This entry was inspired by a chat with my GURPS GM, on logic and Doctor Who, and I decided to mix that with fantasy fiction involving a dreamscape. ~Troythulu
Where the hell am I? One moment I was slicing open the last of a group of wamps that were eyeing Marie as an option on their dinner menu, the next I’m standing in a field of red grass with two suns overhead.
I’ll not belabor the point of just how profoundly wrong this is, so I start looking around, only to find myself alone, no sign of Marie or wamps.
The first thing I do is make plans to find out who did this and make them pay. My ‘spidey sense’ goes off. Someone is behind me, so I do the sensible thing and look.
Some old guy all by himself, wearing robes and carrying a book. My first thoughts immediately involve wizards, and my doing unpleasant things to them for bringing me here alone and endangering my charge. My blades are oddly sheathed. That’s weird, but my hands instantly go to their hilts anyway, drawing them again in one fluid motion.
“You won’t be needing those, young man. Unless you do something very clever with my corpse, I may just come back, no haunting needed, no head absolutely necessary. I’m not responsible for your being here.”
I ask where “here” is.
“Gallifrey. You’re very, very far from home.”
Then things get weird, as if not already. Something big and scaley, with wings, silently flies overhead, momentarily blotting out both suns. It looks like a Japanese Tatsu except for the wings, eight of them, or maybe nine. Hard to tell when they melt into and out of each other.
Gallifrey. Never heard of it. What dimension is it in?
“It’s a planet, located in the constellation of Kasterborous. It’s the homeworld of my people, and you may know me as the Philosopher.”
It just struck me…I’m not saying anything out loud, not by moving my lips, but I hear my own voice as if I were, and apparently so does he. The weirdness just got cranked up a few notches, but I roll with it. I’m intrigued, so I decide to kill him only after he presents a threat.
Well, Philosopher, I’m pressed for time and really need to get back home.
The silent speech again. The old man smiles, and I suddenly notice how much he looks like old statues of Aristotle, bearded and balding. Wait. How do I know about that? I file this away in my mental curiosity cabinet for later.
“Time? Oh, we’ve that in abundance here. My people walk in Eternity, so perhaps I might be of some help.”
Game change. I file this fellow into a slot of my mind’s ‘not to kill’ folder.
“So, walk with me for a bit. You seem to be rather bright for a human, and as you chose not to simply kill me despite several opportunities, capable of some rationality. What do you know of logic?”
I mention the history of logic on Earth, from the pre-Socratics onward, to symbolic logic, to that used in computers. Wait. How do I know this, anyway?
It suddenly occurs to me, that this situation is strikingly like a dream. Marie’s told me about hers, and the way events follow each other here is similar. Odd, very odd. I never dream, at least not prior to now, so what gives? This could be some kind of illusion, but then it hits me… This dream, if it is one, seems to make too much sense even for not making sense.
Mindbleed. Except that none of this involves Angelique’s personality or interests. Someone else then? But who? Or what? The pieces fall into place as I chat with this…whoever and whatever he is. I recognize this scenario as fiction, based on a television series that ended in 1989, but I play along. We walk through fields of red, toward what looks like a domed city, but then, things start melting away, the Philosopher beginning to fade, and as he does, his voice echoes in my mind as the real world reasserts itself with a vengeance…
“It’s easy to think of logic as proceeding simply from premises to conclusion through a linear chain of reasoning, but the truth is that logic, any useful, versatile logic, is actually a sort of wibbly-wobbly, philosophy-wossophy…stuff…of thought. Remember that as you search for your….”
Blast. Missed his very last parting words, but at least I’m back where I was, the ground strewn with dead and disintegrating wamps, Marie happily disassembling and cleaning her pistol.
“Sergei,” she asks, “what’s wrong? You’ve been standing there for five minutes now, and Angel wants us to join her and mister Ashur at a restaurant for dinner. We should go…There’ll be Indian food!”
