Gallifreyan Time Travel
A short, concise, dramatically driven theory of Time Lord time-travel technology.
Doctor Who, being the work of many hands since 1963, has no over-arching principals of time travel. Rules are made and broken in accordance of dramatic need and taste of the creative forces involved at any given time.
However I’ve always had a theory that strikes a balance between dramatic need and pseudo-scientific ‘realism’. It broadly fits with what we’ve seen in the past (although with Who it will never 100% fit). This theory follows primarily the television series, and the over-arching view of time travel presented. I have avoided specifics that fall into one camp or another, and overwhelmingly tried to provide a tool for writers.
## Time Lord Prehistory
Gallifrey was one of the first planets in our universe to evolve sentient life. After thousands of years of biological and technological evolution, Time Lord society was founded on Gallifrey by Rassilon Omega and others. By this point Gallifrey had perfected space travel and had traveled the entire universe.
Following primitive ‘brute firce’ experiments in time travel, the Gallifreyan scientists theorised the ultimate form of temporal science that would transform their planet and society forever.
Using stellar engineering focused through their own sun, and powered by the destruction of thousands if others throughout the universe, the Gallifreyans fundamentally altered the nature of the universe and created the Time Vortex, pulling Gallifrey wholly into it, and with that, erased it from time.
## The Gallifreyan Time Vortex
The Gallifreyan Time Vortex, whilst empty and devoid if all life and matter, with the exception of Gallifrey and it’s sun, is an artificial universe composed of pure temporal energy that could be described as infinitely larger than the known universe.
In simplistic terms, for every point in time and space in the known universe, there is location in space corresponding to it in the vortex. It is essentially impossible to travel in time itself within the Vortex, and time proceeds forward as normal on Gallifrey.
TARDIS are the technology the Time Lords invented in conjunction with the Vortex. TARDIS consists of two parts, a pocket universe and a gateway between it and the known universe. The pilot of the TARDIS dematerialises the gateway, pulling it into the Vortex at the corresponding point in Vortex-space. The gateway is then moved to the location that corrisponds to the intended destination in time and space, and re-materialises, the gateway appearing at it’s destination in time and space.
[SPOILERS] Elysium is Dumb
Here are some reasons why
Didn’t need the flashbacks at the beginning: their reunion told it all.
Those rockets travelled real fast to those refugees. Why not take the crazy guy out of the loop & have the gun storage van just fire them?
Max was a cock to robots in a way he must have known would cause him trouble. He does make them for a living after all…
Plus, he didn’t even try to brace the door or anything, so what did he think would happen? Plus when it worked before, it was one button to close the door, one to bake; so how did it bake the 2nd time (in other words why not show him taking reasonable precautions about it closing, and demo that it only takes one push to start the cycle).
If the tech exists for a spy satellite can ID people from orbit, what’s the point of the burn in IDs? Faking them seems like the least of everyone’s problems, so why not just start zapping wrists down on earth & and wait for the ambulances to turn up?
Presumably the robot factory owner had no intention of killing himself when DLing the reboot prog, so how did that work? And when he was in trouble, Elysium’s core showed no sign of automatically sending assistance, Foster did it with her Mercs, so why did it when all the extra citizens appeared?
And how could everyone tell what the prog was for just looking at the code?
Kruger got his 2 mates & ship mere minutes after the emergency that instigated their reunion.
They drilled his exo skeleton through his clothes? Really? Is that sterile They could have shown Kruger (who wasn’t black market) putting on a special suit that’s part of the system, with holes etc. They could have augmented it with CG to show it moving occasionally. Plus it runs off an old iPhone cable.
Kruger’s beard came back. The regrow could have felt with hair in a more interesting manner.
What’s with the climax on a gantry obsession?
But mainly, why doesn’t Elysium put its so-plentiful-every-home-has-one medi-couches on earth? They could just hover up money from earth by controlling supply so prices remain high, and thus keep themselves rolling in everything they need whilst keeping an arms length. Horrific pimps don’t bother beating the money out of prostitutes, they just control the crack supply and let hookers bring the money to them.
Can you tell I was disappointed?
