Sunday, June 3, 2007

A Doctor For All Seasons

No, really, I will not have a word said against him. What, in any case, is not to love about a man with two hearts who faces all personal and actual demons and has, on more occasions than I can number, saved the world? The fact that he remains unreconstructed in the ersatz feminist sense of the word is only to his credit. He is constantly updated and re-generated, give the man a break. You can’t be fighting Daleks and Cybermen one moment, settled and domesticated the next. He may be dashing and sexy (I say may be, the Doctor takes many forms) but that isn’t the point. If it were the point, he would just be boring.

The Doctor takes on the demons and the monsters so we don’t have to and more, he does it joyfully. Each battle is, for him, an adventure and an opportunity to overcome death in all its manifestations. “He is made of fire and ice,” said someone or other in the last episode. He also loves his enemies. Sounds familiar? No, well, I am not saying he is the messiah, but he does go out of his way to give them the benefit of the doubt and the possibility of redemption.

And he has fun; he knows stuff and he has a Tardis that can take him anywhere in time and space, he can travel without passport – as we can, dear reader, as we can (didn’t you know this was coming?) in our imaginations. You are thinking that I am one of those who is secretly building a Tardis made of stickyback plastic in my garden shed. Well, it may come to that and if it does, no blame, there are worse things to be doing – like sitting in front of the one-eyed troll watching the ghastly monster that is Big Brother (down with him, I say), having your vision of the world and its inhabitants made meaner and smaller. I choose adventures in time and space in the small-on-the-outside, big-on-the-inside Tardis of the actual and imaginary.

There was a friend my son once had who spent all summer and autumn building a spaceship in his garden. He was, to put it bluntly, considered backward, had a number of “learning disabilities” and not many children wanted to play with him. My son, being a couple of years younger than him and willing to engage in the business at hand, remembers how they built the spaceship piece by piece and how the unshakeable belief of this boy made it then and forever real. With the power of the imagination they created the ship and overcame something that would diminish us, make us smaller and less than we are. They acquired, you could say, a faculty.

Of course, it’s also in the blood. I myself made a door into Narnia for me and my sister to go through from the built-in wardrobe in our bedroom. Childish escapism, you say, but I say there are more possibilities than any of us can begin to imagine and we are braver and more wonderful than we are led to believe. And if the Doctor (who admittedly is not human, but has some of the attributes) reminds us of this – who can be against him?


Anonymous said...

We all have doors to Narnia, be they made of wood or a vivid imagination one cluthes while in the middle of a meeting at work.

I loved your words, ". . . unshakeable belief of this boy made it then and forever real." Those words "unshakeable" and "then and forever." Goodness. The power of possiblity. The eternal question of "why not?"

Reading the Signs said...

goodthomas, I'm glad you have a door you can access while you are in the middle of a meeting. I see you have taken the advanced course and may not even require a tardis.

That's so pants said...

I don't know, it was kind of hard to forgive the sheer waywardness of that two-parter. Note to Dr - do better.

Reading the Signs said...

Pants, come back, explain! The waywardness was surely down to him having to take on the onerous business of being human. (And wasn't Baines wonderful?)

Mellifluous Dark said...

"We all have doors to Narnia..."

I love that, goodthomas. What a fabulous way to think.

Reading the Signs said...

Hi M/D - just wondering why your comment hasn't registered in the numbers at bottom of post. Testing.

Reading the Signs said...

ok, that seems to have done the trick. mellifluous, goodthomas is an altogether lovely blogger, and thinker.

Digitalesse said...

I must be losing it. I thought at first you were talking about your GP!

Reading the Signs said...

digitalesse, I wish!


Oh, Signs. What have you done?

I really wanted to pick a fight here, but there are two things stopping me.

First, and most importantly, I've just noticed your post about having shingles. That's just horrible, RTS. What an absolutely irritating denier of pleasures that is. Punch it, Signs, punch the shingles in the face and run for those hills. Although walking is good, too. Time to utilise that imagination of yours and fly, like the Doctor, through space and time.

Actually, come to think of it, I pity the shingles. It probably reckons its got at least an evens chance of stopping you seeing and doing things. I think we both know differently, however.

