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'Doctor-less Who' AU

In the episode The Big Bang, the Doctor falls into a crack in time and is erased from history so that he never existed. However, the planet Earth goes on existing safe and sound, despite the fact that the Doctor saved the Earth and the entire Universe from destruction multiple times in its history. Recently I began to wonder how this is possible. The last time we saw an alternate timeline without the Doctor (in the episode Turn Left), terrible disasters occurred because the Doctor wasn't there to stop them.

However, when someone is swallowed up by a crack in time, the universe does it's best to fill the gap as best it can. When Amelia Pond's parents disappeared, her single aunt Sharon filled in as her guardian as best she could. Perhaps the people closest to the Doctor tried to fill the gap left in his absence by filling in his role in the saving the universe to the best of their abilities...

What follows is a head!canon AU I dreamed up where, after the Doctor disappears into the crack in time durin The Big Bang, history rewrites itself so the show is about a series of remarkable human women traveling the universe in a borrowed alien time machine that is passed down from mentor to student. Each new assistant eventually becomes the senior-most companion and must select and train her replacement.

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So, I’ve just seen the Christmas Special. I’m about a week late, I know. I’ve been visiting relatives. I love my family, but they don’t have ready access to BBC America or high-speed internet.

I have massive feelings about the Doctor's current status quo and about families and going home for Christmas. Be warned: there is a long, rambling post ahead, even after I cut out one of the most tumorous digressions.

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Amy and Rory’s Guide to How Costumed Role Play will Save Your Time-Tossed Marriage

I watched the Night and the Doctor vignettes on the Doctor Who: Series Six box set today. My favorite by far is “Good Night”. Amy admits to the Doctor that she can’t sleep because she has two overlapping sets of memories inside her head and her life doesn’t make any sense. It got me thinking about rewritten timelines, unreliable memories, and Amy and Rory’s relationship.

In series five we learned that “Time can be rewritten.”

In A Christmas Carol, we learned something even scarier: “People can be rewritten.”

In The Girl Who Waited, we witnessed the truth of what those words could mean, when we met an older Amy who was afraid that the Doctor would rewrite the thirty years of experiences that made her who she was. In the end, he did, and that older Amy never happened.

During series five and six, the events of Amy and Rory’s childhoods are altered multiple times.
  • Childhood #1: No parents
  • Childhood #2: No parents and no Rory
  • Childhood #3: No parents, no Rory, and no stars
  • Childhood #4: With parents, with Rory, with stars, but no Doctor
  • Childhood #5: With parents, Rory, stars, and Doctor
  • Child hood #6: With parents, Rory, stars, the Doctor, …and Mels
Our past experiences shape who we are as people. How do you hold onto your identity when your past could change at any time? What do you do when you know you could wake up tomorrow as centurion, or a samurai, or security guard, or a secret agent?

In series six, Amy and Rory are married. When they take their wedding vows, a bride and groom promise to stay together through all sorts of challenges. The biggest threat to Amy and Rory’s marriage isn’t sickness or poverty or death. The real danger lies in the “Good Times and Bad.” How do you maintain a relationship when you and your spouse may wake up tomorrow in a timeline where you have never met? Rory Williams loves Amy Pond. Amy Pond loves Rory Williams. Will Roman Rory still love Samurai Amy? Will Secret Agent Boss Lady Pond still love Captain Williams? For Amy and Rory, this is a real problem that they have to face every day.

Little Amelia Pond grew up with a crack in her wall and the universe pouring through her head. She has memories in her head of places she’s never been, and events that could never have happened. She has been dealing with this fact since she was seven years old. I think she found a way to stay sane, even from a very young age.

When they were kids, Amy made Rory dress up as the Doctor. As a teenager, Amy had a job as a kiss-o-gram which meant she got to try on different fantastic costumes every day. On their honeymoon, Amy and Rory wore their centurion and police woman costumes to the bedroom. Amy said her kiss-o-gram job was “a laugh” and Rory said their honeymoon was “just a bit of fun”, but I’m starting to think that it is much more important than that.

I think costumed role play serves a vitally important therapeutic function in Amy and Rory’s relationship.

