'm a Time Lord, I walk in eternity..." was enough for me. He retained his mystique. When I later saw Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee, it was the same: we knew enough to identify with certain aspects of the character, but he still retained his mystique.

Same with others, i.e. Phantom Stranger.

I have no desire to know everything about the Doctor, his childhood, his life growing up, etc. I want there to be mystery.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 12 July 2016 at 2:30pm | IP Logged | 12  

As Paul Kupperberg is wont to say, re: the Phantom Stranger, it's all in the name. He's not the Phantom Mortie.

With the Doctor, too, it's in the title of the show, which, tho unwritten and unspoken as such, is DOCTOR WHO?

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Bill Collins
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Posted: 21 July 2016 at 12:51pm | IP Logged | 13  

I have mentioned this before in regards to The Girl In The Fireplace,but the same thing applies...the Doctor can have infinite glasses of brandy with The Brigadier.
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Byron Graham
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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 5:13am | IP Logged | 14  

"...the Doctor can have infinite glasses of brandy with The Brigadier."

In another thread we mentioned a DOCTOR WHO novel (I think) that had twelve incarnations of the Doctor attending the Brigadier's funeral. Certainly the Doctor would rather have a brandy, or twelve, with the old chap than mope around all day times twelve!


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Bill Collins
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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 5:55am | IP Logged | 15  

Exactly!
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John Byrne

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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 7:02am | IP Logged | 16  

Having all the Doctors show up for the Brigadier's funeral plays into something I have noted before -- that the show seems to operate as if each Doctor "writes over" the previous ones. (This is why Eccleston's was the only Doctor that Who-Stalker had found in the first episode of the new series.)

So, of course, each Doctor goes to the Brigadier's funeral because, in his own context, he's the only one!

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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 24 August 2016 at 3:28am | IP Logged | 17  


I love how JB seems to put more thought into these things than the people who are running the show. 

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John Byrne

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Posted: 24 August 2016 at 7:20am | IP Logged | 18  

I love how JB seems to put more thought into these things than the people who are running the show.

It's a curse! But, especially with time travel, I can't stop my brain running off down every available pathway!

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Brian Skelley
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Posted: 07 October 2016 at 11:46am | IP Logged | 19  

 John Byrne wrote:
So, of course, each Doctor goes to the Brigadier's funeral because, in his own context, he's the only one!


Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, but I thought they talked about every time he regenerates he's someone else. The last of the Tennant had him describing how he pretty much becomes someone else, just with all the memories. It would be a bit odd for all of them to show up as not every one would have had a relationship with the Brigadier.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 07 October 2016 at 1:27pm | IP Logged | 20  

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, but I thought they talked about every time he regenerates he's someone else. The last of the Tennant had him describing how he pretty much becomes someone else, just with all the memories. It would be a bit odd for all of them to show up as not every one would have had a relationship with the Brigadier.

Save us from the literal minded.

Unless something happened while I wasn't looking, the Doctor regenerates physically, and it takes a while for his new brain to fully accommodate his former memories. But accommodate them he does, which is why each Doctor is considered to be the same man, and why each recognizes people met by previous incarnations.

My comment to which you reference, however, is no more than my own thinking on the subject, and not canon.

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Brian Skelley
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Posted: 07 October 2016 at 6:14pm | IP Logged | 21  

My vague understanding and confusion was brought upon by this clip (at least the very first part) where he explains that even if he regens he 'dies' and someone else takes his place. Same memories, but different Doctor. It really seems like every new version (and this could just be the New stuff) is a different person with different likes and so forth. I normally don't pick at this stuff, but was a bit confused on what you said vs what I thought was the case. Even if it's personal musings and not canon, I'd still defer as I didn't really watch constantly until the relaunch.


Edited by Brian Skelley on 07 October 2016 at 6:18pm
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