Sunday, April 19, 2015

Doctor Who, Star Wars and Coming Home

It's another Sunday here at the old blog thing I like to call I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the internet's leading producer of high quality hummus and hummus accessories. 

To be honest, I don't really know what hummus is. I keep meaning to check into it. It kind of looks like peanut butter but less appealing, I guess?

Anyway, I'm Dave-El and on Sundays (sometimes Saturdays) I like to post something Doctor Who related. For example, I will occasionally post a serialized fan fiction like the one I've been writing for the last few weeks called The Crucible of Eternity. Well, it's been a week since the last installment so I guess it's time to....

OK, confession time. Episode Four is completely written.


Mostly written.

All right, more like half written.

OK, fine! It's not ready! 

I swear, I did not have this much trouble with 2013's The Nemesis Who Stole Time and that was 13 parts and featured 11 different Doctors.  As with previous delays with this storyline, I have to point towards work. Yeah, I like writing Doctor Who stuff but I like getting a pay check a bit more so work has to take precedence. 

It also doesn't help that I'm not feeling my best these past few days. Every year, sometime between the first of April and the end of May, I will come down with my yearly allergy cold. For about a week now, it's felt like I've been on the edge of this year's annual appearance of the dreaded allergy cold which unmercifully does not kill me, it just makes me irritable and cranky. Fun! 

But enough babbling about my sinus irritations and talk about something else. Maybe something Doctor Who related. Or at least somewhere in the neighborhood. 

10 years ago, fellow Whovians, our time in the wilderness came to an end and Doctor Who returned to our screens. I remember watching that first episode, Rose, and there was a palatable excitement at seeing the Doctor charging around fighting an alien menace.  

But the moment that Whovians knew that the Doctor was back home for real was when we glimpsed that familiar old police box for the first time. 

There's scene early in the episode where the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) is sauntering off from Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and we see it, a box, a blue artifact from our youth. 


Doctor Who was back home. 

This past week saw the release of a new Star Wars trailer. I'm not a big Star Wars fan. Doctor Who and Star Trek tend to vie for my attention the most (and you can guess who gets the edge in that match up). But A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back are seminal moments in my growth as a fan of science fiction. While Doctor Who was still fighting rubber suited monsters on low tech sound stages and Star Trek struggled for relevance, Star Wars showed how science fiction action and adventure could be done and done right. 

After Return of the Jedi, Star Wars spent time in the wilderness; like Doctor Who, Star Wars was sustained during this time by novels and comic books. 

Then George Lucas announced there would be new Star Wars films and there was much rejoicing. 

Then it was revealed that the films would be prequels and there was much trepidation. 

Then the actual movies came out and there was much lamentation. 

I've never cared much for the concept of prequels. It's hard to have any suspense for the main characters because we know they survive to be in the next adventure/previous film. Any new characters in the prequel are pretty much cannon fodder because they're not present for the next adventure/previous film. Still, I suppose there is a certain appeal to taking a look back at how things came to be. 

But over the course of three movies? 

It takes 3 ponderous movies for Anakin Skywalker to become the evil Darth Vader. It is a foregone conclusion. We did not need such a long journey to get to that point.  

Oddly enough, going backwards does not provide much of opportunity to go back home. Going backwards takes us to a place and time before home was home. 

Meanwhile, moving forward allows us to carry a part of home with us. Yes, as time moves forward, people age, places change but they live in our memories and the youthful glint that sparks out of aging eyes. 

So the new Star Wars trailer came out and there was so much good in this thing. We hear Mark Hamill's voice as Luke Skywalker. We see the elements of the saga that has gone before even as we see the glimmers of the struggle and the adventure to come. 

And then, at the very end, we get this. 

"Chewie, we're home."  

As I said before, I'm not as big a Star Wars fan as I am of Doctor Who or Star Trek but when I heard that voice and saw those faces, I felt a warm glow of recognition like I did 10 years ago when I saw the Doctor strolling down the street towards a certain blue box sitting on a corner. Yeah, time has moved forward and for Harrison Ford as Han Solo, there are a lot more lines on the face and a bit more gravel in the voice but there, behind the eyes, there is a familiar gleam. There is the twinkle in the eyes of a space faring adventurer once more launching himself into the unknown, his friend and partner once again at this side. 

Of course there are new faces in the house, a new generation to lead the fight against the forces of tyranny but there is still some of what came before and that is when we know for sure. 

We're home. 


Next week, for real, for really really real real, it's Episode Four of The Crucible of Eternity. And if you want to refresh your memory of what's gone on so far, here are the links to previous episodes. 

And just to mess with your heads a bit, here is a very brief dialogue exchange lifted directly from Episode Four. 
  • Clara (weakly): Doctor? 
  • The Doctor: I'm here, Clara. 
  • Clara: is...
  • The Doctor: She's fine. 
  • Clara: She? 

And you can make of that what you will. 

I'll be back with another post of some random nonsense tomorrow. 

And be here next Sunday, Doctor Who people. 

The Crucible of Eternity - Episode Four

Until then, be good to one another. 

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