Elliptic Eye (elliptic_eye) wrote in calufrax,
Elliptic Eye

rec: Borrowed Time by Nix Nada

Story: Borrowed Time
Author: Nix Nada
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 1,197
Author's Summary: The fifth Doctor tries out an experimental telepathic circuit on the android Kamelion, with unexpected results.
Characters/Pairings: Five, Kamelion, Tegan
Warnings: none

Recced because: I liked it even better on the second read. This story does at least three very worthwhile things very well: It shows the Doctor making a mistake, it looks inside the TARDIS from a very unusual perspective, and it does justice to potential that largely went to waste in the original. Plus, making me enjoy Kamelion, of all companions, is a feat in itself.

In case some people are asking, "Who the heck is Kamelion?", I'll give a two-sentence break-down : Kamelion is a shape-shifting robot of an uncertain degree of sentience, found and enslaved as a tool by the Master (it is introduced in The King's Demons). Though it does have some mind of its own, it is so easily influenced that a strong mind will overtake it completely, forcing it to assume any shape and personality chosen for it by the stronger will—indeed, this may even be his function.

Borrowed Time is a deft little process of elimination that gradually traces a picture of what such a creature (being? thing?) is and is not. And it doesn't do it too neatly; certain ambiguities about the Doctor's actions stand without any distortion of his character.

“I am always at your disposal, Doctor. That is my programming.”

“Not at all, Kamelion. If you don’t want to volunteer I can always find another way. I would never use your programming to coerce you.”

“And yet you bring your request knowing that I am unable to refuse it.”
Tags: author: nix nada, companion: kamelion, companion: tegan, doctor: 5, rating: all ages, reccer: elliptic_eye, type: gen

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