I enjoyed the first episode’s introduction to the dark, humorous, twisty twelfth Doctor. Beyond the story well told with satisfactory quips and quirks, relationships and potential story arcs were set up. I look forward to watching these develop and even more to exploring my inner geek in predicting them. I found the second of this present series of The Doctor slightly lack lustre, screaming BBC cutbacks and reused cardboard corridors. So, let’s shelve the issue that the place The Doctor says is the most dangerous place in the universe felt about as scary as a game of dodgems. Let’s forget the fact that miniaturised people got big again while the one in charge of the mechanics of ‘bigging them up’ was away from the console and hiding from a Dalek who was low on fire power and high on existential angst. (This is not the first mild altered Dalek we have met, playing a double agent role. The 10th Doctor could tell some tales there.) I want to look at other undercurrents.
The morality of The Doctor and the universe in general seems to be a central unraveling theme. It is one we have seen in various guises throughout classic and modern Who, regenerated with zeal in The Day of the Doctor and again in this incarnation. Promised Lands and steampunk heavens meet with the idea, voiced by the 12th Doctor, of “morality as malfunction”. Beyond the metal maze of Rusty’s mind with a few fused light-bulbs and a leak, we are taken into another moral maze. This journeys to the centre of what makes human. From the “rubbish robots from the dawn of time” fleshing themselves out as human in Deep Breath, we have The Doctor as the good Dalek and his question to Clara “Am I a good man?” Her answers are telling, both to their new dynamic and to future story-lines, which will no doubt revisit the Doctor’s past and darkest moments, the long way round. ‘Heaven’ echoes the saving vault in the mind of CAL in Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead where River Song was saved. Missy reminds me of a recent nemesis and I love the idea of an obscure promised land unfolding Doctor Who style. Other twangs in the threads of stories include The Doctor’s Wife, where humans are rebuilt from ‘spare’ parts on a tardis destroying beast of a planet, mirrored in Deep Breath.
We may be being reminded we are on the road to rediscover Gallifrey, his history and his people. We are reminded of times and traces of other time lords and lordettes.
Then there is the rainbow family or rainbow warriors, Journey Blue and ex-soldier and new love interest for Clara, Mr. Pink. Playing with themes of light and also with meanings hidden in names are two recurring Whovian themes. We have also seen family units of soldiers before, not least in The Doctor’s Daughter with its open ending. The biological daughter of the 10th Doctor regenerated, unbeknown to the Doctor, after being shot protecting him. She was generated from DNA to be a soldier in a fleet of other DNA generated human soldiers and Genny later ended up journeying the galaxy, leaving some interesting family warrior making tech behind. Other family units abound in Whovian history. I’m interested to know if my previous predictions of various possible threads between Clara, River, Genny and CAL have any basis. They may simply be recurring themes and Doctor Companion tropes but there does seem to be a ‘Lux Family’ at the foundation of much story. I am interested to see if threads are woven between past warrior families and the present series. I am interested to know too, more about Mr. Pink and also Journey Blue’s brother and how kinks in time may connect people and stories.