Thursday, August 25, 2005

CROSSOVER OF THE WEEK: "THE DOCTOR DANCES"

'Doctor Who' is back on Earth!

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.....

Location: London, England
Date: 1941
Enemy: The Empty Child

London, 1941, at the height of the Blitz. A mysterious cylinder is being guarded by the army, while homeless children, living on the bomb-sites, are being terrorized by an unearthly child.

A mauve cylinder hurtles through space and Time with the TARDIS in hot pursuit (literally -- the Doctor burns his hand on the overheating console). According to the Doctor, mauve is the universally recognized code for danger; humans use red, but the rest of the Universe thinks that's camp. The Doctor has hacked into the cylinder's flight computer and is following it, but the cylinder is jumping time tracks, making it difficult to lock onto. Whatever it is, it's dangerous and it's 30 seconds away from crashing down in the center of London...
[Thanks to The Doctor Who Reference Guide]

CROSSOVER OF THE WEEK
'DOCTOR WHO' - "THE DOCTOR DANCES"
&
'TIME TUNNEL', 'TIME TRAX', '7 DAYS', 'TIMECOP',
'STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE', & 'STAR TREK: VOYAGER'

Majestic 12, the secret commission formed to fight off a hostile alien takeover of Earth by the Hive, was the nucleus of the shadow government that truly ran the United States government. It's true that some of the members of their "Black Ops" inner circle had gone rogue (either to serve their own ends or the commands of other powers). But for the most part, this consortium truly believed they were doing the right thing when it came to their fight to stave off alien threats.

However, I believe that when it came to dealing with Mankind's burgeoning advancements into one particular area of scientific research - Time Travel - the shadow government allowed themselves to be swayed by an outside alien influence.

By the Time Lords of Gallifrey.

The Gallifreyans had already interfered in the exploration of time travel by humans when they sabotaged the 'Time Tunnel' experiment beneath the deserts of Arizona. Not that they had to do too much in order for the equipment to fail. I think the basis for the project had been the initial research conducted by Professor Periwinkle of Metropolis. (Most of his experiments were flawed, anyway.)

The shadow government probably had to wait until after Superman's death by radioactive Kryptonite dust poisoning in the early 1960s (after saving two Chicago gangsters at a Nevada A-bomb test site) before they could seize Periwinkle's time machine prototype which he kept disguised as a toolbox.

But the Time Lords must have convinced the team headed by General Heywood Kirk that despite the well-meaning attempts by scientists Doug Phillips and Tony Newman, the events of History must not be rewritten - not one line!

(The fates of Phillips and Newman are unknown, but I think there was at least one Gallifreyan Time Lord who was able to pluck them out of the time-stream and then deposit them where they could no longer be a threat to the Timeline.

They may not have believed or understood it, but such an imposed sentence probably saved their lives. Once Majestic 12 understood the threat to Time posed by the duo, the "Men In Black" would have had no qualms in killing them. Because even though they were presented even though they were presented as heroes, Doug and Tony were idealists who believed History should be altered, despite the ramifications. And such men are too dangerous to be allowed to continue.)

But as the world had seen with the atom bomb, research and development of time travel devices could not be kept under tight control. Majestic 12 tried to shut down the Quantum Leap project in New Mexico by cutting off its funding, but scientist Dr. Sam Becket would not be deterred. Before the project could be properly tested, Becket stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished.

Becket never did come home; instead he kept leaping from life to life, making right what once went wrong.

And this must have really pissed off those in charge at Majestic 12, because some of those "wrongs" which Becket righted - assassinations, manipulated business reversals, various "accidents", - had been approved by and engineered by Majestic 12. And they didn't think those events had gone wrong in the first place!

Even with Operation Backstep, over which they held tight control, Majestic 12 came to realize that the use of time travel had to be strictly monitored and enforced. Plus, the experimental use of temporal technology often unleashed energies which created rogue wormholes.