Punchdrunk, The Drowned Man: Review (Spoiler Free)
So I wanted to wait a few days to see what my reaction continued to be, to see if it stuck with me, but no, The Drowned Man was not one if those experiences.
Before I go on, if you’ve not been to a Punchdrunk production before, go. It’s still cheaper and vastly better than any West End production (or Secret cinema apparently). It will still blow your mind. My annoyance is, having been to a different one (Masque of the red Death) I can see how it could have been so much better.
Punchdrunk are still head an shoulders above the competition. I’m comparing them to themselves.
This review is pretty much gonna turn into a dissertation between the two productions, as that will illustrate all my points.
The works of Edgar Alan Poe are known. I’m not a massive fan, but I can recognise The Tell-Tale Heart or The Fall of the house of Usher when I see it. That helps. However no bugger’s heard of Woyzeck, the basis for The Drowned Man. Not unless you count hardcore theatre nerds as people, that is :) So when I come across someone murdering an old person in there bed I’m immediately invested somewhat because my passing knowledge if Poe means I have an anchor. At no point did I have a bloody clue what I was looking at in Drowned. And this is a big deal in a form of presentation actively denies you the ability to see the whole narrative.
The acting was the cringey ‘argument told through the medium of interpretive dance’ type. Just… No thanks.
The venue, whilst bigger & better decked out than Masque was, because if its four-rectangular-floors origins much easier to navigate - especially if you have a strong sense of direction. I’m pretty sure I found everything. By contrast the BAC where Masque took place was a bloody warren. I still have no idea what was where there (and I’ve been there since and tried to get my bearings), and I’m sure I missed stuff, and that was such an amazing part of the experience.
Finally the climax if Masque was a logical extension of the story. In Drowned it just wasn’t. It was just a herding to the ground floor.
So, in summary, please please go if you’ve not been to one before. Despite what I’m saying you’ll still be overwhelmed. Go. If however you’ve been to a Punchdrunk production before and aren’t so sure, I’d skip it. After Masque all I could think about was how, due to the lateness in the run I saw it, that I’d never get to go again, and I wanted to so badly. Drowned I can but I won’t coz I’m just not bothered. It’s just not stuck with me since I walked out the door.
Punchdrunk, The Drowned Man: Spoiler-Free Visiting Tips
The image above is the slip you are handed on the way in, so it’s not a spoiler.
I looked for some spoiler-free tips to help get the most out of it, but found none, so here are mine
- Arrive early as you will have to queue.
- Wear comfy shoes and travel coat & bag free if you can. You will have to check them in & the queue after was pretty long.
- If your a glasses wearer use contacts if you can. You have to wear a mask throughout the performance (unless you’re in the OOCish Bar)
- The stairs are at each end of the floors, there are none in the middle.
So, that’s it for them more general tips. Overall I’d say there are two ways to enjoy the performance: Let’s call them the LRPer’s method and the Thespian’s method.
Find a character you like and follow them. Run if you have to. I didn’t do this so I can’t comment in detail but I can see the point & it’s certainly valid. If one bores you swap to another.
Explore as much of the set as possible, find the secret passages and explore the plot through the locations and artefacts rather than the characters. It’s vast, and we covered (I think) pretty much everything at a reasonable pace with not too much time to spare before the finale.
The sets are amazing, as is the sound design. We spend ages going through draws, looking for bits of plot, the occasional key, hidden rooms, it was great.
Art Gear Review
Pentel Brush Pen
The Pentel Brush Pen is kinda special; it’s not a marker with a flexible brush-like nib like the PITT Artist’s Pen with the brush-like nib, it’s an actual brush, fed with ink from behind by a cartridge.
It’s designed for the Japanese calligraphy market. It’s not especially fine, but is great for shading dark areas and filling larger areas in an organic way that is clearly a brush dipped in ink rather than a marker, which is pretty useful.
I guess when at home at one’s workspace it offers very little over a brush and ink, but as part of a travel or lap set, it’s pretty cool. It’s certainly handy, so I guess it encourages me to include that brush and ink look when otherwise I might not bother. I’ve been using it for a bit and as long as you out the cap on tightly, it doesn’t seem to dry out.
