Doctor Who on Christmas Day, that was a bit of splendid nonsense, wasn’t it? And not long now until we find out how it all ends.
I’ve been passing the time between parts one and two by dipping into the festering mire of DW fandom to see what crackpot speculation people have come up.
Timothy Dalton’s character, “The Narrator”, is the Lord President of Gallifrey according to the preview scene on the BBC web site. He’s also clearly a bit of a nutter, vapourising a member of the high council and screaming “I will not die!”.
So some fans have decided that he must be Borusa. Because Borusa was, at one point, Lord President and, at one point, sought the secret of eternal life. I think this is rubbish. Borusa only went bad in his final appearance, before that he was cunning and sometimes ruthless, but basically a good guy. Many long term fans don’t like what happened to Borusa’s personality in “The Five Doctors” and even Terrence Dicks, writer of that story, has tried to redeem Borusa in a novel. RTD is more a fan of the 70s rather than the 80s so I think that he’d be unlikely to bring back the crazy Borusa from The Five Doctors.
Okay, time for my crackpot idea… Do you want to know who “The Narrator” reminds me of? Morbius. Warmongering psychopathic timelord obsessed with immortality – gotcha. Of course the timeline would be really screwed up if he was, but why not? In the middle of the Time War the Time Lords (willing to resurrect the Master after all) reach back in time and bring in a wartime leader.
(Of course, he’s also a version of the War King from the Faction Paradox encyclopaedia/novel “The Book of the War” but as the War King is actually the Master, this parallel probably won’t be followed through. Shame as we’ve had multi-Doctor stories in the past so why not a multi-Master story some day? As in multiple regenerations of the Master, not multiple copies of the same regeneration as we have as of the cliffhanger.)
Claire Bloom’s character, “The Woman”, is according to fans either Romana, the Rani or the White Guardian. Based on the facts that, in turn, she’s a woman, ditto, and where’s white. Every female character in the new series has at some point been claimed to be really Romana or the Rani. The White Guardian is definitely possible but having the White without the Black would be unbalanced, both in terms of mythology and storytelling.
My crackpot idea… (assuming for the moment that she’s far too po-faced and serious to be Iris Wildthyme) She’s Rose. An older Rose from many years hence who reaches back in time and across universes to help the Doctor one last time. It has a distressing ring of plausibility about it.
Wilf is a Time Lord who’s been transformed into a human and his real personality is inside his unfired service revolver. At the end, he will go off in his own TARDIS with his granddaughter Donna thus recreating the very start of the series. Except that this has already been done, and with better justification, in the novel “Sometime Never” where an alien empowered with some of the Doctor’s life force and the Doctor’s not-really but really really (don’t ask) granddaughter end up semi-amnesiac in a malfunctioning time machine in a junkyard with a superweapon thus providing an origin story for the Doctor, Susan, the TARDIS and the Hand of Omega in universe where the Time Lords never existed.
Having Wilf and/or Donna turn out to be another Time Lord would be heartbreaking. They are such wonderful, lovely characters and killing them to bring some Gallifreyan back to life is just tragic. I hope that Wilf turns out to be Wilf because there’s no one better he could be. RTD has shown in Torchwood that he’s not sentimental (except Rose…) about much loved characters so I’m somewhat prepared to be heartbroken.
Many people have speculated that the Time Lords are, in some way, stashed away inside the Master’s head, and there does seem to be some evidence pointing towards this. If this is the case, then RTD owes Lance Parkin, author of the novel “The Gallifrey Chronicles”, a large sum of money; because after the last time that Gallifrey was destroyed the Time Lords ended up stashed away inside the Doctor’s head (thus causing the longest lasting of the Eighth Doctor’s several bouts of amnesia). If the Time War in the TV series does happen “after” the Time War in the novels then maybe the Time Lords resurrected the Master for the sole purpose of using his talent for self-preservation in exactly the same way that the Doctor had used his own last time around.
So there you go, I’ve proved that almost everything that could happen in part two has already been done in the novels, and that I’m as anal and crackpot as any other fan.
I suspect that the reality of part two will be even more sane/crazy, predictable/unpredictable, clichéd/original than the above.