Story: Death To All Androgums!
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 940
Author's Summary: After the Androgums have been thwarted, the Doctor explains to John and Gillian their duty to fight and destroy monsters.
Characters/Pairings: The Doctor (2nd), Gillian, John
Warnings: None, on the face of it, although imho there is something slightly...unsettling going on in this story
Recced because: Without wanting to get repetitive, because when I was reading it, I thought "That's great! If I ever do Calufrax, I'm well going to rec that!" (I'd apparently temporarily started talking like Ace too) And it's one of those stories, even though it's comparatively short and on the face of it quite simple, that I keep thinking about even long after reading it. The first thing that it has going for it is its tackling of the pesky TV Comics comic-strips from the 60s and their portrayal of the Doctor's adventures with his other two grandchildren, John and Gillian. Celestialhost, judging from her/his other work, has a fascination for these cranky bits of greater Who continuity and trying to work them into the greater context of the show, an attitude I greatly admire. The effect here is to show a Doctor just a little bit...different from the one we might be used to. The TV Comics Doctor, after all, used to do things like carrying ray-guns, as alluded to here, appearing as an expert on TV chat shows, inventing wondrous new devices and crowing about how they'd make him rich, and generally acting a little bit...well, as I say, different... Here, he expounds some views that a lot of Doctor Who fans might find a little bit uncomfortable coming from the mouth of Our Hero.
That's the thing that makes this story weigh heavily upon my mind, however, because those attitudes while presented here in the sort of blithe, seemingly unthinking way you'd expect from TV Comics are actually closer to the television programme than we might like to admit. Two's speech about "things that must be fought", on the face of it rather heroic and admirable, is here twisted into something chilling, and the thing is that while we might like to think otherwise, Two often did display this Seven-like willingness to right wrongs by any means necessary, but crucially, Two (or the show's producers and writers at the time) didn't really seem to share the Seven era's reservations about how those sorts of actions might gradually compromise the Doctor. A lot of fans have accused the current, Eleven era, of a similar shortsightedness, and so this fic seems particularly apt at a time when the message boards and LJ comms are ringing with debates about the kind of person the Doctor should be and the kind of ways he ought to act.
So, yes, I applaud this fic because it does something quite deceptive and clever in that it confronts us with the cracky, TV Comics stuff upfront, but is actually much deeper and more thoughtful than it might at first appear. And it's very well-written too. Which is why I urge you to read this and as much of Celestialhost's other stuff as you can (some good Seven stories there as well).
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August 12th, 2011
Story: Death To All Androgums!