Tuesday, July 29, 2008


So I've now looked at the four historical stories (five episodes in all) of 'Doctor Who' which should have had an impact on Toobworld if the Doctor never got involved.

So that should do it, right? We can finally move on to "The Stolen Earth", part one of this season's finale.

Not so fast, ZoomZoom!

Since Martha Jones first joined the Doctor, there were three allusions to adventures of which only partial scenes were telecast. Without the Doctor around, how would these play out? Would they resolve themselves? Would other TV characters step into the breach to rectify the situation?

The basic set-up of daily life in London seem so normal for Donna Noble at the beginning of "Turn Left", so something must have happened to keep these excerpted stories from having any impact on the present day in the revised Toobworld.

These three suggested adventures are:

1] Queen Elizabeth I

2] The Lizard's Clutch

3] Charlemagne's Kidnapping in Belgium

So let's take a quick look at them and wrap this up.......

(Sorry about that, Chief.)
At the end of "The Shakespeare Code", the Doctor and Martha were confronted by an enraged Virgin Queen who wanted the Doctor's Head. The thing is, from the Doctor's perspective, he had not yet met her, so he had no clue why she was so royally pissed off.

But if the Doctor died because he never met Donna Noble, he'd never have met Queen Bess. So it would seem this situation resolves itself. The only problem would be why the Doctor was back in the Elizabethan Age in the first place. Would that have had a catastrophic effect on the world if the Doctor wasn't there to put things right?

I'll bet there are several examples of fan fiction out there which tell the tale, probably at least one slash fiction in which the Doctor leaves her the Not So Virgin Queen. No, thanks. I'll stick with just what I see on the telly, thanks.


For the most part, the Doctor and Martha were out of the loop for "Blink". Instead, Sally Sparrow was the main character. At the end of the episode, the three of them meet and although Sally now knows all about the Doctor, he and Martha have yet to live out that part of the timeline.

When Sally meets them, they're rushing off to take care of another, urgent matter:

Martha: Doctor, we haven’t got time for this. Migration’s started.

The Doctor: Look, sorry, I’ve got a bit of a complex life. Things don’t always happen to me in quite the right order. It gets a bit confusing at times, especially at weddings. I’m rubbish at weddings. Especially my own.
Sally: Oh, my God of course. You’re a time traveler. It hasn’t happened to you yet. None of it. It’s still in your future.
The Doctor: What hasn’t happened?
Martha: Doctor, please. Twenty minutes to red hatching!
Sally: It was me. Oh, for God’s sake, it was me all along. You got it all from me.
The Doctor: Got what?
Sally: OK, listen. One day you’re going to be stuck in 1969. Make sure you’ve got this with you. (hands him the file) You’re going to need it.
Martha: Doctor!
The Doctor: Yeah! Listen, listen, gotta dash. Things happening. Well… four things. Well, four things and a lizard.

And that's that, off they go. It looks like they're heading down towards a subway - er, sorry - a tube entrance, but I could be wrong about that. Still, that gave me the idea of who would have to be called in because of this lizard and its migration and the red hatching.

Professor Bernard Quatermass.

According to Wikipedia, Quatermass is an intelligent and highly moral British scientist, who continually finds himself confronting sinister alien forces that threaten to destroy humanity. In the initial three serials he is a pioneer of the British space programme, heading up the British Experimental Rocket Group.The character of Quatermass has been described by BBC News Online as Britain's first television hero,and by The Independent newspaper as "A brilliantly conceived and finely crafted creation... [He] remained a modern 'Mr Standfast', the one fixed point in an increasingly dreadful and ever-shifting universe."

Best of all, Bernard Quatermass exists in the 'Doctor Who' corner of Toobworld. In 1963 (of the Toobworld timeline, not when "Remembrance Of The Daleks" was broadcast), Dr. Rachel Jensen said to her colleague Allison, "I wish Bernard was here." Allison then replied, "British Rocket Group's got its own problems...."

And although the organization's logo was not clearly visible on screen and they were never mentioned during the holiday special, the British Rocket Group was involved during "The Christmas Invasion".

[L to R: Reginald Tate, John Robinson, Andre Morrell, John Mills]

There have been five actors to play Professor Bernard Quatermass; but since Reginald Tate was the first, he is the official Quatermass for Earth Prime-Time. I'd like to suggest that Jason Flemyng as Quatermass in the 2005 live production was the grandson of Tate's original character, but as his version of "The Quatermass Experiment" was a remake, I think that's the alternate TV dimension where it must reside. (Which is just as well, since then we'd have to splain why Dr. Gordon Briscoe was the exact mirror image of the 10th incarnation of the Time Lord.)

Still, I think we do need to go with a grandson of the original Quatermass, bearing his grandfather's first name, as the protagonist who would deal with this lizard threat to London. First off, it gets me around the declaration by Nigel Kneale that he didn't "feel inclined to invent a 'Son of Quatermass' either". But there's also the fact that it's been over fifty years since Professor Quatermass was introduced to Toobworld. Like Reginald Tate, the actor who played him, I think the original Quatermass is long since dead......


In "The Unicorn And The Wasp" (Ahhh! There it is again!), the Doctor submitted to being interrogated by Agatha Christie, during which he flashed back to when he was in Belgium. Mrs. Christie couldn't understand how he happened to be there in the year 800 AD, when Charlemagne was kidnapped by an insane computer.

In Toobworld proper, that's all we know about the incident. But on the BBC website, there's a short story by Rupert Laight which chronicles this unseen adventure for the Doctor and Donna. However, in the past we've had to keep literary versions of 'Doctor Who' sequestered in their own creative universe because of so many discrepancies. On the same site, you can find a story about a 12 year old girl named Sally Sparrow that bears no resemblance to the story we saw in "Blink". And the novel "Human Nature" was about the Seventh Doctor, not the Tenth, among its other discrepancies.
But we can take "The Lonely Computer" to be the template for how that adventure would have played out had it been fully developed for Television.

In the story, Momus the Wise has kidnapped many historical greats, including the Doctor, for a dinner party.

"You approve of my guests then, Doctor?" said Momus, cutting her off.

"I approve of them, but they shouldn't be here. You're messing with the flow of Time. Do you know what this could do to Earth's history?"
The Doctor was able to convince Momus to release its "party guests" back to their own time and to find its own destiny in the universe.

But without the Doctor's interference? People like Charlemagne, Beethoven, Cleopatra, Churchill, Michaelangelo, Noel Coward, and Cher would have been removed from their timelines and who knows what would have happened to the Earth? (Yes, even with Cher's absence, the world would have changed.)

This would be the kind of temporal disruption which cried out for the 'Voyagers!' Phineas Bogg and Jeffrey Jones would have come to the rescue, but it would be Jeffrey's perspective of youth which hopefully would convince Momus the computer to let them all go. Otherwise, it might have turned into a bloodbath.

However, since there seemed to be no ill-effects seen in Donna's revised lifetime, everything probably worked out for the best.

And that would be a few possible ways those bits and pieces of 'Doctor Who' adventures could have played out without the presence of the Doctor.

And that just about wraps it up for "Turn Left".....

Toby O'B

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