The Doctor fled from a position of responsibility, stole a spaceship (or, in this case, storytelling medium), and ran off to have adventures. Except that instead of being a Time Lord from Gallifrey, he is the designated Master of the Land of Fiction - the writer and creator of all stories. And he’s gone on the run to live the stories instead of simply writing them.
Notably, this never quite gets contradicted, even when, later in this season, this shadow theme of The Mind Robber gets done as the main plot of two episodes. Because the Land of Fiction is outside of the universe, and because the Doctor fled it into the universe, he presumably became “real” instead of just fictional. And thus he became something else that served much of the same narrative function - instead of a wanderer in the dimension of narrative, he is a wanderer in the dimension of time. The Time Lords, with their “look but don’t touch” ethos and distance from the world, are a fair enough metaphor for the Land of Fiction itself. So the fact that, outside of the Land of Fiction, he is something else is hardly an issue.
In fact, it’s to be expected. After all, we navigate time, internally, through memory and stories, through our minds, which are, of course, far bigger on the inside than the mere lump of grey matter they appear to be externally. What is a Lord of Time if not the master of all things that have happened, and thus of all metaphors and stories? Except, of course, the Doctor storms out. Why? Because the Time Lords are far too narrow-minded. They are masters only of the stories that have happened. They cannot interfere and create new stories. And the Doctor is a Lord of all stories, real or imagined.
But more important than the fact that this theory can survive almost any canon challenge thrown at it is the fact that it makes sense beyond mere continuity. What defines Doctor Who is the fact that its story never has to end. That any story worth telling can be told as a Doctor Who story, and that there is no upper bound to the number of Doctor Who stories that can be told. Of course the Doctor is the destined and designated Master of the Land of Fiction. Who else possibly could be? What other person in the universe, real or imaginary, could possibly have the job of telling every story that ever was?
And that’s the genius of The Mind Robber. It comes at one of the series’ darkest moments - when its formula seems tired, its very ethics seem to be flagging, and when the entire cultural and ideological foundation for it appears to be crumbling the world over. And right in that moment, we get explicit confirmation of something that previously we had only hoped for and suspected. That Doctor Who is an idea that cannot be brought to an end. That there is always another story. Not just because of the flexibility of the premise or because the series has gone on long enough that it’s a cultural institution that is always going to be revisited as long as we have well enough recorded history to remember that it ever existed. No. Because the Doctor is every single story there ever was and ever could be, escaped out into the universe, and running loose bringing them into being.
This is, quite frankly, as powerful an idea as has ever been thought of in fiction. An idea that is far larger than fits in any one person’s imagination, even if that imagination is bigger on the inside. Something that, quite apart from anyone’s efforts to define it and create it, has taken on a life of its own. A symbol that has real power. A thought that has begun thinking for itself. A dream that no longer needs anyone but itself to dream it.
What if, in 1963, these things did occur? What if we held them to be true?
There are, after all, truths beyond mere canon”
- —- Philip Sandifer on Doctor Who: “The Mind Robber”
More “Ice Warriors” fashion…
I do so love the costumes from the Doctor Who episode “The Ice Warriors”. Like a 60s mod clothing factory exploded all over people.
Life with cats
Love & Rockets sale!? Let’s hit the archive:
Claire and Jake had spoken with living legend, Gilbert Hernandez about Love & Rockets finally going digital as well as New Stories going same day as print. They also spoke about inspirations, Idealism vs vulnerability, Julio’s Day, and what GIlbert is reading right now. It was pretty great.
By the spring of 1862, a year into the American Civil War, Major General Ulysses S. Grant had pushed deep into Confederate territory along the Tennessee River. In early April, he was camped at Pittsburg Landing, near Shiloh, Tennessee, waiting for Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s army to meet up with him. On the morning of April 6, Confederate troops based out of nearby Corinth, Mississippi, launched a surprise offensive against Grant’s troops, hoping to defeat them before the second army arrived.
A new post on Wet Asphalt about the mythology that has sprung up organically among homeless children in Miami.
If you think a woman in a tan vinyl bra and underwear, grabbing her crotch and grinding up on a dance partner is raunchy, trashy, and offensive but you don’t think her dance partner is raunchy, trashy, or offensive as he sings a song about “blurred” lines of consent and…
Also, bizarrely, no one seems to be mentioning that the reason Miley was wearing a flesh-colored bra and panty set and carrying a foam finger is because that is *what appeared* in the music video for Blurred Lines. Also Robin Thicke ate cotton candy off of a dancer’s ass, but that was just fine?
"Don’t," Deane said. "You’re right. About what this all is. What I am. But there are certain internal logics to be honored. If you use that, you’ll see a lot of brains and blood, and it would take me several hours—your subjective time—to effect another spokesperson. This set isn’t easy for me to maintain. Oh, and I’m sorry about Linda, in the arcade. I was hoping to speak through her, but I’m generating all this out of your memories, and the emotional charge… well, it’s very tricky. I slipped. Sorry."
Case lowered the gun. “This is the matrix. You’re Wintermute.”
"Yes. This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your desk, of course. I’m glad I was able to cut you off before you’d managed to jack out." Deane walked around the desk, straightened his chair, and sat down. "Sit, old son. We have a lot to talk about."
—William Gibson, Neuromancer
The Wachowskis bit this shit so hard it hurts.
Now he slept in the cheapest coffins, the ones nearest the port, beneath the quartz-halogen floods that lit the docks all night like vast stages; where you couldn’t see the lights of Tokyo for the glare of the television sky, not even the towering hologram logo of the Fuji Electric Company, and Tokyo Bay was a black expanse where gulls wheeled above drifting shoals of white styrofoam. Behind the port lay the city, factory domes dominated by the vast cubes of corporate arcologies. Port and city were divided by a narrow borderland of older streets, an area with no official name. Night City, with Ninsei its heart. By day, the bars down Ninsei were shuttered and featureless, the neon dead, the holograms inert, waiting, under the poisoned silver sky.
—William Gibson, Neuromancer
New on Wet Asphalt: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the American love affair with true crime: http://www.wetasphalt.com/content/texas-chainsaw-legacy-american-love-affair-true-crime
Jeremy Nguyen talks about the process of making the picture of me for @comiXology’s staff picks
“Remember You” demo and chords!
C , F, Fm, (x4)
E7 (too ~~~ this magic keeps me)
D (alive! But it’s making me), Em (crazy!), G7 (and I need to),
C (save you, but who’s going to), F (save me, please for-),
Fm (-give me for whatever I), C (do, when I don’t)
E7 (remember you…)
—— (all of this repeats x2)
F (Please forgive me for whatever I), Fm (do), Cmaj7 (When I don’t remember you.)
—— (and then for the la~s, it’s)
C, F, Fm (x3)
It was so amazing to work with Olivia Olson and Tom Kenny on the songs for this episode, they had so much chemistry in the booth together!
I really tried to do them justice with this duet!
- "Judges' Cave" (Forthcoming - Lakeside Circus
- "The Spine of Worlds" (Forthcoming - Kaleidotrope)
- "The Kill Robot Hitler Show" (Forthcoming - Stupefying Stories)
- "Trials of the Dead King" (LORE)
- "Logos Ex Machina" (365 Tomorrows)
- Loghorrhea Edited by John Klima (New Haven Review)
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Literary Kicks)
- Why Robin Sloan is the Future of Publishing (and Science Fiction) (io9)
- Weird Comics (comiXology Blog)