Pronounced "ska-lya." A little curated space for my interests. Currently 90% reblogs and 10% pointless text posts; fannish content includes Spider-Man (616), Doctor Who (new, bit of Big Finish/EDAs/classic), and various other things.
I try to tag for common triggers, but don't hesitate to ask if you need something added.
"My name is K9. I am a criminal genius from the 5th galaxy."
Gallifrey: Weapon of Choice. K9 going undercover is still one of my favorite things about Big Finish. (via creepingmonsterism)
Do you mean to suggest it’s not one of everyone’s favorite things about Big Finish? Because I can’t even imagine.
Due to travel/health/time issues it’s been over a month since I listened to Weapon of Choice, so I thought I’d relisten to a few key bits and read the Doctor Who Reference Guide’s summary before going on to Square One.
This is probably the worst possible time to get into Gallifrey since I’m afraid to even go into the tags in case I get spoiled for VI and also everyone’s very excited about Light at the End, but whatevs.
I wrote this in the comments on Tardis Eruditorum. People seem to have liked it, so I’m reposting it here, with few modifications to tighten the wording and correct grammar errors
From “This Bank and Shoal of Time: A Brief Anti-History of the Time War” (partially excerpted from Doctor Who?: His Lives and Time) by Dr. Anastasia Calderón, originally published in volume 57 of the Transgalactic Journal of Anarchaeology:
There has always been a Time War. Or rather, there always would have been a Time War. Dealing with tenses can be a difficult task with regard to the Time Lords. But a catastrophic war which spans time and space and leads to the destruction of Gallifrey has always been part of its history from the very beginning. The Enemy was always changing—the Order of the Black Sun, the Daleks (at least twice), the Dire Wraiths, Varnax, the Divergents, the Hounds of Carcosa… But for every enemy the Time Lord managed to stop, or ensure never existed in the first place, a new one came into being, usually one created by the Time Lords themselves in the process of trying to stop the previous one. Because that’s how empires work. If you have a cause, you need to have an enemy to give it meaning. And the ‘Decline and Fall,’ as the Old Earth historian Gibbon put it, is part of the story of every empire since history was first written. The concept of empire contains its own undoing.
The Time Lords tried to get around this by constantly rewriting their history. They built their culture around the “Laws of Time,” but like all such sacred laws, quietly broke them when no one was looking. The so-called “Celestial Intervention Agency” began as a smokescreen for the Time Lords’ interference in their own past to avert its inevitable destruction… The “Moment” was not the first time Gallifrey was destroyed, nor, most likely, the first it was destroyed by the Doctor.
And the Doctor himself must have been, on some level, aware of this. He is said to have participated in a ritual known as “Eighth Man Bound,” in which he foresaw his future incarnations up until the eighth. This means that he must have known that his own people were, in some sense, destined to die, and by his own hand. This was in all likelihood not the beginning of the Doctor’s radicalism or alienation from his people; according to the Matrix shards we have currently recovered, the astronomical conjunction necessary for performing the ritual would have to have come after the time of the Otherstide student riots (though it is not clear that the shards all come from the same version of history). The concept of destiny, of course, is highly problematic with regard to a race that can and did rewrite time, and a member of that race who made a point of disrupting patterns of history. And this was not the Doctor’s only possible end; one account tells of his encounter with the corpse of his future self, who died during the great war to come. But all the possible patterns of history in which some good could remain in the universe converged upon one point: the Doctor’s destruction of Gallifrey.
The Doctor does not seem to have been consistently aware of this fact throughout his life. Through most of it, after he left Gallifrey, it seems to have retreated into his subconscious, sleeping in his mind. He may have regained an awareness of his “fate” in his seventh life, which motivated him to take on the role of “Time’s Champion.” He systematically destroyed or neutralized several threats that could potentially become the Enemy, including the Daleks themselves, and did his utmost to bring about reform in Gallifrey. (In one version of history, he guided Ace to become a Time Lord, in another, he masterminded Romana’s ascension to the presidency.) He moved heaven and earth to change the patterns of history, nearly losing his soul in the process.
And he failed. That failure must have haunted him greatly toward the end of his life. Perhaps this was the reason why he reconfigured the TARDIS as a Gothic ruin full of ticking clocks—counting down to the inevitable end—and spent the last moments of his life reading The Time Machine, a book about a man confronting the decay and death of his species, as the once-great chessmaster prepared for a pointless death at the hands of a gang of thugs.
And yet, at the same time, that failure seems to have given him a sense of freedom. At some point the Doctor realized his attempts to repair the engines of history, if carried too far, would ultimately damage both him and them. And so he chose instead to live life on the human level, embracing the moment and seeing people as people rather than as pawns, freeing him from the chains of godhood.
The Doctor’s eighth incarnation was a paradoxical and confusing one, about which it is difficult to determine anything definite. (Thiis life seems to echo the ancient Gallifreyan nursery rhyme: “Eighth Man Bound, make no sound/The shroud covers all.”) But we can see that this double-edged hope and despair was what shaped the Doctor’s eighth life. It is shown in his persona, inspired by the popular image of the Romantic poet. This persona reflected his sponteneity and passion, but also the Promethean revolutionary fire that burned in his heart. What’s more, the Victorian clothes he wore suggested an age of imperial idealism whose hopes would be dashed by a devastating war, and indeed, some accounts suggest he wore clothing taken from World War I in the latter part of his life.
This, then, was the Eighth Doctor, a man defined throughout his life (or lives) by paradox. A good and kind man who would be responsible for unspeakable crimes. A man who letting himself be bound by the chains of fate, freed the universe. The Champion of Life and the Bringer of Death. The victim and murderer of history. The Eighth Man Bound.
This is really awesome, yo.
(First installment can be found here.)
Q: How can you tell a Time Lord is a dead Time Lord?
A: The Doctor appears to care what he would’ve thought.
Q: What’s the difference between a Time Lord and a ravenous horde of omnicidal spider babies?
A: The Doctor says he’s so sorry when he wipes out the spider babies’ entire species.
Q: What’s red and gold and highly alcoholic and on fire?
A: The Prydonian Time War Victory Celebration.
Q: As I was coming from Kasterborous Five
I met a man with thirteen lives
And every life had thirteen friends
And every friend had thirteen foes
And every foe had thirteen goons
Goons, foes, friends, and lives,
How many would soon be on Kasterborous Five?
For the St. Ives one alone I would’ve had to reblog this.
They’re like dead baby jokes, only with added genocide!
Q: How many Time Lords does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Just… one. (lower lip wobbles)
Q: What’s red and orange and silver all over?
A1: Not Gallifrey. Not anymore.
A2: I think you meant burnt orange.
Q: What’s worse than a hundred thousand asteroids and a temporal abomination being flung from the Cruciform to the mighty planet of the Time Lords below?
A: The mighty planet of the Time Lords reduced to a hundred thousand asteroids and a temporal abomination.
Q: What’s the difference between the last of the Time Lords and the Holy Grail?
A: The Doctor never tried to keep the Holy Grail locked up in his TARDIS for all eternity. As far as anybody knows, anyway.
Q: How many players are there on a Gallifreyan cricket team?