Space and Time
Amy: What are you doing?
Rory: Helping the Doctor. Um, it’s humming. Is that okay?
The Doctor: Yeah, it’s fine we’re just entering conceptual space. Imagine a banana…
Doctor Who Season: Between S31 and S32 (scenes).
Story Number: n/a, though scenes between 213 and 214.
Reviews and Red Nose Day YouTube of the scenes after the jump…
So, in the Doctor Who tradition of broadcasting its “extra” stuff as part of the BBC’s events of Children in Need or Red Nose Day (read the review of Born Again for more ruminations on this), here’s two scenes. In stark contrast to Born Again, these scenes actually have an onscreen title, like the scene Time Crash – though this time there’s also an actual “To be Continued” cliffhanger broadcast so there’s even more Doctor-Who-ness (that text element curiously gone from the BBC and Red Nose Day YouTube versions).
They are very much Moffat’s Doctor Who, featuring as they do one of the main motifs of the era – Amy’s legs.
If those other recent scenes Meanwhile in the TARDIS were, partly, (as discussed in the review) a deconstruction of the idea of the “sexy female companion”, with Amy being positioned somewhere on the costume spectrum between the demure Nyssa and Leela with her “leather bikini”, then Space is a kind of sequel to this deconstruction.
The idea of the Doctor being a “bloke” with a “motor” is continued from those scenes too, with “fellow bloke” Rory helping the Doctor.
Moffat’s hovering on the edge of some regressive gender stereotypes here, “women drivers eh?” and so on, though it’s clear from later on there seems to be nothing intentionally manipulative going on with Amy and her driving instructor – “it was any old skirt” – as Amy herself doesn’t quite realise her hotness, until she meets, er, Amy. Just before the cliffhanger this second Amy appears with a reprise of her excellent line from the end of the pre-credits of The Big Bang.
The idea of a “Space Loop” is a fascinating one, and it’s a variant of the idea of from Logopolis of nested TARDISes. With stepping into the TARDIS meaning stepping now “a tiny bit into the past”, Moffat has another variant of his motif of elaborate Time travel to throw in into the mix (appropriately enough with this scene Time). The idea of the ontological paradox at the centre of Blink, also featured in The Big Bang is used deftly here to generate some fast-paced classic Moffat dialogue and raised eyebrows from Rory in response to “And then what would you do?”
It’s in the British tradition of saucy seaside postcards and the Carry On movies when Rory’s slapped for this. It was the “thermocoupling” which was involved with all this, though Moffat’s Coupling is recalled too.
“Oh this is how it all ends, Pond flirting with herself. True love at last. Oh! Sorry Rory” is one of most wryly amusing lines from this Doctor Who era so far. (“No problem. At all.”) All three leads really get to show just how great they are at comedy.
The zest with which the Doctor proclaims “The Wibbly lever!” sums up the fun of these two scenes. The focus returns to Amy’s skirt and legs though with the last lines of the scene (and probably not for the last time in Doctor Who).
These scenes really underline the potential of this new TARDIS team for their being one of the great teams – they can certainly do “funny” – and heighten the anticipation for the new season.
(Donate to Comic Relief here: bbc.co.uk/rednoseday link)