November 27th, 2013


Internal Dialogue With Interruption

Shall I write about the kitchen chairs?

Come off it.

My mother did fall out of one while we were away.


How about my mother's missing hearing aid?

She loses them all the time.

Yes, but this time it disappeared somewhere between the downstairs toilet and the telephone- a distance of about three yards- and we're still looking for it over 12 hours later.

If you can turn that into something entertaining good luck to you.

P.G. Woodhouse could have done it.

You don't like Woodhouse.


How about something fiery? Come on, what are you angry about?

Erm. Charles Saatchi.

Charles Saatchi!!!

Well you know he's this big Tory and he's something to do with Andrew Lloyd Webber. And now he's trashing his wife in public. It's awful

*Sigh* . You'll have to do better than that.

I know.

Ailz (interrupting): Searching for inspiration?

There is thinking going on.

Ailz: But the wheels are turning slow.

The hamster has arthritis...

The War Doctor

I'm guessing that John Hurt's War Doctor was inserted into the timeline because of Christopher Eccleston's refusal to show up for the Anniversary. If Eccleston had been available it seems likely we would have seen him regenerating from Paul McGann, fighting in the Time War and then emerging as the damaged character we encountered in the first season of the revived show. That, anyway, would have been the shortest route from A to B.  If such was the original plan then what we have with the War Doctor is an inspired bodge- a repair to the fabric of the story necessitated by events beyond the show runner's control. Making a creative virtue out of necessity has been an especial glory of Dr Who. You lose the services of William Hartnell so you give the Doctor the power to regenerate- and so create a narrative that need never end and which receives a refreshing infusion of the new and unexpected every two or three years.

It would have been nice to see Eccleston again, but one can't regret the invention of the War Doctor or the casting and performance of John Hurt. They have enriched the mythos. Sometimes- and especially with a show like Dr Who that has a history- even an ethic- of improvisation- accidents turn out to be really lucky.