So, that aside, I'm not best able to judge your mood, and feel little desire to aggravate you with a Doctor Who versus Big Brother fight. Don't be thinking I'll let this slide indefinitely, though.

The other thing stopping me is the post itself, which is really rather a lovely defence of our time-travelling goon.

I can't really find anything to disagree with in your descriptions of why this programme - or the Doctor, specifically - is appealing on so many levels. I was almost made to feel that I would like to watch it again. Almost.

You make it sound rather magically appealing, and yet I still can't imagine sitting down to watch it. Until I do, I am stuck with the image of Tom Baker as the doctor - and I actually quite like that.

Slightly mortified I didn't notice the shingles post earlier, but wishing you well right now.....


Reading the Signs said...

hey, esteemed peripatetic Englishman - you must at some point come to face your inner Doctor Who because, admit it, are you not a little like him, Mr. Mystery? Materialising one moment and disappearing the next - only to reappear unexpectedly at some point in the past, or to beam yourself (ok we are now into Startrek but let that pass) into the future?

Tom Baker was a most memorable Doctor and the scarf he wore will never go out of fashion - and I still want one like that. Perhaps I should knit one while I'm punching the shingles in the face. But I've promised to bash out 1,000 words a day so might not be able to.

Watch it, Mr. P.E., even when it's rubbish it's magic and gawd knows we need some of that. Me, I need all I can get, and then I make some more. But anyway - me not up for a fight? Ar, Jim lad, and me a pirate? Haul 'em away, boys!

pieces of eight! (that was the parrot)

yours shingly,

cusp said...

Dear Signs, Please check your emails

Anna MR said...

Signs and others - I wanted to note a sudden observation that came to me from nowhere, which tends to mean it's meaningful.

Have you noted how it is the Dr Who post where people have disappearing comments? The Dr Who post? Who is taking them? Where are they landing up going to, instead of this goodly box? And, most terrifyingly - why?


Reading the Signs said...

Anna, you will hardly believe this, but I swear it's true, I was just typing a reply to your last comment here when my keyboard stopped working. Ok, the battery had run out but still, in the context of what you've said - spooky!

ooooo-eeeee-ooooo (as you rightly say).

Anna MR said...

Signs - I have nothing of worth to say really, I just need to check on this jinx thing that you and some others seem to be suffering from.

La-la-la. I liked Dr Who the previous, because he was my first Dr, and because he is rugged and manly. The other dude has teeth too white for any human (or time lord).

Come on then, jinxypoo, get my comment if you dare.

And stop pestering poor Signs. She's got enough on her plate as it is.

Anna MR said...

Sorry Signs - I'm just not effected by it all.

Word ver tzisce - East European vernacular for breasts. Sorry, but it is.

Reading the Signs said...

have just spotted this. Must pass these words on to Liezl, she appreciates such things.

The last episode, btw, was wonderful.


The LAST episode? Do you mean to say that I have missed my chance to watch your hero as he whizzes through space, Signs? I thought it was on tomorrow night (Saturday)? Woe is me, indeedly do.

Okay, not expecting this to get through, but felt it was worth another go, anyway. Just my luck if it does, I suppose, because I haven't actually written anything this time.

(Best just say, then, that the Tom Baker scarf will never go out of fashion, agreed. How could it? And listen, I was going to watch it, too, but now you seem to be saying it is all over. Plus, lose the parrot.)

Oh, and tzisce is my new word. Not sure how I'll sneak it into any conversation I might have, but it won't be for want of trying, certainly.

And wait. I also liked the line about the "unshakeable belief of this boy [making] it then and forever real." Good, good, good.

Right, let's see if this seriously abridged travesty of a note gets through to you.......



Okay. Now I just feel like the Gods are trying to tell me something, maybe even something profound.

Keep it short, Mister Man, and all will be well.

Something like that, I fear.

Mildly despondent and wholly spooked, but with kindest regards nevertheless.....



You see that? No problem. When I go for short, the space Gods let me pass. Chilling.


Told you.

Reading the Signs said...

HRH Englishperson, come back this minute - who said the Doctor wasn't going to be on tomorrow? Not me. When I said "last" I meant "previous." I expect you to be watching. I will be giving you a written examination. So watch it!


