Journey To The Nowhere-In-Particular Of The TARDIS

What she said.

Time Lord engineering

The most recent episode of Doctor Who, Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, started very well. As they tend to, these days.

Yes, there was yet another moment of strange vulnerability from the TARDIS, which is supposed to be about the most durable thing in the universe. But we were promised a safari inside the thing, which is a tremendous idea. TARDISes are infinitely large inside, giving rise to some interesting possibilities if you, for instance, park one on the bottom of the ocean and open the door. There could be anything in there, and with modern effects you can see that anything, as indeed you do in this episode in brief glimpses that don't go anywhere.

And then there was timey-wimey gibberish, and dude-in-a-rubber-suit monsters chasing people, yet again.

The monsters, spoiler alert, had a particularly disappointing origin story.

They are the protagonists, you see - including the Doctor! - after the protagonists were barbecued inside the TARDIS engine room and then looped back in time to menace their un-barbecued selves. The Doctor mentioned this danger of barbecuing, but forgot to mention that the burns would also make you incapable of communication and violently psychotic, even if you started out as an interdimensional wizard with immense physical and mental durability.

The actual reason for the monsters is of course "because we always have to have a monster lurching after the protagonists, since this has become a show largely about running away from monsters. Even if the monster just wishes to be reunited with its lady love, it will choose to express this desire by acting like a stereotypical bogey-man, rather than standing in the open waving cheerfully".

You'd still think the Doctor could have devoted a few words of dialogue to the "you will become a mindless killing machine" part of the symptoms of staying too long in the engine room. Perhaps a small Health and Safety warning poster would be in order.

I was hoping the monsters would be some kind of beastie that's developed within the TARDIS's infinite volume of infinite wonders. Perhaps they evolved all the way from bacteria (or a cat) in the time between two bongs of the Cloister Bell. C'mon people, this is Doctor Who, you can do that if you want.

But that was asking too much. Good people become bad when they become ugly, people are terrified of other people one moment and lovey-dovey when the scary person decides to enfold them in his arms, an interdimensional wizard spends time tricking scrap merchants into helping him search an infinite maze for someone the scrap merchants don't give a damn about... and there's always a dude in a rubber suit running after them all.

5 Responses to “Journey To The Nowhere-In-Particular Of The TARDIS”

  1. TwoHedWlf Says:

    I had a thought while watching that. If the inside of the tardis is actually infinite and can rearrange itself at will. Does that mean that the tardis never actually GOES anywhere(Time or space) it simply creates a new door at a point where it already is?

    • dan Says:

      Makes as much sense as any of the canon stuff :-).

      It should be noted that the modern timey-wimey stuff really isn't any sillier than the classic timebabble. Take, for instance, the details of the highly entertaining idea of materialising two TARDISes inside each other:

      The old multi-episode stories were also often sloooooooooow. I'm not one of the people who thinks New Who has ruined the franchise.

      The new show is, however, often horribly unimaginative. This is practically criminal, when the basic structure of the show lets you do almost anything, and when the special effects can now keep up.

    • cr Says:

      "it simply creates a new door at a point where it already is?"
      That means it's probably fitted with an Infinite Improbability Drive, which, IIRC, passes simultaneously through every point in the known universe. Or something.

  2. lazybratsche Says:

    I was hoping that the Rubber Lava Monsters were survivors from some horrible thing in the Doctor's past. Perhaps not-quite survivors of the Time War. (Not every other time lord is dead... entirely!) Or at least some sort of creature that was picked up over hundreds of years of traveling. A monster too dangerous to let free, but sympathetic enough that the Doctor gave them a home in the Tardis?

    • TwoHedWlf Says:

      Hmmm, Yeah an infinitely large Tardis means you could drop an infinite number of scary monsters in it and still have an infinitely small chance of ever running into one of them.

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