Art Gear Review
Platinum Carbon Pen
Platinum, a Japanese company make the well-regarded Carbon pigment ink - a strong black, lightfast and usefully for art purposes waterproof ink making it ideal for drawing and sketching. But apparently it kills/clogs normal pens due to being pigment rather than due-based. Hence their own pen.
It’s got an extra fine nib, very much like the extra fine Rotring ArtPen.
It’s certainly my favourite ‘drawing fountain pen’, though personally I’m still looking for something with more give in the nib to get me closer to a dip pen nib, without going to a brush pen, which does not fit my style.
Game of Thrones Spoilers
The Horror Film Rule
When you deserve to die, no-one cares that you do. When you make reasonable choices based on the situation you are in, but die anyway when overwhelmed by realistic circumstances, the audience do care.
When, entirely preventably, you find yourself drunk and alone in the hall of a bitter, powerful old man who you have seriously wronged, whilst in the middle of a drawn-out war against a clever, effective enemy with lots of money and a willingness to reward assassins handsomely, and your army is locked outside and drunk, You Deserve To Die.
If, fr’instance, due to tactical necessity you went into the spider’s den, but have a trusty, you-accuse-of-being-paranoid, not-drinking-that-night bodyguard(s) are just overwhelmed by the scale of the betrayal, things may well be different.
Thinking about it, Robb lacking a charismatic 2 i/c has been a problem for a while…
The Name of The Doctor VFX
I’ve been quite critical of the ‘Old Doctor’ footage in The Name of The Doctor at the weekend. I’m aware that it was always gonna be a tough job, but I wasn’t just bitching for bitching’s sake. I do believe that if I were suping I could do a better job, and that whoever did do it (BBC VFX Wales?) made some basic errors.
And I’m not talking crazy money ideas, but real sensible ways of approaching the problem better.
The single biggest problem is resolution. Most Hartnell and Troughton footage is available as 405-line interlaced format, shot on a 16mm film camera poineted at a TV screen for overseas sale (the original videotape usually junked), and then rescanned back to modern standard definition (for distribution at 576 line PAL format).
In other words, garbage.
Later Doctor’s serials are mainly held as PAL recordings, with a few exceptions.
My main issue, the single biggest thing I would have ensured happened that I’m sure didn’t, is I’d pick up the phone to the Doctor Who Restoration Team.
The Doctor Who Restoration Team is a loose collection of Doctor Who fans, many within the television industry, who restore Doctor Who episodes for release on DVD. They know everything there is to know about classic Doctor Who footage.
They know that there is crisp high-resolution footage is sometimes available from location filming, which was done on 16mm film until the 80s. They know that all of Spearhead From Space was shot on film, indeed they are prepping it for HD BluRay release this year, as it is the only Classic Who story that exists in anything like HD (if only non-widescreen 4:3).
In short, there is much better footage available for use in a modern, HD TV production than they used.
Colour is also an issue for all of Hartnell and Troughton, and some of Peetwee, but although time consuming its a pretty straightforward job now, especially for the short clips that were gonna be used. In the end they only colourised Hartnell’s shots (though amusingly they didn’t manage to do all of his neck), and used colour footage of Troughton from 1983’s The Five Doctors.
So even in a realistic working environment, schedule and budget, it could have been done better.
But in my VFX fantasy land…
The first Doctor stuff is the most important; that’s where I’d spend my time and money. And my secret would have been to use Hartnell’s film career. I’ve not done realms of watching yet, but as an example Hartnell has a descent-sized role in the colour 60s British comedy The Mouse That Roared (yes, that’s why I was watching it). So that’s colour HD footage of Hartnell looking younger (he wore a wig in Who), that, if scanned from the film masters would have delivered a vastly superior image quality to anything else we possess. Plus his appearance woukd actually add to the story, not detract. The costume won’t match, but swapping out his body to a double is not a big deal, particularly in a static shot, which most 60s films were anyway.
Plus, if you think about it, he shouldn’t be wearing his Unearthly Child costume anyway…
So that’s my stall laid out. Thoughts?