I'm back, I'm back. God damn it, keep your hair on, Signs. What an unseemly palaver.

Okay, I'm calm now - but you really startled me with that outburst of yours, as I crept sensitively out your front door. I never knew shingles made folk so freaking boisterous and violent. I was trying to sneak away without disturbing you. I never knew you had a rifle trained on your guests, for pity's sake.

And now I've only got a test to worry about, it seems. How on earth do I find myself having to sit an exam on Dr Who? I mean, really,how did that actually become a thing for me?

I'm not saying I won't do it - I want to please you, Signs, so I hardly dare refuse - I'm just saying I didn't see it happen. Okay? Anyway, it's here now, so I'm just going to have to deal with it.

What time does the programme start? And is it still a BBC1 thing? Not been shunted over to BBC2 or, worse, one of the satellite channels, has it?

I know that it is broadcast on a Saturday, because one of my nephews watches it - but that's as far as my knowledge goes. Hardly an auspicious starting point for a guy about to take a thing on the thing.

Nervous now.'re maybe having a bit of a rubbish time of it right now, aren't you? I'm still firmly chastising your shingles in my head, don't worry, and do properly expect to get God on side shortly.

So it's not all bad. In the meantime, however, tell me what time the Dr is set to appear on my screen. Do get a move on, Signs, I've got some serious studying to do.

Healing warmth (and a general sense of wellbeing) wished most fiercely upon you.....


(First comment lost in space. Just so you know. I'm calm though, trying again now......)




Still waiting am I supposed to adequately prepare for the exam if I don't even know when, or where it's being held? This uncertainty is simply bound to adversely affect my performance.

I'm not trying to get my excuses in early or anything, no. So you can just stop thinking those thoughts right this very minute, Signs.

Reading the Signs said...

BBC 1 - it usually starts sometime between 7.00 and 7.20 - last week it was 7.10. This is because the Doctor wants to keep you on your toes, make sure you are in a necessary condition of alertness. In your case, I realise this is quite unnecessary.

I am distraught that your comments are still being lost. May I suggest that you copy them before posting just in case? Until I figure out the best thing to do - which may be soon or never? How can I publish my blockbusting "Conversations with an Englishman" if we keep losing comments?

I appreciate the fierce well- wish. I think it might already be having good effects. I'm sure it's not just the drugs.

Anna MR said...

Drugs combined + conversations with HRH Englishperson = a cure for all ills.

(Needed to butt in with something, as am missing you both like a ferret with ADHD, and am cut off the Dr Who loop because it is not currently screened on Finnish telly, the gods are surely against me.)

Signs, word ver ehriodtm. From the Scandinavian Dictionary's pronunciation key to "eurhythm".

xoxo one each, of each

Reading the Signs said...

Eurythmy? Eureka, Anna, this is another Steinery thing, and how spooky is that!

It is not acceptable that you are cut out of the Doctor loop. You must speak to the Finnish authorities concerned and insist that something is done.

(drugs + HRH is good, + Ms Mr and cigs also).

almzmoap (moping about almsgiving?)

Anna MR said...

Drugs + HRH + cigs + Ms MR + Signs + ? = life solved, for mankind in general. Now, for unravelling the equation, place - ? on one side of the = and - life on the other, and then algebraically um...

Or at least, a good time for those concerned.

Have given up my vague interest in going out into the sunshine. It's more fun in here.

sptfgjt - it sounds rude, whatever it is. I see a hidden fag in it, at the very least.


That's reasonably funny, Signs - the almzmoap thing - but I'm in no mood for laughing as I prepare to sit my test.

Good one for passing on the necessary details regarding the Dr's movements. I shall pounce on him as he passes this evening.

I think you're right, by the way, he likes to keep us on our toes by shifting the time of his appearance on the box. Can you imagine how infuriating this must be for the schedulers? They must be pulling their hair out as they try to pin him down and make him commit himself to a regular slot. Sheesh. Some guy.

And I'm glad that the fierceness of my well-wishing seems to be having some effect, at last. I'm not a cure, however, much as I would like to be. No. I merely consider myself as a kind of supplement to be taken alongside sickness. There has simply not been sufficient scientific testing done on me to be able to conclusively say whether or not I actually work.

