Sunday, November 17, 2013

"...Not the One You Were Expecting."

No one expects the Eight Doctor.  His chief weapons are...
As a self-styled writer, I care about words; about what they mean and how they are used.  One thing that has always bothered me is the misuse of the word "prequel" when the writer clearly meant to say "prologue" or "prelude."  This particular folly shows up quite a bit in comic book solicitations, with Valiant Comics back in the 1990's being a particularly egregious perpetrator.
I've got a whole rant on the subject that I could regale you with.  However, my "Grammar Cop" badge is a little rusty and my soapbox has a whole in the bottom.  Besides, this really is neither the time nor place for such a screed. 
My real purpose for composing this post is to present and briefly discuss "The Night of the Doctor," the seven minute mini-episode of Doctor Who that popped up on the Wild, Wild Web a couple of days back.
"The Night of the Doctor" is being touted as a "prequel" to Saturday's fiftieth anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor."  In this case, however, the usage is entirely correct.  Taking place, as it does, amidst the backdrop of the legendary Last Great Time War, and featuring actor Paul McGann in only his second on-screen appearance as the eight incarnation of the Doctor ( a development that has had hard core Whovians wetting their pants with fanboyish excitement for a couple of days now), the short is in a very real sense a prequel; not to the fiftieth anniversary episode so much, but to the entirety of the current incarnation of the Doctor Who franchise. 
It can also be seen as a sequel to the Tom Baker era serial "The Brain of Morbius," as it features a return appearance of the Sisterhood of Karn, about whom I know nothing other than that they first appeared in that earlier story and what is presented here, which really isn't much.  Such foreknowledge, however, really isn't really important to grasping the events of this mini-episode.
"The Night of the Doctor" is also, not incidentally, really good.  I would go so far as to say that this, along with the earlier mini-episode "Time Crash," featuring the meeting of the Tenth and Fifth doctors and the main reason that Peter Davison's version of the character makes my list of Top 5 favorite Doctors, are the finest things that Stephen Moffatt has written for Doctor Who.  Maybe he should stick to writing stories no more than eight minutes in length.
Anyway, we have now come to the bottom of this post, wherein I have embedded the video of "The Night of the Doctor" for your viewing pleasure.

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