Doctor Who: Stirrings From Chibnall's Cafe Pt 2 - Ripples Of The Past - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: Stirrings From Chibnall's Cafe Pt 2 - Ripples Of The Past

Chirs Morley returns to Chibnall's Cafe.
Our latest trip to Chibnall's Cafe, where we explore the influence Andrew Cartmel's Masterplan seems to have had on the current Doctor Who showrunner, comes days after finding out the name of his succeessor. Doctor Who will in effect be returning to the old management under one Russilon T Davies (who of course got his start writing for the Seventh Doctor with Damaged Goods), so it's only fitting that we now look into a narrative device RTD used to great effect in fleshing out the story of Rose Tyler when picking up the post-Survival pieces of Doctor Who as Saturday tea-time telly.

But in a sense Andrew Cartmel did it first! By throwing Ace into the mix. The only difference being that Cartmel didn't borrow from that other veritable bastion of the prime-time schedule, the soap opera, and then add in a bit of science fiction. For where Rose, as with Chris Chibnall's "fam" of Ryan, Graham & Yaz, is presented as having some semblance of a family life both prior to and during her travels in the TARDIS, Ace, just like the man she travels with, is a bit more of a puzzle. Very much in keeping with Cartmel's overall plan to restore a bit of mystique to the man with the question mark umbrella...
Consider Dragonfire. Notes of The Wizard Of Oz abound in the tale of a girl from Perivale who's somehow ended up with a waitressing job on Iceworld a good few years before Russell T has the Autons pay a return visit to Earth and put Ms Tyler out of a job at Henrik's. And where Rose has her mum (and indeed however briefly thanks to fellow Virgin New Adventures scribe Paul Cornell, dad in true soap fashion, admittedly with the sort of ease of access to all of time & space the likes of Coronation Street & Eastenders would probably do almost anything for), Ace is seemingly a self- made young woman.

Only later do the pieces come together as The Curse Of Fenric finds her left literally holding the baby. An infant she'll one day come to call mum herself!
ACE: Is it yours?
KATHLEEN: Yes, and she's a she.
ACE: She's lovely. Can I pick her up?
DOCTOR: You've got to excuse her. She's from Perivale.
KATHLEEN: That's all right. Of course you can.
ACE: Thanks.
KATHLEEN: Where's Perivale?
ACE: You don't want to know. Oh, now what do I do?
KATHLEEN: Just put your arm underneath her like that.
ACE: Yeah.
KATHLEEN: Get her head, and you're fine. You're fine. There we are.
ACE: Oh, Professor, isn't she beautiful? Oh, look at her little finger nails. They're so perfect, and so tiny.
DOCTOR: Yes. Every one a heart breaker.
ACE: What's she called?
KATHLEEN: Audrey. What's the matter? Don't you like it?
ACE: I hate it. That's my mum's name. Here.
All a far cry from the Powell Estate or tea at Yaz's, as seen in Arachnids in the UK,, though both will of course lead to revelations about the Doctor's fellow travellers... in time.

From mum, to gran, as brought home so deftly in both The Woman Who Fell To Earth and Demons Of The Punjab, Chibs proving he's probably more adept at matters Earthbound than off, where Russell T balanced both, and Cartmel dropped hints among the ripples which would later in a sense retrospectively inform much of what would be termed New-Who -  not least as several of the men who'd go on to write for the revived series under Davies and would follow him in putting pen to paper to keep the tea, and indeed the Seventh Doctor, from getting cold!
RYAN: Wait, one sec. Hiya, Nan.
GRACE : Ryan, love. Our train's stopped between Hathersage and Grindleford, and something really weird's going on.
YASMIN: Everything all right?
RYAN: Nan?
From the London of 2005/1987 to the Sheffield of 2020, the alien and seemingly everyday colliding as perhaps they always have, in this context with increasing emphasis on one or the other depending on whose writing hand guides the TARDIS, and indeed her erstwhile captain - the plot thickening with each stir of the mixture.
YASMIN: I'm home! Got a couple of mates with me. They're probably all out.
HAKIM: You've brought friends back. Sonya? Yaz has brought friends back. I'm getting food.
SONYA: What, you actually have friends? She paying you?
DOCTOR: Look at your views. Never had a flat. I should get one, I'd be good in a flat. I could get a sofa. Imagine me with a sofa, like, my own sofa, I could get a purple one and sit on it. Am I being weird?
RYAN: A little bit, yeah.
DOCTOR: I'm trying to do small talk. I thought I was doing quite well.
YASMIN: Needs work.
As indeed, probably, does Chibbers' own attempt at flipping the script once more in the eyes of the majority! Nonetheless, time will tell, as it always does, even if the watch is broken.
UMBREEN: It must never be fixed.
YASMIN: Why not?
UMBREEN: I don't want to talk about it any more.
YASMIN: Nani, please.
UMBREEN: You won't understand. I have such stories I could tell you.
YASMIN: And we want to hear them, really. If you don't tell us, we won't know. Your life's our heritage.
And so comes Yaz's turn to follow Ace & Rose into the most foreign of countries- the literal relative past.
YASMIN: We're family.
RYAN: We're friends.
GRAHAM: Family friends.
YASMIN: We're on our way to say hello. Bit of a surprise.
PREM: But we agreed... Ah, okay, get in.
Where Davies, and indeed Chibnall, crank things up to eleven is in dropping the first, at least on screen, hints that the Doctor had a family of their own - Cartmel contenting himself with digging around in Ace's in a nice bit of familial foresight given what would come after.
ACE: Well, at least I managed to grab the consolation prize.
DOCTOR: Ha, ha, well done. The parish records. Great.
ACE: What I can't understand is what's so special about them.
DOCTOR: Names.
ACE: Whose names?
DOCTOR: Names of ancient families. Judson, Millington, Wainwright, Dudman.
ACE: Dudman! Kathleen Dudman, she's got a chess set.
A long and indeed complicated game for our three players - next time out we'll look at a similarly winding such contest between the Time Lord & their oldest enemy...

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