I am a herbal remedy, Signs, and I am fiercely, homoepathically, willing to help - I just don't know if I'm all in the mind of the user, however. It's a worry, certainly.

I sometimes save the comments I'm about to post, yes, but usually forget to do so. Now that I know you are to publish a book of our conversations, however - why wouldn't you, really? - I shall endeavour to save everything.

I may need to buck up my ideas and start talking about stuff that makes me seem clever, though, because I should hate for my mum to think that I sometimes resort to merely talking nonsense on the internet, instead of just keeping quiet (as she taught me to do).

Anna - nobody is cut out of the loop with the Dr. Much as I am probably going to dislike the programme tonight (sorry RTS), I think it remains fair to say that Dr Who can be contemplated and discussed without the need of ever having to switch on your TV.

It's all out there, Anna of Spook, and it's all in there, too. (I'm pointing at you as I stress this - just in case you were wondering) Reach out, reach deep, embrace it, feel the force - and then come back in here and talk some barely credible nonsense.

That's what I plan to do, in any event.

(I love eurythmy)

Kind regards and love through the ages......



Hoi - Anna. You nipped in as I was writing to Signs (and yourself). Watch it.

And you seem to be busily working on an equation for a happier life or something? Good girl. That's a fine way to spend your time.

(you are denying yourself sunshine for the betterment of humankind, Anna - nothing to feel bad and dirty about at all. And I'm sure The Frozen North is blessed with a surplus of scorchingly sunny days, anyway. Murky little indoors internet sinner that you are )

Signs - you are making Anna MR miss out on her summer. Why would you do this? WHY?


Okay. I missed the first 15 minutes. Sorry. I joined the action when some blonde-haired wee boy was saying "my mum used to say that the sky was filled with diamonds" to someone called Martha, who seemed to think that this was a good, if slightly perplexing, thing.

This was incredibly fast-paced compared to how I remember it. Impressive stuff.

There was a watch, an old timepiece ("don't open the watch! whatever you do!") The Doctor looked alarmed. The baddy had the watch and also, it seems, constant noises inside his head. He felt that he was too old for Utopia (although this was maybe just a ruse).

The weird beasty lady tried to zap him, following a tussle and the revelation that the professor was not a professor but was, in fact, The Master.

The Master turned young again at the end and said it's "the end of the universe, have fun, bye bye." Which was nice. The Doc looked on, aghast.

I have this in common with the Doc.

What on earth (or elsewhere) was that all about then, Signs?

Quote of the day (as said by baddy when nailed by lizard/cat/lady thing: "Killed by an insect, a girl, how inappropriate."


But seriously. What's going on here? I may need to watch again to have an earthly, and I'm not sure whether I'm happy about that or not. I'm not unhappy at the prospect, though, so that has got to mean something.

And and and.....why did The Master have a room that no-one could enter without dying ("Jake! Get out of there!")? And why did his assistant have to top and tail her sentences with "shen" and "doah". I'm forced to guess at the spelling, I'm afraid.

Anyway, I want a tardis, but then that was never in any doubt. And I do now firmly believe that I am, in fact, the Doctor, too ("he travels through time and space, collecting people").

I may not be your Doctor, Signs, but I am certainly mine.


Is there anybody out there......?

Reading the Signs said...

TPE, let us not beat about the bush here: I know and you know that you are clearly a Time Lord - 'struth, even though you missed the first 15 minutes you seems to have picked up the essential details and I might actually have to ask you what's going on (don't ask me about plot, they've arrived at the edge of the universe and time, where no Time Lord has ever been, is all).

In the light of the above I have deemed it appropriate for you to forgo the written examination, but ask that you will kindly complete the following sentence:
"A Doctor without a Tardis is like a ........"
Obviously "fish without a bicyle is not an acceptable answer. Additional points will be given should you choose to discuss the completed sentence.

The homoeopathic/herbal supplementation seems to have had a remarkable effect. Headaches almost zilch today. I say this in a whisper so as not to jinx it, but I am most impressed.

(hei cutesy! Anna?)

Anna MR said...

Oh and oh. Oh, oh, oh.

He is a Time Lord.

(Shh. Signs, just between me and you, and don't tell him, he'll get all big-headed, but that is really rather sexy.)

