Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Day of the Doctor - A Triumph

Today marks 50 years since Doctor Who first aired on BBC. To celebrate, BBC America has been taken over by the Doctor for the week (Monday through Sunday), but the magic day was today. At 12:50 pm, here in Colorado, The Day of the Doctor aired simultaneously around the world. (if you care, here is your only spoiler warning)

Very fitting for the occasion, the opening Titles were the original 1963 titles and that set the tone for the entire event. John Hurt, as the War Doctor, is faced with how to end the Time War. He steals an ancient artifact called the Moment. It has consciousness and it manifests in the form of Rose Tyler. If the War Doctor wants to use the Moment, there is a price. The War Doctor does not want to survive so the price is to survive and see what using the Moment will shape his future.

The rest of the story is the Eleventh Doctor in the 21st century, the Tenth Doctor in the 16th century, in a plot by the Zygons (whose planet was destroyed in the time war - Terror of the Zygons never mentioned what war). In the Tenth and Eleventh foiling the Zygon plot, John Hurt sees that his actions will mold his future selves into a crusader to save lives. He goes to use the moment and as he prepares to do it, he is joined by 10 and 11 who do not want him to do it alone.

Then inspiration strikes - a way to save Gallifrey. The Doctor calls all of his selves to use their Tardis's to save Gallifrey. Not just three, but all thirteen (and we get a glimpse of the face of the Twelfth). Gallifrey vanishes and the Dalek fleet is destroyed in the process. Gallifrey is saved, but only the Eleveth Doctor will remember due to the crossed time streams. For the 400 years he lives after the fall of Gallifrey he will continue to think it burned. But now he can try to find it.

And then we are given a sweet epilogue. The Eleventh Doctor is sitting in the gallery looking at the painting of the fall of Gallifrey when the curator comes in. That voice was instantly familiar and the conversation neither confirmed or denied who the actor was playing (was it the Doctor or just a batty old curator). But having Tom Baker, the oldest living Doctor, take part was priceless. And then we were given a shot of all twelve (up to now) incarnations, Second through Eleventh in a V with the First at the center behind them.

Not only was the story complexly woven, it was up to Steven Moffat's normal standard - absolutely excellent. The man did not disappoint. He reshaped the series, removed some of the darkness and opened a new chapter for the Doctor. None of the actors who have been so perfect as the Doctor could have pulled off the role that John Hurt had. It required a different persona and the story weaves perfectly into what we know.

It does, however, remove a regeneration. He has one left that he will use up at Christmas to become Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor. And that leads us back to the last two episodes of The Trial of a Timelord and the Valyard - said to be extracted during the Doctor's final regeneration. Are we about to see a piece of history return? The Valyard was mention in The Name of the Doctor, so it is possible, but we shall see in just over a month.

This whovian  has nothing but thanks toward Steven Moffat for crafting one of the most epic and outstanding Doctor Who episodes of the last 50 years. Bravo.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Tumultuous Time War

With the release of the short prequel to the 50th Anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor, we find ourselves in the middle of the Last Great Time War and a few rumors are now fact. Or are they?

The thing we need to be careful of is anticipating just what Steven Moffat has up his sleeve. In the previous episode, The Name of the Doctor, Clara roots around in his timestream and she only glimpses John Hurt's incarnation as the Doctor comes to rescue her. She knows the other 11 faces of the Doctor, even so far as to have suggested which Tardis the Doctor should take in the first place, but she doesn't know Hurt's Doctor.

We are dealing with a Time War. That is not just a normal war, it involves time travel, time is changed and rewritten and what was once true may no longer be. We now know that the Eighth Doctor was caught up in the Time War, but refused to participate, instead he was up to his usually thing of rescuing others and getting into trouble himself. In the prequel (and if you haven't seen it yet, you really should before you read another word) we see the birth of Hurt's Doctor, now dubbed the War Doctor.

The question now is what happens from there. I feel confident that what we are going to see in The Day of the Doctor is the War Doctor's solution to the Time War. Everything will Burn, as the 9th Doctor has said. But what will the War Doctor's actions do to time itself. The Time War is locked. The Eighth Doctor went in, the Ninth Doctor came out, but what lies in between. Do we now have 13 (with the regeneration due in this year's Christmas Special) successive incarnations of the same Timelord, or is Hurt's War Doctor a side branch, lost in the Time War. Will it count toward his 13 total incarnations. And with the regeneration aided by the Sisterhood of Karn (not to mention River Song's regeneration energy), is the Doctor limited to 12 regenerations (giving us 13 incarnations). I feel sure we will get those answers in The Day of the Doctor, but I have no clue what those answers might be.

One thing to consider is how long this television series can last. It can't go on forever, as much as we all want it to. We have seen the Doctor's grave on Trenzalor. How many more incarnations lie between now and then. After the Day of the Doctor we might have a better clue. What better way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary than to answer this question, at least in part. That is assuming that the Doctor is a normal Timelord. He's always seemed to be, though hints were dropped here and there that he isn't.

I can't wait to see what Moffat has come up with for us.

The First Piece of the Puzzle

As Steven Moffat requested when he posted it, I will not tell you anything about this, but here is a prequel, of sorts, to The Day of the Doctor, the 50th Anniversary episode. Oh there are answers and spoilers here. Lots of revisits.  It is a must watch. Very well made. I'll probably babble more on it later.

Click to watch The Night Of The Doctor!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Release Sale - Dust Between Stars

At last, Dust Between Stars (Zaran Journals Book 4) is out. It is Live on Smashwords and Amazon at the introductory price of 99¢. It will be at that price for at least a the first week.

eBook Cover 

Those who haven't read the previous books in this series might be wondering if they want to plod through three other books before this one don't need to worry. This book stands on its own and is a great place to meet Ven Zaran. There is an ongoing story that carries through all the books, but each book in the Zaran Journals chronicles an episode in the life of Ven Zaran, space trader, smuggler, and troubled soul.

When galactic trader Ven Zaran is accused of piracy, he’s on his own to clear his name.

Independent galactic trader Ven Zaran is wanted for piracy. Trouble is he was no where near the system where the attack occurred, yet the evidence against him implicates him specifically. The authorities seem to be convinced of his guilt and have set one of their best inspectors on the case. Ven chooses to go on the run to find the evidence that will clear his name. He has to use every trick he knows to stay ahead of the inspector. Only adding to his troubles is a ghost from his past who manages to find him faster than the inspector can and knows too much to leave behind. Ven must juggle his new traveling companion and his own investigation while covering his tracks to keep the inspector at bay. Unless he can uncover the real pirate, his career as he knows it is over.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Grindstone

The trouble with being a writer is that on occasion you need to write. While I do most of my writing the rest of the year, I have had good luck participating (unofficially) in NNWM. This year I am back at it to pen my fifth installment of the Zaran Journals series. If the end result is as good as the idea in my head, this should be a good, action packed, book. I'll likely be only about halfway through by the end of the month, so this may be the last major post from me before Christmas. There is, of course, a special SF anniversary coming up in just over 3 weeks that might elicit a blog post or two, but I have nothing planned right now.

Watch for my new book at your favorite ebook retailer in the coming weeks. Dust Between Stars has plenty of action and mystery and early readers have really enjoyed it.