What do you do if you wake up with a head full of memories that could never possibly have happened? How do you decide which memories make up part of who you are as a person and which are just echoes of a fantasy that never was? Why not use imagination to try on the identity of an alternate version of yourself? Then, when you are done, you can take off the costume, and set that alternate persona safely away and return to the “real you” …once you’ve figured out who the “real you” is, of course.

How do you deal with the fear that you and your spouse may wake up tomorrow and not even remember the experiences that first brought the two of you together? Why not use role play to try out lots of different combinations of identities in the bedroom and prove to each other that the two of you can still love one another no matter how much you change? If Roman Rory and Policewoman Amy can find love in the bedroom on their honeymoon, doesn’t that prove that there is a chance for Super Spy Amy and her Captain Williams to do the same in a broken time-stream? By trying out lots of different fantasy identities in their imaginations, I think Amy and Rory prove to one another that no matter how the timeline changes they will still be able to find love and make it work.  By using their imaginations ahead of time to grow more comfortable with the idea of living inside the skins of an alternate version of themselves, I think Amy and Rory are better prepared to weather changes in the timeline while preserving their core identities.


Kinky cos-play saved Amy and Rory’s marriage.
So, I’ve just finished listening to Gallifrey: Series 3 from Big Finish. Panacea left me stunned and it helped crystalize something that has been in the back of my head since Imperiatrix.

I think Gallifrey serves as a fitting prequel to the Time War and New Who. The writers probably never intended it that way, but it fits remarkably well into its nebulous niche in extended universe continuity after the TV movie and just before the Time War. When I listen to it now, I can’t help but think there is a bigger story taking place in the background behind the actual plot, and it is the story of Gallifrey’s inevitable slide down the slippery slope towards war.

Let’s look at some of the big trends:

Gallifrey and the Road to Time WarCollapse )
Title: Gallifrey - Spirit: Romana & Leela
Music: The Strategy by Guixav3/Pond5.com
Made by: bystander_3
Fandom: Big Finish's Gallifrey (Doctor Who spin-off)
Characters: Romana & Leela
Spoilers: Gallifrey 2.2 -  "Spirit"
Rating: PG
Description: A tribute to the unlikely friendship between President Romana of Gallifrey and her loyal bodyguard Leela of the Sevateem. While searching for a much-needed respite at the presidential retreat on the planet Davidia, Romana and Leela become entangled in a shared dreamscape that scrambles their identities at the very core, forcing these two very different women to see the world through another's eyes.

Note: Since Big Finish's Gallifrey is an audio series, by definition, there is no video footage available, so I've borrowed clips from other science fiction television shows. It should be self-explanatory, but you may have to use your imagination a bit.

Also, check out my previous Gallifrey fan video, featuring Leela and Andred, here.
So, I just re-watched The Wedding of River Song. There are many things that make so much more sense the second time through. There is a lot of really subtle acting taking place in the scene on the roof of the pyramid that you can't pick up on the first time, because you don't have the context for it yet. The scene plays out in a totally different light if you know what the Doctor is really trying to do.

The Doctor's fame and reputation has grown so big that it's doing more harm than good.

The Doctor has a plan. In order for the Doctor's plan to work, at the end of it, everyone has to think he is dead. Up until the very last moment, he's trying to execute his plan in secret, all by himself, without telling anyone about it. If his original plan had worked, he was going slip away into the shadows to let everyone think that he was really dead, ...even Amy, ...and even River.

Everything the Doctor does in the pyramid (trying to hug her, grabbing her arm) is designed to get to the moment when River kills him. He says some harsh things to River, like "I don't want to marry you" and "Worse, it's stupid. You embarrass me," but they're all things designed to nudge events back towards his death. The other option on the table alongside "marry" was "murder", and the last thing the Doctor wants is all his friends rushing save him in response to River's distress beacon. Notice the brief flash of impressed pride when River first describes the beacon, before he hides it away and jumps back into angry self-deprecation. The companions are still trying to save the Doctor, which is actually the exact opposite of what he wants, because it's not part of the plan.

