reading the article in the NYTimes this morning extensive research, apoplectic.me’s crack backroom team can neither confirm nor deny that the site has been hacked by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
But, we can tell you a couple of things. First, upon the recent retirement of “Edinburgh is on the same latitude as Minsk”, our new favourite Scottish fact is that the NHS is, by some measures, the fourth largest employer in the world, after the People’s Liberation Army, the Indian railways, and Wal-Mart. Second, given that this morning’s article made reference to cyberunits, cyberpower, cyberspace and cyberattacks, as well as “Unit 61398” and the shadowy “Wang Dong”, the web’s go-to site for Doctor Who analysis and poor punnery (as well as a lead hit for searches on 1984 and Buddy Christ) will be
eating Milky Ways and watching telly keeping an eye on this issue as it develops.
Speaking of cyberstuff, did you see the Doctor Who finale this weekend? And if not, how do you put up with this site? In preparation for this post, I did a quick search for apoplectic.me references to The Good Doctor, and it turns out that 28 of 49 published posts make at least a passing reference to the show. Why so many? Well, the simple answer is, as many people have pointed out, the format is so beautifully flexible (1. Dump TARDIS anyway in time, space and genre. 2. Proceed), it can be all things to all fanboys and fangirls.
So, for example, in Toby Hadoke’s Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, the Doctor is appropriated by a lonely boy to help him through boarding school. 30-odd years later, the Tenth Doctor (setting himself up for a fall, admittedly) bullies Rose’s boyfriend in a particularly nerd-baiting scene of Rise Of The Cybermen. When I got my DW Time Lord seal tattoo, I could apply whatever meaning I wanted to it; in this case, appropriately enough, life’s infinite potential for renewal and adventure.
More recently, an article in the Jewish magazine, Tablet, identified the Doctor, fairly convincingly, as the greatest Jewish character in the history of television. This is all very well, but can the Doctor really be all things to all geeks? Well, in this week’s finale, was the Doctor talking directly to me, again? Is the Doctor the greatest stroke survivor in the history of television?
Probably not, given all the running down corridors. You’ll have to go elsewhere for a treatise on Davros as stroke survivor, though. But this week’s finale, did strike a chord, again. Even if it was River, as well as the Big Man, who spoke for me this week.
The readings for today’s sermon are taken from The Name Of The Doctor, New Series, season 7, part 2, episode 8. (Can you tell I went to church yesterday? Don’t worry though, it didn’t take.)
River: How are you even doing that? I’m not really here.
Doctor: You are always here to me and I always listen. And I can always see you.
For those of you aren’t committed Whovians, River Song is the Doctor’s wife. Why, and how traditionally, are questions for another time and space.
The Doctor first met River in the episode Silence In The Library. I’ll let River summarize: “I died saving him. In return he saved me to the biggest database in the universe. Left me like a book on a shelf. Didn’t even say goodbye. He doesn’t like goodbyes.” The Eleventh Doctor subsequntly hangs out with pre-death River a lot, though.
As I’ve written before, in the immediate aftermath of my stroke, and in the midst of a near-death experience, my brain thought I was wandering in my late grandfather’s garden in Morayshire. And as I’ve told Beth and many of you, when it seemed like it would be pretty easy to stay there, with easy access to imaginary top quality scotch, butteries and fishcakes, I caught a glimpse of my lover’s eye (You are always here to me and I always listen. And I can always see you), and knew I had to come back.
Doctor: There is a time to live and a time to sleep. You are an echo, River. Like Clara, like all of us. In the end, my fault, I know, but you should have faded by now.
River: It’s hard to leave when you haven’t said goodbye.
Doctor: Then tell me because I don’t know: How do I say it?
River: There’s only one way I’d accept. If you ever loved me say it like you’re going to come back.
Doctor: Well then, see you around, Professor River Song.
What I haven’t mentioned before is that the reason I had to come back wasn’t originally to stay. It was to say goodbye to Beth, and let her know that I had loved her, loved her still, and that, whatever happened, Everything was going to be OK. Fortunately, dragging myself back for that got me close enough to the shore for my girlfriend to put me on her back and carry me back to the land of the living.
So, nice work, Mr. Moffat. Thanks to your concern with memories, death, lurrrve and other universal themes, I’m also pulled back to the land of fandom on a wave of squee and the crest of a fangasm. Only 187 days till the 50th anniversary episode….