Hullo, you too, The Planet Explodes (no, it's not an anagram, I'm tired of them) - that sounded like a pretty spiffing episode. Pissed off I couldn't see it, although your synopsis is almost as good as the real thing, specially if they still have the toothy Dr.

v. quippy - eh, Signs?

Anna MR said...

Morning Both of You Fellow Mad Hatters - even though you have so cruelly abandonned me here, harping away on my own (sob sob), I will tell you I have recently had a related hit "Eccleston I wish I was your lover".

'Snuff said.



Yes, sorry about that, Anna MR. I meant to type the word had instead of was. This puts a different sheen on the whole Eccleston affair, I feel, and nothing more needs said about it.

You've not been abandoned here, though. I've been around (a lot), certainly, but have been unable to post a comment. I am travelling with a new and temporary browser (firefox) right now, however, and am hopeful that this comment will land beside you here at the first time of asking. We'll see.

It was a pretty spiffing episode, yes, from the little I could gather. A rather breathless romp through space, altogether. And that's a good thing. It definitely deserves to be given a chance, I would say. Get satellite TV, Finlander, or live with regret. (better still, though, just make it all up in your head - all of it.)

You're right: I am a Time Lord. RTS has blown my cover big style. Drat. I was kind of hoping to keep it secret. Ach well, the truth will out, I suppose. (don't worry, it is impossible for me to get any more big-headed than I am already.)

Signs, hello. How are you feeling today? Not too ge-shingled, I hope. (I'm going for a Germanic feel with geshingled. Because I just am, okay? Geshinglekeit? That could be a word.)

The best cure, of course, is to not have shingles. You should maybe bear this in mind? No, please - this advice is free. Put your money away.

Anyway, if you want to rail against those shingly brutes, then please feel free to do so. There's a doctor in the house, relax.

I like that you don't seem to properly know the plot of The Tardis Show. Why would you? Plot is usually vastly overrated as a thing, anyway, and kind of distracts from the story at times, I feel.

I lack the expertise to credibly film people doing stuff, but I can, however, make up terrific stories in my head. Sooooo, sometimes I just like someone else to film other people having exchanges and blowing things up and running around and good things like that - and then I'll decide for myself what the plot is, thank you very much.

Watch the news with the sound down and you'll soon see what I mean. Just make it up, Signs, it's almost always better than the stuff they want to give you anyway.

And some news programmes - I'm not making this up - seem to want to have the viewers write in with their "views" on the news. I know, I know.

Anyway, these views are then read out (live!) on air and have very clearly been formed without Dave in Gretna or Suze in Kent having ever once turned up the sound on the telly. So at least you'd be keeping company. You could write to the telly, Signs, and air your views on the Middle east and/or Britney - no expertise required.

Careful though. If you show sufficient lack of insight and seem unreasonably keen to mouth off about something before taking the time to digest its full meaning, you might very well end up as a roving reporter for Sky News. I don't want that to happen to you, Signs, I really don't.

A Doctor without a Tardis is like a nurse, RTS, although I am obviously not going to become embroiled in trying to explain that disgraceful remark away. NO. It is wrong on so many levels (I'm ashamed with it, of course) and I'm tired of getting beaten up.

I need to give it some proper thought and get back to you, but couldn't resist the (shocking! surely sexist!) nurse thing in the meantime. Truly, I am heading for hell.

I'll stop off here on my way, though.

Homeopathically, if not homeoerotically yours,

The Periodic Englishman

(pkmpdph - why do you and Anna seem to get the good ones? I mean, there's not much I can usefully add to my one, is there?)


(My comment didn't appear at first time of asking, RTS. It took four attempts. This post is jinxed, then, that's all there is to it.)

Anna MR said...

Oh, hurrah, people have come back, in spite of me hanging out here. What a joy it is to see you, Time Lord McPoni.

Will contain my excitement now and go and read what you've said.

Signs - where the hell are you? Word ver olalgrhc - dangerously close to oligarchy, methinks.


Anna MR said...

My dearest beloved both - this is so far off-topic that you can cast me now into the outer outskirts of Outter Blogdesh - but I simply have to share this today's hit with someone, and NMJ has blown my cover regarding the complex interrelationships linking posting lists of googlehits and lazy blogging.