The Doctor's plan is actually going pretty well, except for one snag: River refuses to kill him. So the Doctor pulls out the big guns, his best argument: it is a trade-off between his life and the life of every other living thing in the universe. In the face of the end of the universe, he expects River to do the logical thing, but she can't, because she cares more about saving him than she does about saving everyone else in the universe. The Doctor realizes how much River really loves him. He turns away and hides his face because he doesn't think he deserves it. At this point, his original plan is blown to smithereens. River won't kill him even if the universe is ending. So, he comes up with a new plan: a more emotionally dangerous plan.

"Can I trust you, River Song?"
"If you like, but where's the fun in that?"

"Now, I love a bad girl, me, but trust you? Seriously?"

The Doctor may flirt with River Song, but up until this point he hasn't really had to trust her. He hasn't entrusted her with his secrets. "Rule #1: The Doctor always lies." The Doctor has been keeping secrets all season, but now he has to trust River and let her in on the plan and let her see behind the curtain. So he marries her.

We can argue whether or not it is a legally valid Gallifreyan marriage since he didn't really tell her his name and neither party said "I do", but regardless, something super significant happened in that moment: the Doctor start trusting River Song to keep his secrets. He let her in and made her a fellow co-conspirator. This Doctor usually doesn't even let his companions get that close.  We've seen throughout season 5 & 6 how he sometimes lies and keeps secrets from Amy and Rory. Now River is on the inside, lying and keeping secrets on his behalf.

River studied the history of the Doctor at university and did her doctoral thesis on him.  She literally wrote the book on the history of the Doctor's life. And we know that she later becomes a professor. She's a leading expert in the field, so when she says that the Doctor died on shore of Lake Silencio in 2011, people believe it. We know she goes to prison, in what seems like a self-imposed penance for killing the Doctor. The prison is run by the church that is affiliated with the Silence. She has to stay in prison so that the Silence will never suspect that the Doctor survived. Everything that River does for the rest of her life helps to protect the secret that the Doctor entrusted to her.

Are the Doctor and River "married" in the traditional sense? I guess that depends less on the nuances and technicalities of the ceremony and more on how that act towards one another afterward. I think you can interpret the ending of The Wedding of River Song two different ways. Either the Doctor and River are married in literal, earth-human sense with everything that implies or they have "something so much stranger and so much better" where River is the Doctor's chief secret-keeper and co-conspirator.

"...That's between her and me, eh?"
"So many secrets, Doctor."

Personally, I think it is a little bit of both. Regardless, though, something huge just changed in their relationship: the Doctor has started trusting River with his secrets.


WARNING: Spoilers for A Good Man Goes To War !

ALSO WARNING: Long, rambling essay ahead!

Melody Pond, Time Lord DNA, and Quantum WaveformsCollapse )


Title: Gallifrey
Music: Gallifrey theme
Made By: bystander_3
Fandom: Big Finish's Gallifrey (Doctor Who spin-off)
Characters: Leela / Andred
Spoilers: Big Finish's Gallifrey, Series 1 & 2
Rating: PG
Description: The starcrossed and highly dysfunctional love affair between Leela of the Sevateem and Andred of the House of Deeptree.

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Here it is:

So, you may be wondering how you can make a fan vid to a series of audio dramas when, by definition, there is no video footage of any of the characters. The answer is: "With great difficulty." This is an excercise in reinterpreting footage from other sci-fi shows for my own purposes.

Ben Browder (wearing red leather) = Andred (in Chancellery Guard uniform)
Ben Browder (wearing black leather) = Torvald (in C.I.A. uniform)
The lost city of Atlantis = The citadel of the Time Lords
Peacekeepers = Chancellery Guards
...hopefully everything else should be pretty self-explanatory. (Ha!)

UPDATE (9/24/2011): I have uploaded a new version of this video. I have recast Romana, added a clip of Miles Richardson as "classic" Braxiatel and tweaked the fonts and effects.

Please support Big Finish Productions! They are awesome!

Fanfic: The Pomegranate (Doctor Who)

Title: The Pomegranate
Characters/Pairing: TenII, Rose Tyler
Rating: G
Spoilers: through Journey's End


It was a MondayCollapse )

Author's Note: I can't help but think that the Duplicate Tenth Doctor is going to face a difficult challenge adapting to a more human lifestyle, with no TARDIS and no regeneration on a parallel Earth. Really, this story is a chance to spotlight Rose and her maturity and perceptiveness. I never thought I write something like this, but here it is.