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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Doctor Who

Doctor Who

By
Alexander Gordon Jahans


The last Farsh-nuke in existence was rotting in a prison cell belong to the Raspberry Reich. Elsewhere the Alpha God Adam Godwinson and Bigoted Billionaire Neoliberal Capitalist turned Fascist Dictator Richard Raspberry plotted an invasion of the multiverse.

The Farsh-nuke had lost completely and utterly but he refused to break and take up the offer of a life of luxury aiding Richard Raspberry. So he was tortured daily.

The man chosen to torture the Farsh-nuke was a tall, almost ghoulishly skinny, eminently charming, white man with short greying hair and a penchant for different suits. He was only known as Jake.

After one long hard day’s work Jake removed the plastic gloves he used and washed his hands, watching the Farsh-nuke with interest. The Elder God of Legend was bloody limbless mess one eyeball was missing and another was missing its eyelid. Still that ethereal emerald green glowed faintly from the remaining eye.

The Farsh-nuke let himself vent for a moment then took a few deep ragged breaths to compose himself before lying completely still on the metal butcher’s table that constituted his bed.

“How do you do it?” asked Jake. “We’ve been doing this for a month now, how can you keep your sanity everyday?”

Jake observed the ethereal green glow as the Elder God mentally hacked his local reality to speed up his natural wereshark regenerative abilities. As his eyes, mouth, throat and lungs reconstituted themselves, the Farsh-nuke answered. “I’ve been where you are now. I’ve tortured, I’ve killed and done so many terrible things. When you strip everything back from someone they revert to who they are at their core.”

Jake dried off his hands on a towel then pulled out a cigar and lit it from a box of matches he kept in his jacket pocket. “So what, you’re reverting to the elder god who doesn’t care about the mortal plane?”

The Farsh-nuke shook his head and flexed his newly regrown arms. “The thing that unites me and the Great Farsh-nuke is that our hosts each grew up in awe of a man called the Doctor.”

Jake stared at the Farsh-nuke and exhaled long and hard into his face. “I thought you hated that guy?”

“The man you know as the Doctor is just my old cohort the Bam-Kursh...” said the Farsh-nuke, sitting up as his legs were regrown.

“So who is this Doctor?” asked Jake

The Farsh-nuke thought for a long moment then said. “You can always judge a man by the quality of his keystream. I mean mine’s a developmentally stunted autistic loser so naturally I’m a brilliant but despicable arsehole. The Doctor however was formed from the tragedy of the first world war scarring socialism and hatred of injustice into the people, then by the second world war establishing that sometimes you are outnumbered and out gunned but you still have to take a stand for what is right and important because there are monsters in this world and they must be fought -”

“Monsters like you and I?” asked Jake with a smirk.

“Monsters like our esteemed leader and his mad prophet advisor.” said the Farsh-nuke. “The 1960s was the age of free love and that environmentalist, pagan faith in the spiritual and unknown, combined with the fascination and optimism of the space race absolutely would impact upon the history of the show but it was started from the mentalities left by the two world wars.
The Doctor wasn’t a revolutionary, he was no anarchist. He was just a concerned citizen travelling the universe for his own reasons who found himself compelled to step up and fight injustice wherever it found him. At the same time this was a Britain that was coming to terms with its own failings and the need to reject a legacy of empirical conquest and power. You can’t rewrite history, not one line, only learn from it and see that it does not happen again.”

Jake let out another exhale and grinned. “As I recall the sixties gave way to the seventies and then the eighties and the rise of Thatcher. How was your precious Doctor impacted by the defeat of socialism and the triumph of greed?”

