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I am confused

Okay, I was never a fan of Doctor Who until the new series came out, and admittedly I've missed a lot of episodes. So perhaps someone could clear up something for me...

...The Doctor is supposed to be the only Timelord left, right? (Well, except for his evil nemesis.) And The Doctor destroyed Gallifrey to end the Dalek threat, I understand that. But... I mean... Timelords! How can he be the only one left? Wouldn't there still be a bunch of them running around elsewhere in space-time?

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
kengr
Sep. 27th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC)
Ah, but as I understand it, the others all were present on Gallifrey when it was destroyed.

So while their personal timelines may include visits to widely seperated bits of spacetime, their encounters with The Doctor are all in his past.

(ok, seriously, it's TV. It's a TV series that's been running since *I* was in grade school. The retcons are pretty thick on the ground here...)
fayanora
Sep. 27th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC)
Ah... I see. And if he traveled back into one of their timelines, he'd fuck up the timeline and those monster things would appear, like in that one episode.

I know it's TV. But I like there to be some consistent logic to TV shows and movies, and for it to be believeable to a reasonable degree. Like, magic and time travel and so on I can believe, if they fit their world's logic.

Here's an example: the Spider Man movies. They made his transformation believable. I could also believe the origins of the Green Goblin (both one and two). Doctor Octopus's origin, that too. But when they put out a nuclear fusion reaction with water... I just lost it. There is no way that could happen in any world that even remotely resembles our own. If there was a universe where a nuclear fusion reaction could be put out with water, there would either be no stars or there would be no planets and no life. Because nuclear fusion reactions CREATE the base elements of water. A nuclear fusion reaction like that would be FED by the hydrogen. It might even eat the oxygen, too.

</rant>
kengr
Sep. 27th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
Actually, a "controlled" fusion reaction *could* be put out by water. Or sand. Or any number of other things.

Fusion require a combo of high temp and high pressure. The higher the temp, the lower the pressure can be. Introducing *any* at "normal" temps will kill the reaction pretty dead.

Also, a fusion reactor *ain't* gonns go "boom" if you rupture containment. Figure out how much energy the reactor generates (in terms of watts, which are another word for "joules per second). 'Now, lets be nice and say that the rupture will release energy equivalent to 100 seconds of operation.

For 10 gigawatt reactor, that'd be 10 * 100 = 1000 gigajoules. 4.2e15 joules is one megaton.

Hmm. That goives us a quarter of a kiloton. Actually higher than I'd expected. But not the sort of "cosmic catastrpohe that many writers (David Weber for one) have occur due to reactor damage.

And if the energy release is only 10 seconds of power, that'd be only 1/40th of a kiloton. Still bad, but on a but with stuff like boiler explosions but scaled up a bit.

It also matters how *fast* the energy is released. A bomb will release it in a fraction of a second. Containment loss? Try several seconds.

Most SF writers (and lets not even go into the TV writers) never bother to do the math.

I once had the fun of pointing out to J. Michael Strazinski (on a usenet newsgroup) that the first season Babylon 5 opening voiceover was a *major* howler. It talked about the station being a million tons.

Thing is, given the stated size of the station, the *air* in it weighed more than that!!! (work it out for yourself, the station is roughly a cylinder, 5 miles long, and ?? wide. Air has a density of approximately one gram per cubic meter).

fayanora
Sep. 28th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
LOL! True.

Thanks, that was enlightening.
drjon
Sep. 27th, 2007 09:32 am (UTC)
Basically, the timeline of TimeLords (and Gallifrey, and anyone who takes up wantonly timetravelling) is perpendicular to standard or Universal SpaceTime. Call it Time².

SpaceTime changes over Time², and events can happen which are shared along both axis. Timetravellers travel along both axis at once when they are in standard SpaveTime, but when they're in the Time Vortex, they only age along Time².

It's possible for TimeLords (and other TimeTravellers) to slip backwards in Time², but it's terribly dangerous, and can rupture SpaceTime.

There are now no longer any TimeLords in SpaceTime... bar one. There used to be, but now there aren't.
fayanora
Sep. 27th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
I *think* I understood that. It was tough, though. Thanks! ;-)
drjon
Sep. 27th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
You're welcome.
touhou_fuuhai
Sep. 28th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
I'll add a few pennies...

Ok, first thing to know is that the new Doctor Who ignores a few things from the old Doctor Who which ignored a few things from the older Doctor Who, etc, etc...

Case in point: first ep with Eccleston features the Autons and the Nestine however the Nestine does not look like the Nestine from the old episodes from the John Pertwee era possibly because it is too close in appearance to the modern appearance of the Kaled mutant, what's inside a Dalek. Speaking of which the Daleks originally moved by electricity running through their city (1st Doctor, The Daleks episodes only as they seem to have gotten past it by Dalek Invasion of Earth), then they moved by telekinesis from the mutant itself, so they could still work even when they couldn't fire their weapons (3rd Doctor, Death to the Daleks), then they moved by internal power sources with Davros's Mk3 Dalek back in Genesis of the Daleks (4th Doctor) which begs the question as to why they used the Mk3 Dalek in the past and then the Mk 1 and Mk2 only in the future for so long when the Doctor first meets the Daleks later and how come Davros' Dalek could move outside the city but the later ones which came earlier can't? Now they move by hover thrusters (7th Doctor, Rememberance of the Daleks and onwards). So even with the Daleks we have continuity issues.

Further things ignored: Ok, the Master being forced into the time war is see-able but they never brought up the Rani (who was imprisoned by the Tetrap) or the Meddling Monk (don't know what happened to him but I think he was just dropped after the first Doctor) who would have been very unlikely to have helped the Time Lords.

You also have to ask how the Daleks did so well when their weapons can't even damage the Doctor's TARDIS and it's considered an outdated pile of junk by Timelord technology standards. Then there's all those other questions like how come no one in the new series remembers the 1986 Cyberman invasion where the planet Mondas exploded near Earth. Exploding planets are kinda hard to miss.

Really though Doctor Who has been screwy ever since the Fox movie. *shrugs* Of course if he's ever really in trouble he could team up with his previous selves. Much as they all hate each other they've made good teams in the past: See "The Three Doctors" "The Five Doctors" and "The Two Doctors". Then sometimes they also leave notes for themselves from when they've been somewhere earlier later on about what to do and when. Time Lords can cheat. And then of course sometimes they just try to kill themselves like when the 13th Doctor from an alternate universe came back in time and set up the 6th Doctor for crimes he didn't commit in order to steal his remaining regenerations.

And of course we'll see more of the Master, I mean running out of regenerations didn't stop him from coming back as a burned corpse (which would have had more context if the episode that explained it hadn't been cancelled due to the original actor's tragic death) and then learning to steal other people's bodies. The Master is a lot like a Dalek in that respect, he just keeps coming back.

Anyways, it's best if you don't think too much about the Time War because there's no reasonable way to explain it sensibly so just take it for what it actually is: A cheap excuse to turn the Doctor into a clingy, psychotic, emotional wreck. It was poorly thought out, poorly executed, and unfortunately cannon now. So we have to live with it. -_-;;;
fayanora
Sep. 28th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
Ah, so the gist is: the writers just pull stuff out of their ass and damn the continuity, so it's best to forget about all that and just enjoy the show. Gotcha. Thanks.
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