Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Davies Code

Did RTD "warn" us about the contents of Series Five? It may appear so. I had a strange epiphany while re-watching The End of Time part two the other day. I hopped on over to The Writer's Tale, and looked up the script for the episode--this passage in particular.

"But if the Timelock's broken, then everything's coming through, not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, the Couldhavebeen King with his Army of Meanwhiles and Neverweres. The War turned into Hell."

Is this a prophecy for the Moffat-era of the show, particularly in regards for what to expect? Perhaps; perhaps not.

The Skaro Degradations: To degrade something is to lower its quality, to show contempt for it, or to disrespect it. "Skaro" is the Daleks' home-world, suggesting that what is degraded is "of Skaro." The "new paradigm" Daleks from the episode "Victory to the Daleks", enact this by executing their inferior progenitors. The production team also designed new Daleks, making changes to their height and appearance...again.

The Horde of Travesties: A horde is a derogatory way of describing a large group of people. A travesty is an absurd, false, or distorted representation of something. In the episodes The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, a new vision of the Silurians is presented, which is vastly different than what had previously shown in the series. Again, the Daleks underwent massive changes. In "The Pandorica Opens", a horde of the Doctor's worst enemies ally with one-another in a travesty of their respective personalities to justify the premise of the episode. This would appear to represent all of the classic monsters of the show and their respective treatment in the new series.

The Nightmare Child: This one is too easy. This is a reference to nearly every episode of Doctor Who penned by Stephen Moffat. In The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, The Eleventh Hour, The Beast Below, A Christmas Carol, and The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon a small child is put into a nightmarish situation that only the Doctor can save them from.

The Couldhavebeen King: I have two lines of thought with this one. Firstly, Moffat's heavy use of the Doctor changing the past (The Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, Time Crash, The Eleventh Hour, The Big Bang, A Christmas Carol, and The Impossible Astronaut). This could certainly make him the series monarch of "could have been" style stories in which the Doctor changes the history of a character in ways to plausibly affect their future somehow without causing the universe to explode.

Though the containing sentence uses the pronoun "He," this could also refer to River Song. No other character in Doctor Who has set such precedent with the fans for their asking of one question, "Who River Song could have been?" "Could have been," literally means "possibly existed as." River Song is played by actress Alex KINGston. Hence, "king."

Army of Meanwhiles: Here we go, now. "Meanwhile," as we all know, means, "at the same time." A prominent aspect of the Moffat-era Who narrative boasts a great many instances of this regarding plot. Though the RTD-era was no exception to this, its usage was significantly less prolific. In every-single-episode of the Moffat-era Who, screen-time is devoted to expository dialog or events relating to "as-yet-unseen" events. An "Army" of these, would describe them as being organized for a particular purpose, such as the series finale. It can even be argued that some episodes of the new series serve simply as a vessel to carry a meanwhile to the audience, while its own story is somewhat less interesting.

Neverweres: This is a subjunctive way of explaining something that has never existed. "To imagine that something has never existed", may be a better way of saying it. "Were," as a subjunctive, refers to a second-person, imagined view, of a thing's past. This does not mean something never did exist, only that it did not exist in the mental image of a second-person narrator.

Again, this has a couple of possible meanings.

Firstly, the plot of series five was essentially just this.. The Universe blew up, the stone dalek, the references to the cyberking and The Stolen Earth. All Amy Pond/crack in the world shenanigans.

Secondly, this can serve to describe many monsters of Doctor Who created by Stephen Moffat. The microscopic Vashat Nerada, the quantum-locking Weeping Angels who were as statues when observed, and the Silence--aliens who had existed on Earth for thousands of years without notice due to their power to cause all viewers to forget having had viewed them.

The War turned into Hell: Some Doctor Who fans' loudly exclaimed distaste with RTD's emphasis on character development over actual plot. Stephen Moffat writes so much plot, that the finale episode has to intrude on every other in the season. Perhaps the War was ended with RTD leaving, and now Hell is the over-thought series plot of the new era?

Now, I am not particularly a fan of either showrunner more than the other. My favorite era of Doctor Who is long over. What I am curious about with my above observations, is if they make sense to everyone else. RTD had stated having read the scripts for Series Five before having left the show in 2009. Perhaps this was his poet's way of expressing his distaste for Moffat, despite his public opinion of him?



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