Monday, June 27, 2005


'Doctor Who' is tangled up in Blue!

Fifteen years after the last regular episode, six years after the one TV movie for the Eighth Doctor, we've had a full series of thirteen episodes featuring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Incarnation.

The final episode for this year has aired, signaling the end of Eccleston's tenure and marking the debut of David Tennant in the role.

And so to celebrate, most of my essays and all of the Crossovers will be dedicated to the Doctor for the rest of the summer.

Be forewarned: In my essays during this summer salute to 'Doctor Who', there will be spoilers for each of the episodes, especially in regard to summaries.....

For this second episode of the series, we actually have two theoretical crossovers!

First off, here's a recap of the episode:

"The End Of The World"
Originally aired: Saturday, April 2, 2005 on BBC-1
Location: Platform 1 (A space station orbiting Earth).
Date: 5, 000, 000, 000 AD
Enemy: The Lady Cassandra.

The Doctor takes Rose on her first voyage through time, to the year five billion: the Sun is about to expand and swallow the Earth. But amongst the alien races gathering to watch on Platform One, a murderer is at work. Who is controlling the mysterious and deadly Spiders?

[Thanks to]


On board Viewing Platform One, we met various blue-skinned humanoids who served as the crew for the space station. Just as it is with the humans of Earth, they were from different races of the same species. Many of them were analogous to pygmies here on Earth, while two others - the Platform's Steward and Raffalo the plumber - were of taller stature.

It's my contention that they were of the Bolian race first seen in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'.

The Bolians, according to the "Star Trek Encyclopedia", are native to the planet Bolarus IX. They have a light blue skin color and a bifurcated ridge running down the center of their faces.

Even if you haven't seen the episode yet, it's possible to find pictures of the Steward and Raffalo online. And you'll of course notice that their skin color - as well as that of the pygmy servants, - is of a much deeper, richer hue of blue.

This is sooo easy to splain away!

Actually, there could be two reasons. First off, just as is the case with humans, there could be Bolian races with different skin colors. [It's not without precedence in the 'Trek' universe either. Until we met Tuvok on 'Star Trek: Voyager', I don't think we had ever seen a black Vulcan before.]

I'd like to think that the depth of their skin color wasn't a factor in race relations among the Bolians. But there apparently was some kind of class system inherent when it came to dealing with other races, as Raffalo was not allowed to speak to Rose until Rose gave her permission.

As to the other reason why the skin color differed between the Bolians of 'Star Trek' and these theoretical Bolians of 'Doctor Who'..... The Doctor and Rose met them five billion years into Earth's future. There was more than enough time for some kind of evolutionary change to have occurred for their race.

After all, Lady Cassandra O'Brien was supposedly the last "true" human and she was nothing more than a nip/tucked hide of eyes and lipstick. (According to Lady Cassandra, all of the other humans who had fled the planet had intermingled the species with the inhabitants of other planets. And we know Spock was a good example of that.)

Raffalo - who was one of my favorite guest characters during the run of the series, by the way. I found her charming. - does mention to Rose that she was from Crespallion, not Bolarus IX. Crespallion wasn't a planet, but instead part of the Jaggit Brocade which was affiliated to the Scarlet Junction, Convex 56.

But that doesn't negate the theory either. Look how many humans we've met in other star systems who no longer consider themselves Earthlings but natives of their home planets.

Frell! I have ancestors mostly from Ireland, but my great-grandparents on my father's maternal side were from the Dolomite region of Italy. Yet I proudly declare myself to be of Connecticut stock whenever somebody asks [as if it should matter]; that's as far back as I care to take it.

Screw 'Roots'.


I don't think the fact that these future Bolians who were running Viewing Platform One were also the race of the people who owned it. I don't think we can assume that the Milliway family was Bolian, and it's a good thing too since they were running a restaurant. According to an episode of 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine', Bolian cuisine made use of meat which had been allowed to partially decay.

They did, however, provide an excellent tonic water and that was more than likely to be found among the array of special waters served at Milliway's.

Granny Moses of 'The Beverly Hillbillies' would have loved Bolian cuisine, I'll bet. Road kill made for good eatins!


He's blue!


WordsSayNothing said...

I think I would have made the blue guys in "The End of the World" into an antennaeless offshot of the Andorians myself. Andoria seemed to have something of an inherent classist society, particular with regard to the Aenar. The Bolians, on the other hand, we never really got to know as a culture, which I suppose might make it easier to conjecture about the Bolians rather than the Andorians, but I think the Andorian theory might have more solid ground under it. But that's just me.

Toby said...

The fact that we know less about the Bolians was a major factor - easier to avoid the Zonk!s that way.

The antennae were a consideration as well - even after five billion years, I don't see them losing that genetic feature as they serves as some kind of sensory organ. And unless they lost the use of that particular sense I don't think the stalks would ever become vestigial.

Whereas the Bolian ridge could easily be evolved right off their faces after that much time.

Since Toobworld doesn't need more than just the most trivial detail to lock in a connection between series, I think I'd steer towards the link that keeps me from reaching for the Splainin Aspirin.