My hit was


I'm sorry but this is currently tickling me to death. Help me, save me. I'm dying.

xx one each

Reading the Signs said...

HRH Mr. TPE, sir, you really do have to come back and explain about the nurse thing because, well, I just have to know what it means. If it doesn't mean anything then you can just make it up, I won't mind. I so agree with you about plot and would also say that one should never let mere facts get in the way of a story. And pkmpdph probably came to you from word ver because it, too, felt the need for elaboration and/or illumination. It's a kind of hmph!, isn't it?

Anna, I don't know what to make of hibiscus-eating beatles. What next? All I can think of is that you are keeping some vital piece of information from us. Is there something we should know about?

Anna MR said...

She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah.

And hibiscuses (hibisci?) just are rather nice as tropical flowers go. A native Hawai'ian white one is called koki'o ke'oke'o, put that in your pipe and smoke it (metaphorically, linguistically speaking, I hasten to add - I would just LOATHE to think of all the poor unfortunate readers of your blog killing themselves or at least giving themselves serious poisoning, trying to get out of their wee heady-weadies skinning up endangered Hawai'ian species).

atdht - clear echoes of my ADHD.



Too late, Anna MR. I tried to get myself totally mesmerised by skinning up the endangered Hawaiian species. Who needs a Tardis? I am all over the place, thank you.

A perfectly brilliant way to see in the new decade (I told you I was all over the place).

Confused Signs, hello again. There is a chance - although absolutely no way am I the kind of guy that would do such a thing - but there is a chance, nevertheless, that the nurse thing was merely thrown into space as a nonsensical saying that nearly makes sense.

Talk of "shocking sexism" etc may, or may not have been added to further the feeling amongst those unfortunate enough to stumble across it that they sort of knew what was being said but couldn't quite place their fingers on it.

You know when sometimes you hear something and can't help thinking that it probably makes sense on some level, but then it doesn't, really?

Well, that might very well be the kind of thing that has arrived on your doorstep. A cunningly crafted play on words (we're looking at the doctor/nurse thing here) that has the ring of something or other about it, but you're buggered if you know what, exactly. I'm good at this. Not that this is what I have done, of course. No.

I am hopeful that this clears matters up concisely and entirely. In fact, I'm not just hopeful, I'm certain.

It's prolly just the shingles that's making you further confused and stuff. Nothing to do with me, in any event.

Talking of which, you seem to be taking a (shingle-provoked?) break from your bloggy for a while. I hope this is a short lived thing, RTS, although I look forward to bumping into you on your travels around space, and you should know by now, I hope, that you are always a very welcome visitor to my "blog".

I have bypfo as my word verification, and that makes about as much sense as the nurse thing.


Princess Englishman, the people's princess.


(This response was brought to you by a heavily koki'o ke'oke'o'd member of the blogging community and in no way represents the views of anyone or anything, ever. The management is reminded of the fact that it reserves the right to refuse entry and should maybe considering exercising this right the next time pony comes lurching into town. Hmm? )

Reading the Signs said...

I have to know what is meant by "koki'o ke'oke'o'd". Is it a club - and can any one join?

Anna MR said...

Sweet Signs, all is revealed in my comment above the Time Lord's latest comment. Alternatively, go search my label Hawai'i. It should come up, if I recall rightly.

But don't smoke it, whatever you do. It's an endangered endemic species.

Reading the Signs said...

Right. Got it. It just looked different when he said it. I could do with some of it myself, as it happens.

Reading the Signs said...

The last episode of the season has been and gone.

The Doctor has saved the world, in case anyone's interested.

Reading the Signs said...


Anna MR said...

Testing...what? Koki'o ke'oke'o? The New Doctor? Stop being so tantalysmic, Signs.

(This was a fun thread, by the way. I'd quite forgotten about it.)

Reading the Signs said...

Aloha! I can't for the life of me remember what I was testing and why. I am a mystery to myself, Anna - but perhaps that's a good thing. Wouldn't do to get bored.

The Irish Time Lord seems to have beamed himself to Portugal. Why am I telling you this? Oh well, just pretend you heard it here first.