DIY Sheep versus Doctor Who and everybody else














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I think it is because I am a girl (I am a girl you know. And no I am not some weird anorakian bloke pretending to be a girl, I am a real honest to god female Doctor Who fan - and not just because I find Paul McGann cute. I have been a Doctor Who fan since I was knee high to a Silurian)...

But anyway - because of my girlieness running up and down corridors bores me senseless, evil since the dawn of time type stuff gets filed away under "oh - again... that's nice dear", and incredibly clever scientific theories go over my pretty little girlie head, but give me decent characterization in a book and I'm there like a limpet mine to the side of that big shippie thing that got sunk by a limpet mine.

Which is probably why I enjoyed The Algebra of Ice so much. Yes there is a plot - I just can't tell you what it is - spoilers you know. However can we just take it as a given that it probably involves some very nasty aliens intent on doing very nasty things to planet Earth and the universe in general (well it usually does doesn't it).

And considering we have had some total doozies over the course of the PDAs and the EDAs, this plot isn't half bad in the sense that it doesn't make you sit up and go "oh now really that is total toss" and jolt you out of the book.

In fact the plot, while not exactly original or stunning, is integral to the book otherwise the characters in the book would just be sitting at home drinking tea. Instead they are all out there doing their best to either set the universe on a path to certain doom, save the universe from being set on a path to certain doom, or shag.

Which brings me to the Doctor and Ace or should that be Ace and the Doctor?

No, not the shagging thing (and no they don't get it on - so just get your mind out of the gutter), more the "why we like them"/"why I think they are cool" thing.

It must be nice, even for a grumpy old manipulative Time Lord, to have someone who really cares for you. Some one who watches your back and would break a nose for you. I have read quite a few PDAs, but only a few NAs and for me books like Loving the Alien and Heritage are the closet we get to the intricacies of the NA character relationships of The Left Handed Hummingbird.

Which brings me to Ace:

I have decided that in all Doctor Who history Ace was the first equal companion. And by equal I don't mean she can do sums and bypass the polarity of the neutron flow, but that she was the first "companion" ever to exist in more than a "Oh Doctor look... oops I just sprained my ankle" sort of way. Now you may think I am doing a disservice to other quite well rounded characters such as Tegan and co, who were personalities in their own right. But even though these companions were characters they weren't integral; picked up, taught and dropped without a second thought - even Tegan was dumped at an airport with nary a goodbye (in fact some have suggested the Doctor was, in fact, running away).

But could he do that to Ace?

Ace became (and probably always was) as important to the Doctor as he was to her. And not until Fitz have we ever seen such a symbiotic relationship. Yes the Doctor is all powerful, mysterious, manipulative, crush the lesser races, rice pudding, etc... but even Time Lords get the blues and hence we have Dorothy "Ace" McShane... or as I like to think of her - Susan with a bit of backbone and slightly stronger ankles.

And he cares for her, he really does. It pops up every so often - a line here, a nose bop there. How he feels about her is never really stated, but I get the feeling that it all boils down to just a vague idea that if something really happened to her by god there would be hell to pay: and I mean hell to pay in a really nasty disturbing, bugger the web of time, sort of way... bad men would die horribly, lands would be laid to waste, crops would shrivel, rivers would turn to blood and I personally would not want to be anywhere nearby.

ACE! Killer fighter, Doctor looker afterer or combat suited killing machine...

So I don't know if I am infusing the Algebra Ace with a bit of the NA Ace or that Rose intended this, but this book also has an interesting take on how Ace feels about the Doc. Excuse the Survival reference, but she seems to be very very protective of him - like a mother lion is protective of her cubs, especially the errant one who always goes wandering off and invariably falls down a hole. It is the little stuff: like the fact that she knows if he doesn't eat he gets cranky, that she will be the one to go around with a bowl of soup searching for him, that she will just as soon throw it in his face if he is in one of his moods, that gives us a glimpse into the father/daughter relationship between them.

And so we get to the shagging...

Well the Doctor just isn't her type is he? Ace is a young woman and well... blokes... you know...

But this also allows for an interesting insight into the Professor/Ace relationship. Is he her surrogate dad? Is he responsible? Is he proud of her? Is he watchful? Is he sad to see her grow up? Would he rip the balls off any bloke who hurt her and serve them up for tea?

I'll leave you to answer those questions. All I know is that I would be very careful if I was courting Ace.

But I am starting to worry about the Doctor...

I think he has been listening to Death Comes to Time a bit too often. He is convinced that he is responsible for the whole universe and quite frankly sometimes, just sometimes, it gets on my goat. It is all very well to be a god of the fourth, but sheesh! I assume, as we are all still here, that the universe somehow managed to survive before the Doctor took that bump on the head and became all protective of it. Come to think of it: maybe it was that bump on the head in Time and the Rani that set him off. But come on Doc - it's a big universe - surely it doesn't need yet another god?

And what worries me about all this "taking the whole Time's Champion thing just a bit too far" is that it is not making him very popular. In this book he seems just a tad too ready to sacrifice other people for the sake of the universe. And far from being grateful that their death will mean the continuation of the universe, people in this book call him a little monster and beat him senseless. So if you thought the Eighth Doctor kicking that nasty bloke in Timeless was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet.

A very intriguing book: Go girl power...