(Somewhere in the Old West in the territory of New Mexico, not far from the future site of the Quantum Leap project, such a wormhole brought 1847 pioneer Christian Horn "A Hundred Yards Over The Rim"... and over one hundred years into the future. Horn was able to bring back medicines to save his son in the past, and that was a good thing as his son would grow up to play an important role in History.

But such a temporal anomaly could also create havoc, as when a "Little Black Bag" full of futuristic medical marvels fell into the hands of two bums in the early 1970s.)

Thanks to the input by members of UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) who had experience with the Gallifreyans and time travel, the Temporal Enforcement Commission was created by the dawn of the new millennium.
Although Frank Bach, the Cigarette Smoking Man, and Deep Throat were all dead, other members of Majestic 12 may have been involved with the formation of the Temporal Enforcement Commission.

Others who were probably founding members might have been:
Admiral Al Calavicci
Brigadier General Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart
Dr. Raymond Swan
Dr. Ann McGregor
Bradley Talmadge
Dr. Isaac Mentnor
Professor "Reg" Chronotis

Those who enforced the rules of the Commission would be known by the slang term 'Timecop'. One of the more famous chrono-criminals in their Rogues Gallery would have been Dr. Mordechai Sahmbi, a futuristic Fabian Lavendor who helped other criminals to escape into the past of the 1990s.

The principles to which they adhered would become the basis for the charter governing the "Temporal Prime Directive" in the future. As it is delineated by the 24th Century, "the Temporal Prime Directive is a fundamental principle guiding Starfleet. The regulation states that all Starfleet officers are forbidden to directly interfere with history and thus alter the timeline.

Unlike the Prime Directive, however, Starfleet time travelers are further charged with a duty to maintain the current timeline and prevent history from being altered. The events of the Temporal Cold War may suggest that the regulation has been rescinded, at least temporarily, by the 31st century.

However, the human faction in the Temporal Cold War is dedicated primarily to keeping the timeline intact and preventing the other factions from fiddling with it, which would be completely in keeping with the Temporal Prime Directive."
[thanks to Memory-Alpha.org]

By the 24th Century, a 'Timecop' would be working for the Department of Temporal Investigations, under the mantle of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets. (No doubt other planets had also begun their explorations into time travel.)

"The Department of Temporal Investigations is... mandated with investigating and reporting on all incidents of time travel involving Federation citizens or otherwise affecting the UFP."
[from Memory-Alpha.org]

One of their cases occurred in 2373, when there was a temporal incursion resulting from an assassination attempt against the James T. Kirk in the year 2268. Temporal Investigations agents later concluded that the crew of the 'Deep Space Nine' station had acted appropriately in attempting to uphold the Temporal Prime Directive.

If the Gallifreyans were still around and still involved in guiding these newbies in time travel, they certainly had their work cut out for them! That's why the Temporal Displacement Policy was such an integral part of the curriculum at the Starfleet Academy for all students (and most likely taught by a Gallifreyan instructor - maybe even Professor Urban Chronotis himself, under some new alias.)

By the 29th Century, the Temporal Integrity Commission was the governing body which ultimately decided any questions regarding the use of time travel in the UFP. They were the ones who forced the starship Voyager to not only leave 1996 and return to the future, but also to go back to their point of departure: the distant reaches of the Delta Quadrant. It may have been a harsh verdict, but it was the only way to maintain the integrity of Time.

So far, we don't know by what name the organization that polices the time-stream is known in the 51st Century, but we do know the Timecops are referred to as Time Agents. So far as we know, we've met one - Captain Jack Harkness.

But as the Time Agents wiped out two years of his memory, Captain Jack isn't too eager to deal with them again... unless it's for revenge.

Shows cited for this essay:
'Doctor Who'
'Star Trek'
'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'
'Star Trek: Voyager'
'Enterprise'
'The Time Tunnel'
'Timecop'
'Dark Skies'
'Quantum Leap'
'7 Days'
'The Adventures Of Superman'
'The X-Files'
'The Twilight Zone'
'The Night Gallery'
'The Wild, Wild West'
'Crime Story'

BCnU!
Tele-Toby

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