That brings things into perspective. But that…quasi-dream?..lingers in my thoughts despite my attempts to dismiss it. So I settle instead for a distraction, giving one of my least grim smiles as I help with the “cleanup” and ready for our night out.
I must find out what happened and why, with that dreamscape, and who or what is responsible.
Angel won’t appreciate someone else being linked to her shinobi familiar, but for now, an evening on the town is in order.
I could use a break from destroying nasties, and this one is much needed.
I feel like posting a bit of idiotically self-indulgent doggerel that’s been floating about in my mind for the last several hours, screaming to be horrifically inflicted on an unsuspecting and undeserving world.
Here goes, with all due apologies to the BBC:
I am Lord of Skaro, master of entropy.
I met the man named Doctor,
Scion of Gallifrey.
He foiled my ambitions,
Every K-9 has it’s day.
Oh, how I loathe the Time Lords,
Only one of whom is left,
He set me back for aeons,
And of all plans bereft.
- Eight Classic Doctor Who Serials Every Fan Should See (telewatcher.com)
- TV REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (geeksyndicate.wordpress.com)
- CSI: Gallifrey (impossibleastronaut.wordpress.com)
- Doctor Who Episode 6.8: Let’s Kill Hitler (looksat40.wordpress.com)
As a long-time fan of the Doc, having begun watching during the 1970s with Tom Baker‘s brilliantly reimagined 4th Doctor, it seems that from the beginning, Gallifrey‘s prodigal son has had a liking for humans.
Arguably the least significant species in the universe and with no cool powers of our own, possessing technology often poorly matched with that of other species, like the Doctor’s friendly little pals the Daleks, and his own species, the Time Lords, humans often get put on the galactic endangered species list with frightening regularity.
Nonetheless, the Doctor, even at his most grim, like his 5th and 9th incarnations, has a soft spot for us ‘stupid apes,’ and has often expressed a belief that humans are potentially the greatest force for both good and evil in the entire universe, that we as a species are capable of fantastic achievements.
Now, having access to virtually all of time and space, the Doc seems to have a point, since he’s been to worlds where humans are almost extinct and also journeyed to periods of thriving galactic human empires.
He’s seen firsthand what humans are capable of, from our very worst to our most brilliant best…
I enjoy the series tremendously, and while it’s sometimes campy and often ridiculous, well, it’s meant to be. Never mind the frequent use of rubber-suited actors as aliens, or the current use of humanoid CGI aliens, after all, DW has a tradition to uphold…
…a tradition going all the way back to the original series in the 1960s with William Hartnell as the title character.
My personal fav is Chris Eccleston’s 9th Doctor, one of the more dark and brooding versions I’ve seen, the revenge-consumed tragic warrior, and Eccleston was a good choice for the role when the BBC decided to revive the series since its cancellation in 1989.
Doctor Who has always, considering it’s use of contemporary culture as an element in the series, drawn upon much of what it is to be human.
Even when the nonhuman status of the lead character is sometimes thrown into sharp relief, like with Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor, and shows more of the alien in his nature, this serves if anything to celebrate the humanity, and show us, as viewers, just what we may achieve, at least in fiction.
It shows a hint of the greatness we can accomplish in the here and now, or even the near future. That is, the great things in store for us if we don’t kill ourselves off first.
- The 9th/10th Doctor’s Tardis to Appear in New Doctor Who? (geeksyndicate.wordpress.com)
- Doctor Who touches down in North America for a new season (canada.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: ‘Doctor Who: A Fairytale Life’ Preview – Matt Sturges Brings The Doctor To Fable Town (splashpage.mtv.com)
- TARDIS Alert! Dr. Who’s new season is almost here. (bahbs.wordpress.com)
- Doctor Who: Academic claims Daleks are scary because they “are the nightmare future we dread” (mirror.co.uk)
- 11 Doctors In Six Minutes Of The Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)