Thursday, August 24, 2006


So I've been trapped in my apartment all day because the long hallway leading into the main part of the place was scraped, plastered, and painted. The guy did a great job and finally finished around 4:30 pm EST. (He started at 8:30 am. I should have said it was a looooong hallway.)

So that gave me plenty of time to catch up on some shows taped earlier in the week, and to post. Post, post, post, post and post. This post will mark my ninth for the day and that ties my personal best for a 24 hour period. I don't think I'm done either. Got plenty more waiting on the sidelines that I should clear out and inflict upon you, Dear Reader.

So one of the tapes I watched today was Monday's offering of 'Life On Mars' from the BBC-America. (The U.K. got to see this back in February.)

And in it there was the following exchange between Annie Cartwright and Sam Tyler:

Annie Cartwright: No more funny stuff?
Sam Tyler: Funny stuff?
Annie Cartwright: Y'know the whole time travel, out of body experience thing.
Sam Tyler: Well, I went to see Doctor Who; he... prescribed me some pills...

You see, Sam was struck by a car in 2006, and he's awakened in 1973. As he says in the show's intro, he doesn't know if he's mad, in a coma, or actually back in Time.

Finding himself so disoriented at first that he couldn't keep quiet about his situation as he sought to find some answers, Sam ended up spilling the beans about what he thought might have happened to just about everybody within earshot. So Annie couldn't help but rib him about it in episode 5.

Now, I suppose I could go into this whole splainin in which Sam was referring to some fake doctor of Asian descent, but who would I be kidding? It's not like he was making the reference to somebody who didn't know what he was talking about; as though it was something from the future. 'Doctor Who' ran from 1963 to 1989; came back with a 1996 TV movie and then returned as a series in 2005. So you know damn well that Annie would know what 'Doctor Who' was about in 1973.

You can see it in her eyes and in that knowing laugh that she thinks Sam is having her on with a joke about yet another, more famous, time traveler.

And one that to her, was quite fictitious.

The thing is, the Gallifreyan Time Lord should exist within the same TV dimension as Sam and Annie. (That is, the Doctor through his first eight incarnations; the 9th and 10th Doctors are the doppelgangers from another dimension.)

I've already decided that in the Toobworld concept, every TV show we watch here in the Real World has a counterpart in TV Land. It just isn't necessarily an exact duplicate. So they may have a 'Doctor Who' TV show about time travel in Toobworld, but that doesn't mean it's been the exact same program; diff'rent actors, diff'rent storylines.

How did they end up getting a TV show about a mysterious Time Lord who lives in the same dimension as they do?

Over the decades, the Doctor in most of his incarnations has met several characters who have been involved in the TV business. Eventually one of them must have decided to sell the premise to Auntie Beeb despite the risk of disciplinary action by UNIT for disclosing classified information.

And I would think the Doctor would have even encouraged the idea for much the same reason as the people behind the Stargate project (no matter which dimension you're in) okayed the idea to fictionalize their story as 'Wormhole X-treme'. By making it look like the whole thing is nothing more than the fever dreams of some network suit who hasn't yet been nibbled to death by ducks, you can establish plausible deniability when someone actually stumbles across the truth. ("Oh, that wasn't a real TARDIS; they're filming a TV show. Now run along; nothing to see here!")

Speakingo of episode 5 of 'Life On Mars', a reader of the 'Doctor Who' blog "Behind The Sofa" posted this about the episode:

"Life On Mars'' first proper reference to 'Doctor Who' happened this evening in a story surrounding a football match between Manchester United and Manchester City.

In case anyone is wondering, after a quick look around, the match happened on the 21st April 1973 (since there were no other local derbies that year) and it was a 0-0 draw (61,500 gate). Which also means the young Sam Tyler might have gone home that night and enjoyed episode three of "Planet of the Daleks" ...

Posted by Stuart Ian Burns on 06/02/2006 at 10:30 PM

But of course, that's only if the Toobworld version of 'Doctor Who' followed the same storylines as the Real World version.

Instead, what should be pointed out is that in Toobworld, the Master is reviving a Daemon named Azal who will attempt to destroy the Earth because it unworthy to exist.

No matter how old Sam was back in 1973, he never realized how much of a debt he and the rest of the planet owed Jo Grant for her willingness to sacrifice herself. She was doing so in order to save the 3rd incarnation of the Doctor, but that willingness then saved the Earth itself.


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