“The Doctor is a symbol of the best of British Patriarchal Wisdom. He is an obnoxious douchebag who can be patronising, intolerant and discriminatory but he changes with the times as they bring about his end.” said the Farsh-nuke. “He became a passive beautiful thing after spending so long at his most powerful. That passivity curdled to anger, resentment and frustration at such a cruel world before finally Time’s Champion was born.
A man who could master being nice and funny. A silly little man who pulled off magic tricks and seemed utterly harmless yet enthrallingly charming at times. He combined the powerful charisma of his fourth incarnation, the seeming harmlessness of his fifth and the impish nature of his second but within him burned the anger of his sixth, the intolerance of injustice and authority of his third and the great wisdom his first.
This was Partriarchy as the great avenger, the silly little man who’d turn up one day and tear down your world because you forgot to care for the little people.”

Jake had been listening along mostly out of politeness as he smoked, but now he leaned forward. “So the enemy elects a woman who represents greed and injustice and the Doctor goes on the offensive.”

The Farsh-nuke grinned, fire in his eyes. “The actor who played the sixth Doctor had been sacked at the series nearly cancelled. When it came back with the seventh Doctor the intent was that they write a lighter Doctor. The meddling government did not like this symbol of socialist hope so they forced him to become a harmless fool. The writers, actors, the character, rebelled. This Doctor became the darkest of the lot, a great manipulator who was implied to be a mythical figure of power. And then, then the government did something really really stupid.”

“What?” asked Jake, after he’d exhaled a plume of smoke.

“They cancelled the TV show and sold off the license to Virgin.” explained the Farsh-nuke. “Time’s Champion was no longer hampered by political pressure, executive meddling and a need to appeal to the kids or even by limited budgets for effects. In the Virgin New Adventures of Doctor Who I found a hero I could believe in, a hero I wanted to emulate, except of course I never could get the hang of chess.”

Jake nodded. “The god of chaos never would be good at a game of logic.”

The Farsh-nuke smirked then bit his lip. He shook his head then said. “The Doctor has a mantra he tells himself, it’s often used to describe him. Never cruel or cowardly. It’s bullshit. The Doctor, my Doctor, is a manipulative bastard. He picks fights he knows he can win and sets up events to ensure he will. This is a man who regularly ponders Nietzche and how he who fights monsters should be careful lest he become one. He doesn’t carry a gun but he absolutely uses weapons, sometimes you wonder if it’d be less cruel and cowardly of the Doctor to just cap a bitch every once in a while.”

Jake stared at the Farsh-nuke for a long moment. “So what happened after seventh Doctor?”

“Time War.” said the Farsh-nuke. “The Great Manipulator died by chance and stupidity. His Eighth Incarnation was an incarnation was a far more human lover, as I’ll explain later. The new Doctor was beautiful and vulnerable, not passive like the fifth but often amnesiac but defined by love and pleasure in the transient moment. To this angsting emotive vulnerable Doctor two different time wars happened. First in the BBC Books and then before the revived TV series.”

“Doctor Who was bought back?” asked Jake.

“You don’t know?” asked the Farsh-nuke. “Where have you been?”

Jake shrugged. “You’re not the only one with a past.”

The Farsh-nuke dismissed the subject. “With a new Labour government in power Doctor Who was bought back. This Doctor was also a product off two great wars, only they were wars he had personally experienced. He was a survivor burdened with guilt, still dealing with the trauma of how it ended. That remained a theme throughout the revival as old foes and themes were reintroduced.
The shell shocked veteran regenerated into a rehabilitated all too human charismatic hero until the Time War’s temporary resurgence bought about a resurgence of Time’s Champion within the Doctor. Coincidentally about the time the Labour government was replaced  by a Tory led coalition. He was still a pretty boy who could play the dashing hero but the manipulator was back. He died of old age on the planet Trenzalore and came back, old, bitter, angry and closer to cruelty and evil.
The Conservatives held a majority and the Doctor became an angry fighter against injustice even as character development rubbed off his rougher edges. Now the path seems set for a true socialist rule of Britain and the end of Patriarchal lineage for the Doctor’s incarnations.”

