Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Rambles On: Doctor Who, The Timeless “Half-Human” Child

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  • #259136

    Well folks, I’ve gone and done… a video piece on the whole Doctor Who, Timeless Child Business !!! And before anything else happens, just a few words on what to expect from this… There will be things that you’ll may agree with, there will be things that you’ll may not. But above everything else, I hope I’ve made something that’s both equally entertaining and informative at the same time (not always an easy thing to do, but what isn’t these days)

    Enjoy

    https://youtu.be/0GULQIMen9k

    #259209
    Manbird
    Member

    Nice video – I enjoyed it. Nifty use of supplementary material, too: seeing Rik Mayall brought a big old grin to my face. Love the animations, btw.

    Comparing the Timeless Child reveal to the Eighth Doctor-half-human controversy is pretty apt. I remember doing all sorts of mental gymnastics back in ’96 to convince myself this fitted into the show’s continuity (like rewatching Ghost Light and pretending there was now an additional undercurrent to Josiah’s “I’m as human as you are” comment), but then I stopped letting myself get worked up about it and embraced the programme’s many contradictions and canonical dead-ends.

    I really haven’t enjoyed any of the Chris Chibnall era and I didn’t care for the retcon of the Doctor’s past in The Timeless Children, but one thing I am grateful for is that the show has now (finally!) eliminated canon and, through these hundreds of Doctors, left it up to the viewer to decide what counts continuity-wise. Now I don’t have to choose whether Jubilee or Dalek fits into my head-canon because technically they both can… in the same way that anyone who’s unhappy with the Chibnall-Whittaker Doctor can now discount them from history, or (being balanced for a moment) hold it up as a bold new beginning. Depends on how you see it, really.

    Anyway, like I say, good video. I’ll check out your other ones.

    #259211
    Ben Saunders
    Member

    The half-human thing is funny – because it happened before I even knew what Doctor Who was, it was -always- part of the mythos for me, it wasn’t new information I could choose to believe or not believe, it was the way things were, so therefore it was a lot easier to accept. I do think the Timeless Child nonsense goes a little further than a throwaway line about being half-human (which could have been a lie) in actually undermining some of the core concepts and themes of the show, ones I held dear, but honestly at this point I don’t really care anymore – once Jodie’s run is over (one more series please), I will simply pretend it never happened, and hope future writers do likewise.

    #259213
    Flap Jack
    Member

    The “half-human” thing was not a throwaway line which could have been a lie. It was a key plot point of the TV movie that The Master was unable to open the Eye of Harmony without a human retina, because The Doctor is half-human.

    #259216
    Ben Saunders
    Member

    I am simply not listening. La la la.

    Honestly I don’t remember much about the TV movie, I’ve just heard the “half-human” thing dismissed in that fashion. I ultimately don’t care because it has never come up since and everyone has basically agreed to never mention it again. Ironically, the Timeless Child nonsense actually RETCONS the half-human thing, doesn’t it?

    Maybe The Master just couldn’t open it with his eye because he was still part cat person, because that also happened.

    Canon is stupid. Especially in a show like Doctor Who. Explain to me exactly where in their chronology The Daleks is set, go on.

    #259225
    Flap Jack
    Member

    Don’t worry, Ben, I absolutely agree that canon is stupid. Or at least worrying about it is.

    I suppose The Timeless Children does retcon the TV movie, but arguably every in-universe discussion/observance of The Doctor’s species in between retconned it first.

    And of course everyone is free to headcanon whatever they like about it (if you’ve read The Writer’s Tale you’ll know that RTD came close to including an explicit headcanon in an actual episode!), but if you have both The Doctor and The Master say that he’s half-human independently of each other, then that’s assuredly the movie trying to convey an unambiguous fact. ;-)

    #259228
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Give writers enough time and they’ll wank out an explanation. We’ve had at least half-a-dozen explanations for the Doctor being half-human (some of which state it was only for the events of the movie), and we’ve even had at least two canonical explanations for the UNIT dating controversy (the dating protocol thing from DotD, and a mention of time being sort-of badly folded in on itself from one of the Big Finish “Legacy of Time” stories).

    #259250

    Nice video – I enjoyed it. Nifty use of supplementary material, too: seeing Rik Mayall brought a big old grin to my face. Love the animations, btw.

    Comparing the Timeless Child reveal to the Eighth Doctor-half-human controversy is pretty apt. I remember doing all sorts of mental gymnastics back in ’96 to convince myself this fitted into the show’s continuity (like rewatching Ghost Light and pretending there was now an additional undercurrent to Josiah’s “I’m as human as you are” comment), but then I stopped letting myself get worked up about it and embraced the programme’s many contradictions and canonical dead-ends.
    I really haven’t enjoyed any of the Chris Chibnall era and I didn’t care for the retcon of the Doctor’s past in The Timeless Children, but one thing I am grateful for is that the show has now (finally!) eliminated canon and, through these hundreds of Doctors, left it up to the viewer to decide what counts continuity-wise. Now I don’t have to choose whether Jubilee or Dalek fits into my head-canon because technically they both can… in the same way that anyone who’s unhappy with the Chibnall-Whittaker Doctor can now discount them from history, or (being balanced for a moment) hold it up as a bold new beginning. Depends on how you see it, really.
    Anyway, like I say, good video. I’ll check out your other ones.

    Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed and got the point of my rambling video… I am hoping to make these types of vids, as an on-going series (on different things of course ;)). Either way hopefully you’ll get to watch those ones too…

    Oh as for the Rik Mayall cilp, if your ever editing a video and you need to use a clip of an BIG reaction to something !!! Always go for a Rik or Ade Bottom moment ;)

    #259368
    quinn_drummer
    Participant

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    Ironically, the Timeless Child nonsense actually RETCONS the half-human thing, doesn’t it?

    We don’t actually know where the Timeless Child comes from … it’s possible that she is a failed experiment of humanity and is technically human, given immortality and then thrown into a big space sink hole and picked up by the space Gallifreyian who then tortured and murdered her over and over for years until they finally figure out how she works and splices her DNA with Gallifreyian.

    That would mean the all Gallifreyian’s are half human.

    Though The Doctor wouldn’t know this at all.

    Maybe he just self identified as half-human and we shouldn’t all be trans-species-phobic

    #259371
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Nicely done video. It was informative but also nicely streamlined. Also, glad to see someone else has a soft spot for the New Paradigm Daleks. (After the way they got disrespected and humiliated in Journey’s End, the Daleks had nowhere to go but up. And I thought the new colors were cool!)

    At some point Moffat said something along the lines of “Doctor Who can’t have canon,” basically because of the infinite temporal flux and all that. The cracks in time being undone basically means all of Series Five didn’t play out in “canon” the way we saw it, etc. It’s sort of implied overall that the Doctor can save a spaceship of humans in the 98th century but as soon as he leaves a different Doctor could have a battle in an earlier century that would undo the existence of that original spaceship in the first place. Everything is changing all the time and the Doctor is all about just being kind and doing the right thing in the moment. Which is to say, with regards to “canon” everything is valid or invalid and up to the viewer to decide. Doctor Who is squishy and imperfect, so there’s no damaging of the “canon” in a way that will ever destroy Doctor Who for me because there really isn’t a “canon” even from the Doctor’s own point of view. (Even the tabletop game suggests the 8th Doctor can’t be sure of all his own adventures besides the first and last because of ripples from the Time War.)

    The way I see it, Doctor Who is a storytelling vehicle first and foremost, and I care less about the substance of the story itself than whether it “goes the distance” i.e. is it a well-told story, does it reflect a creative point of view, etc. I may not have “agreed” with some of the developments in Series 12, but there’s a swagger and a vision there and that’s what it’s all about. The Chibnall Era is coming into it’s own. Very imperfect for sure, but I still enjoy it the way I unironically enjoy the Star Wars prequels as someone‘s actualized creative vision.

    On balance, I personally had zero problem with Timeless Child. If anything bugged me about it, it wasn’t the Tecteun origin twist (which is fine? I’m meh about it). It’s more the running issue of Series 12’s seeming disregard for Series 9-10 as a whole, namely sidestepping Hell Bent and the entire Missy Arc. The Sacha Dhawan Master mentioned Gallifrey being still in its bubble but in Hell Bent it was already explained to be back in the real universe. That, combined with the John Simm Master’s “mutually kicking me out” line in Doctor Falls leads me to theorize that it was the John Simm Master who destroyed Gallifrey before leaving, and Hell Bent takes place sometime before that from Gallifrey’s pov. But all that’s a nitpick anyway because of the aforementioned infinite temporal flux and squishy timeline.

    Anyways, back to YOUR rant, I thought your video was well-reasoned and I even learned some things about the McGann movie I didn’t know. I’d forgotten how briefly the half-human stuff played into the plot in the end. But overall, good video, hope you do more.

    (Also side note: I’m surprised you used the “Those Words Are Blasphemy” clip at the end, without referencing the fact that they’re saying that in response to Rose’s assertion that they’re part human, basically making it an explicit joke about the half-human controversy.)

    #259372
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    My big problem with The Timeless Child was that it was a horrendous piece of television. Canon is fair game but if you’re going to fiddle around, do it for a decent reason. Genesis of the Daleks is a far superior story to The Daleks, despite taking a dump on it, so no one cares.

    Chibnall’s rationale for fiddling seems to be “I need to generate some more stories, as the scope of this show is clearly not large enough”.

    #259373
    Dave
    Member

    We need more sci-fi action-adventure fantasy stories in which the climax is someone being told a boring story that may or may not be true.

    #259374
    Manbird
    Member

    Chibnall’s rationale for fiddling seems to be “I need to generate some more stories, as the scope of this show is clearly not large enough”.

    Possibly… I can’t help thinking it’s a bit more cynical than that. Chibnall’s run has been dogged by low viewing figures and fan outrage. The Timeless Children’s revelations and retcons come across to me like the product of someone running on borrowed time who wants to leave their mark on the show before moving on.

    #259375
    Ben Saunders
    Member

    >the scope of this show is clearly not large enough
    >Doctor Who
    >Doctor fucking WHO, where you can go anywhere and do anything
    This is the one show with the greatest scope. If that’s what he was thinking then bloody hell lmao

    Jodie’s first series has me thinking man, Chibnall has no ambition. He has no ideas. He’s running on autopilot, or if he’s genuinely trying then that’s just sad. Then the next series showed me that he does have ideas, just not very good ones.

    #259376
    Dave
    Member

    >the scope of this show is clearly not large enough

    >Doctor Who
    >Doctor fucking WHO, where you can go anywhere and do anything
    This is the one show with the greatest scope. If that’s what he was thinking then bloody hell lmao

    Yes, I think that was the point.

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