Monday, May 15, 2006


Remember how Murray Slaughter used to do that vocal trumpet riff whenever John Corcoran entered the room during the "Just A Lunch" episode of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'? ("What did I tell you? He's embarrasssed!")

I wish he was here to trumpet this week's big Crossover.....


For the first episode of the new season, and the second one for David Tennant as the Tenth incarnation of The Doctor (third if you count that online experience about the Graske), they traveled farther than they ever had gone before. And that meant going beyond 5 billion years and the end of Rose's home planet of Earth Prime-Time.

23 years beyond, in fact, and they ended up on the planet New Earth, which was almost an exact copy of the original. (It looked to have two moons though, but it could have been just my 'magination.)

Here they visited a hospital run by the Sisters of Plenitude, a religious order of sentient, humanoid felines. It could be said that their correct genus would be classified as Felis Erectus (officially recognized by the year 2,002,181).

We know who was responsible for their rise on the evolutionary ladder.....


No, not the revived man-thing of the Wollstonecraft legend (who was real in the TV Universe), but the cat smuggled aboard the "Red Dwarf" spaceship by Third Technician Lister during a stopover on Titan on February 21st, 2181. He did so in hopes that he would be caught with the cat and then thrown into stasis for the rest of the trip.

What he didn't count on was that Frankenstein was pregnant. By the time she died at the age of 14 in 2192, the cat population on board the ship was about 198,832.

By the year 502,181 , a plague hit the "Red Dwarf". We would know this plague by its more common name of "hunger".

Because of the "plague", less than thirty cat tribes survived. They roamed the cargo decks in search of food, but all the food was gone.

Here's how the 'Red Dwarf' Timeline site describes what happened next:

Weak and ailing, the cats prayed at the supply hold's silver mountain: huge towering acres of metals rocks which the Cats believed watched over them. One cat took down a silver rock, and placed the V-shaped metal icon on the rim of the rock, and turned the handle. And the rock opened. And inside it was Alphabetti spaghetti in tomato sauce. And in the other rocks were other delights. God had spoken.

Because of this "holy miracle", it could be said that Felis Sapiens was born.

The Timeline continues:

A holy war flared up between two cat factions. One cat faction believed that their god was named Cloister, and he wanted the sausage diner hats to be red, and the other faction thought that their god was named Clister and he wanted the hats to be blue.

A truce was called and both factions built 2 arks to go and search for Fucial. They left the sick and lame cats behind on Red Dwarf. The first ark, blue, flew into an asteroid. But, the red ark, flew onward, knowing they were truly righteous.

Lister comes out of stasis, only to find out that the entire crew is dead and he is the only human left. His companions are the hologram of Rimmer, a lifeform who evolved from Frankenstein, and Holly, a tenth generation artificial intelligence computer with an IQ of 6000.

(+1 day)
- Lister discovers that he is a god to the cat people, and meets a dying priest who has lost his faith.

Based upon this, we can assume that the Sisters of Plenitude were descended from those "truly righteous" cat people. But the sick and lame cats that they left behind must have lived on in their legends and they probably never forgave themselves for abandoning them. And so they turned their attentions to the healing of the sick.

But after several billion years, once again these religious cats lost their way, which led to the events of the 'Doctor Who' episode.....

The Doctor must have had a previous experience with Cat, the lone survivor of his race left behind on the "Red Dwarf". For when trying to describe the properties of the 18th Century fireplace found on board a 51st Century spaceship, he called it a "spatio-temporal hyperlink" - a term he coined to avoid using the phrase "Magic Door".

This was the phrase used by Lister and Rimmer when they tried to explain a time portal to Cat in the episode "Stasis Leak". They finally gave up and just called it a "magic door".

(They should have called it a chrono-synclastic infundibulum, just like Stony Stephenson in 'Between Time And Timbuktu'.)

So, ta-DA! That's the Crossover of the Week for this first of the new episodes of 'Doctor Who'. If you're interested in checking out more of the 'Red Dwarf' timeline, click on the link to the left for "Things That Never Were" and looked under the Televsion Category.

Next week? The crossover for "Tooth & Claw"!


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