DOCTOR WHO - The Fires of the TARDIS

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First it was Pompeii, now it's the TARDIS. What is it with Peter Capaldi and fire? Christopher Morley examines the possibilities behind those flames in the Type 40.


If like us you await the Twelfth Doctor with bated breath, the release of an agonisingly short trailer will have given little away. About all most will have gathered from it is that the TARDIS appears to be on fire- which leads to a rather big question. Namely ' how did it it get like that'? And that's saying nothing of ' why does the Doctor appear to be revelling in the chaos?'



Perhaps if as rumoured he does indeed return to Pompeii to solve the mystery of his all too familiar appearance he's somehow caught up in ' volcano day', causing ' Sexy' to burst into flame? Its not outside the realm of possibility that he could somehow become the basis for Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, or even his Cretan equivalent Velchanos. If we were to stretch the bounds a bit we might also lump the Greek answer Hephaestus into the mix. All have quite some attachment to fire, & 'powers' which could easily be translated as manifestations of Twelve's many technological skills.

If we look to the Hephaestus myth, he's said to have designed handy pieces of kit for several of his Olympian equals- Achilles's impregnable armour, the chariot of Helios & Eros's bow & arrows among them. The Third Doctor did also encounter Kronos too.....




...but would Twelve be acting of his own accord in getting similarly technical should any god-like figures get involved? There is of course a chance that the Great Intelligence ( or Yog-Sothoth, to give him his Lovecraftian 'Great Old One'- part of the Cthulhu Mythos- name as in the novels White Darkness, Millennial Rites & All-Consuming Fire ) could have taken control of his mind & body in a bid to deliver on its earlier promise to turn all his victories into defeats, using him to help supply the means to do so.  


Which raises the stakes with the TARDIS itself possibly to become an instrument of that wider plan, bathed in 'holy fire' with the Doctor as its godly pilot lording it amidst the flames, his mind working as one with his new master on the ultimate flight into the unknown as an all-powerful executor of a greater will ( no pun intended). Riffing on that idea for just a second, lets now take it another way...supposing he does indeed return whence he once stood in his Tenth incarnation, seeking to stop the Pyrovile once more?


The battle between the two old foes could reach stalemate- Twelve forced back inside ' Sexy' as fire rains down both inside & outside the familiar environs of the faithful old police box. Noticing the interior going up in flames, the Doctor takes this as a declaration of war & allows himself a brief moment of ' gearing up' before going to town on them & saving everyone from fiery death, just as his previous incarnation couldn't ( or wouldn't?) allow himself to do? After all there must be a reason 'Caecilius' was saved in the first place..


While its highly unlikely the Tenth Doctor will make a cameo- though, lets be honest, who wouldn't want to see it?- the thought of him realising just who the man he's helped out of trouble really is & urging him to change things adds a new dimension to proceedings, not least the question of how the two would get on, or how Donna & Clara would interact as companions thrust together on one of the most important days of the Doctor's life. It might also provide a useful explanation for 'Caecilius's purchase of the TARDIS as ' modern art' ( the apology for which would surely make such a scenario worth a watch on its own) before the two put aside any differences & crack on with stopping the Cult of Vulcan as led by Petrus Dextrus.


Looking even further back, into the annals of ' Classic Who', we might also make the case for a return to Sarn ( Planet Of Fire). Chances are it would most likely have changed a bit since the Fifth Doctor was last there for his penultimate outing before a violent regeneration. He could easily arrive at another 'Time of Fire', just as he did last time out, before leaving the Master to burn. Its also entirely possible given Steven Moffatt's love of the Fifth's time as the man at the helm of the TARDIS that he chooses to make the Who crew's return to Lanzarote ( location for Planet Of Fire) the maiden outing for the rumoured new Master......

If that's the case hopefully he'll be played by one Charles Dance- similar in age to Peter Capaldi, as tends to be the general rule in Doctor- Master battles! See below for just one of many good reasons Charlie should be allowed to attempt a Dance of death with the newest Doctor...



If he does a little actual jiving too, maybe something like this, even if it is the ' wrong' Charlie getting his dancing shoes on so much the better...


The scene would be set for the two old enemies to battle once more, with the chance that the Master might seize the opportunity to inflict a little fiery pain of his own on his old adversary. He could even be lying in wait in the TARDIS somehow! After all we get only a limited view of what's going on from the canny 15-second or so trailer, & its entirely possible the Master could have positioned himself on the opposite side of the console to the Doctor, awaiting the chance to inject a little flame of his own into things.

Lest we forget, he knows his way around the Doctor's TARDIS, having stolen it immediately post-regeneration in Utopia...



Even earlier than that, we also have The Time Monster...



...required viewing alongside every Pertwee-Delgado tangle for Capaldi & Dance ( should he get the part) to make the most of their chance to take the whole thing beyond David Tennant & John Simm's rapidly developing bromance- see Last Of The Time Lords for its cringeworthy finale, everything but an ' I love you, man!' & a bit of a kiss, though they do appear to have a cuddle in the Master's 'final' moments.

An explosive introduction indeed!



Warped Factor
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