Jake took a long hard drag on his cigar and let out the smoke slowly in the Farsh-nuke’s face. “You mentioned the Doctor became human after the seventh Doctor, this Time’s Champion.”

“Well you see Doctor Who accumulates lore and mythology, sometimes this contradicts itself.” said the Farsh-nuke. “The Doctor was introduced with a granddaughter yet when we meet his people this whole different lore is established. His people are called the Time Lords of the planet Gallifrey. They have the ability to see the web of time, two hearts and things called ‘Symbiotic Nuclei’ that let them control tardises, they have a default set of 12 regenerations - ways of cheating death by replacing the actor - available to them. The Time Lords are dull, studious, bureaucratic, non-interventionists. At least until the two Time Wars. They are not byronic lovers.”

“So...?” asked Jake.

“So the books revealed that the Time Lords had been created by these three wise men known as Rassillon, Omega and the Other. They uplifted their people through technology, granting their people control of time but in so doing they upset the paganistic Matriarchal rule of the Pythias, wise women who gained understanding of time through ritual observance.” explained the Farsh-nuke. “The Pythias cursed the Gallifreyans so they would not be able to have kids so the three wise men came up with great genetic looms to weave people whole instead. The loom woven children would then grow up in great houses where they would study until they were ready to join the adult world.”

“And what does this have to do with the seventh and eighth Doctors?” asked Jake.

“We learn all this during an adventure in the books called Lungbarrow that happens right before the events of the TV movie where he regenerates into the eighth Doctor.” explains the Farsh-nuke. “Specifically we and the Doctor learn that the Doctor is the Other. That he was the mythical figure of Gallifreyan legend and had several different incarnations before events conspired to encourage him to seek survival through rebirth in the looming machine.
Immediately after learning that he isn’t fully Time Lord it is stated that he’s half human on his mother’s side and suddenly he’s this romantic very human like person. Even as the new series seems to contradict this it is stated that the first Doctor left Gallifrey because it was prophesised that a hybrid would destroy Gallifrey and the Doctor is such a hybrid.
And why might the Time Lords have such a prophecy? Because that is precisely what the Other set out to do before being forced to seek survival through being Loomed. He took on the name of Doctor as a promise to himself that he would not become the destroyer of worlds, that he would run from his fate and help people. That’s why, despite it being shown that he could have great power there, despite having destroyed Gallifrey twice in the Time Wars, the Doctor always saves it and runs from it. Because if he gets involved in its affairs he stops being the Doctor and starts being the Other, the Hybrid, again. The Time Lord Victorious.”

Jake offered the Farsh-nuke the rest of his cigar. “Wanna smoke?”

The Farsh-nuke took the cigar greedily. “It’s been so long since I’ve had a hit.”

“Big smoke then?” asked Jake.

The Farsh-nuke shook his head then exhaled smoke. “I’m a collar addict, there’s just something about strong young woman bending to your will you know?”

Jake stared at the Farsh-nuke. “How can you talk about this man who has such adventures and stand opposed to injustice yet be addicted to seducing women?”

The Farsh-nuke shrugged.

Jake thought for a long moment then said. “Do you mind if I make some calls?”

The Farsh-nuke shook his head and sat, silently smoking the cigar, naked before his torturer as he worked.

‘He asks how I do this? How I put up with such shit and misery?’ Mused the Farsh-nuke silently to himself. ‘The truth is I have faith. Faith in a silly little man in an ancient, stolen blue box. The silly little man who’ll turn up one day and turn day and tear down your world and nothing can ever stop him or hold him. I hear the sound of empires toppling Raspberry and your time is running out because we live in a multiverse where everything fictional is real somewhere. That means he’s out there, that means the Champion of Time who ended two time wars and defeats genocidal xenophobes on a regular basis will come for you in the end. Your Reich will end, your life will be over and as he knocks four times you’ll ask the question that haunts his existence.’

The Farsh-nuke took a long drag on the cigar then smiled. “The Doctor. Doctor Who?”