Saturday, February 20, 2010


Since I wrote my theory of relateeveety about "Baynes & Baines" the other day, I've been thinking about how safe it could have been for the Doctor to leave Jeremy Baines' body, now inhabited by Son Of Mine of "The Family Of Blood", disguised as a scarecrow in that field. I felt certain that sooner or later, perhaps by the 1950s with post-war expansion, the owner of that field would certainly sell it off to be developed. And then the body, frozen in Time, would be discovered. (All of this happened in the 'Doctor Who' two-parter "Family Of Blood" & "Human Nature".)

But then it occurred to me: what if the Doctor owned that field?

The Doctor is known for not carrying money around with him; he's more likely to have bananas in his pockets rather than a few bob. And even with a vast wardrobe stored away in the TARDIS, it's likely that most of his clothing was donated, as was his long coat (supplied by Janis Joplin). In fact, I once postulated that all of the items of clothing with the question mark insignia were lifted from the Riddler's collection, probably at a time when the 'Batman' villain didn't have need of it - like in Gotham Penitentiary.

What? You don't think the Doctor had sticky fingers? The Master knew he did!

"Well, Doctor.... Still pursuing burglary, I take it."
The Master
'Doctor Who' : "Colony In Space"

And we did see the Ninth Incarnation of the Doctor use the sonic screwdriver to get Adam unlimited credit on the space station....

I'm thinking a time came when the Doctor realized he should own a piece of land on the planet he protected and loved so much. And he probably had in mind something on that sceptr'd isle where he always found himself returning. Perhaps he envisioned a time when he might need to build a base of operations there, his own version of a Fortress of Solitude. It could be he might have need of a place where he could bury the head of an enemy in a bowling bag. (Oh, sorry. That's Tony Soprano. I get them confused sometimes.....)

So if the Doctor was going to be a Terran property owner, there had to be some way to procure it without having to pay for it. And that meant somebody would have to donate the land to be his, free and clear, into perpetuity - after all, there was no telling when in his nearly immortal life he might have need of a huge tract of land.

I think he found his mark in the Court of Henry VIII......

I don't think the Tenth Incarnation of the Doctor made the arrangements to procure that acreage, however. I think it was one of his earlier selves, the Second Doctor, who came up with the plan. I think he got Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk (the area where the Farringham School for Boys was located), to cede the land holding to him and his descendents - and without the Duke ever being the wiser about the transfer of title.

That's because the Second Doctor impersonated the Duke of Norfolk while Thomas Howard was away from the Court, and only just long enough to sort out the paperwork......

[Sneaking into the castle?]

(It wouldn't have been the first time the Second Doctor impersonated a human, although in a linear chronology of Earth, it would be. In 2030, the Doctor impersonated Ramon Salamander in Australia, in order to foil Salamander's plans to become a dictator. This was chronicled in the 'Doctor Who' story "Enemy Of The World".)

Taking advantage of his resemblance to Thomas Howard (as seen in 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII'), the Doctor found a piece of land to his liking among the Duke's holdings. According to Wikipedia, the main residences commonly associated with the Dukes of Norfolk are: Framlingham Castle, Bungay Castle, as well as Clun Castle in Shropshire, which are now largely ruins; Carlton Towers, Norfolk House in London, and most notably Arundel Castle. But the doctor would have had his eye on something - nothing too large and noticeable once it went missing from the Duke's holdings - in Norfolk. A place that was remote, isolated, and probably even of little value to anyone else.

[Checking out the property?]

Finding the land that might best suit his needs, the Doctor - as the Duke of Norfolk - then drew up the papers to transfer its title to himself as the Doctor. He also stipulated that the property would belong to the Doctor's descendants throughout all of Time, even if they didn't always live there. This way, any of the Doctor's future incarnations could freely return to the place. Then with his signature affixed to the document witnessed by many who saw him as the true Duke of Norfolk, the Doctor would have sealed it in wax with the Duke's own signet ring before tucking it away in the archives.
He might even have done this in collusion with one of his later incarnations, perhaps the Eighth Doctor, posing as the recipient of the deed. (I chose the Eighth Doctor so that it might augment his time in the TARDIS.)

Having achieved his purpose, the Doctor would have abandoned the guise and the true Duke of Norfolk would have returned, none the wiser.
Of course, it wouldn't be a properly dramatic story if there wasn't some conflict to gum up the works. Could it be that the Doctor was trapped in his role as the Duke during some significant period in the Duke's life? Could it be he was forced to act out the role as dictated by History, even if it was morally repugnant to him?

Could this have been the Doctor, rather than the actual Duke?

It's not comforting to think that the Doctor could have been so cruel, but we've seen how cruel he could be in his Tenth Incarnation, when he often gave himself over to the Dark Side.

And he may not have had any choice. His First Incarnation stipulated in no uncertain terms that "You can't rewrite History. Not one line!" And as his Tenth Incarnation pointed out, there are certain moments in History that are "fixed in Time", that must be allowed to play out with no interference. It very well could be that at this point in Time we really were seeing the Doctor as the Duke, rather than the Duke himself, forced to see the doom of his "niece" Catherine Howard through to the end.

[Is this the Duke? Or the Doctor?]

At any rate, whether or not he was actually involved in the major historical events in the life of the Duke of Norfolk, the Doctor could have still achieved the purpose of gaining the land grant. And therefore he had the wherewithal to dispose of the possessed body of Jeremy Baines.

Just an idea, pure speculation. But if anybody wants to take it and run with it, feel free.


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