Life after

There is a big hole in my life where my love of Doctor Who used to be, and I continue to go through the motions of my obsession like a twitching corpse. But it’s more about habit than anything else. So we’re going to get a two-minute preview of the Christmas Special for Children in Need? That should just about take us up to the first "Whaat?" moment – where RTD originally intended to be by the end of S4. And I’m not even going to be in England on Christmas Day, a fact that leaves me curiously unmoved.

I’ve fallen out of love with Ten, I think. I haven’t yet forgiven him for being such a self-flagellating idiot in Journey’s End, and once you feel the hero’s brought his angst on himself, your sympathy is strained. I think the only way I’m going to be able to enjoy future eps, including S5, is by resetting to zero and regarding it as a different show from the one I’ve watched since 2005. And apparently that’s the plan – he’s going to be on his own through the Specials. They’ve even reissued the S1/S2 soundtrack CD, which was absolutely soaked through with Rose’s presence, with just the Doctor on the cover. For some reason this fills me with an anger out of all proportion to the its importance. Why don’t they take Martha off the S3 one while they’re at it? Or Donna off the new one, since he’s as good as killed her?

Rose happened. She existed. I don’t care how much they airbrush her out of the Doctor’s memories and the ongoing narrative of the show – I cannot and will not relate to the Doctor as a person who wasn’t changed by her. I can’t just pack up my stall and move to Pete’s world – it doesn’t work like that. Like Rose herself, I feel the whole thing has made me harder and older.

Or it might just be that fandoms tend to have a natural life-span of around two years. I notice I’ve heard relatively little from the writers I admired when I first joined up. Are they as blocked as I am? I”m still writing, but I feel caught between two worlds and somehow I can’t just slot into fixit mode and say it doesn’t matter what’s canon. My loyalty is being pulled two ways and that is that.

What I feel most like right now is that I’m winding down after a long and dramatic love affair, returning to the monochrome but admittedly restful state of real life. There are some wonderful stories out there about the new Ten and Rose, and maybe it’s time for a new "generation" to receive the torch. Somehow, and I know people won’t agree with me, if I try to write that story, if I give it my loyalty, it negates all the emotion invested in the original stories of Rose and the Doctor.

Fortunately, they’re still out there. This week I re-read kalleah ‘s wonderful "Calm before the Storm" and was bowled over by it all over again. It is, quite simply, the most real and beautiful account of the flowering of their relationship I’ve ever read, soaked through with wonder, joy, risk and feeling. I wept freely at the last chapter, even though I knew the outcome – in fact I helped beta the sequel. For me, that’s the authentic account of the Doctor and Rose relationship and I, at least, have little more to say. So it might be an idea not to write. In time, I’ll adjust to it. I keep saying I need more time, after all….

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14 thoughts on “Life after

  1. So, the whole “let’s photoshop Rose out of the official pictures” business is back?
    Have they ever done that with Romana or Sarah Jane? Why trying to “delete”/ forget Rose? Seriously…

  2. I think we’ll be lucky if RTD gifts us with a Rose mention or two through the specials–but it’s certainly not something I’ll be expecting. I feel like the transition from S2 into S3, really, back when, Rose was gone for good and we were so worried she was going to be up and forgotten after that. Boy were we wrong. But that was all in RTD’s wonderful shipper hands; now it’s in the power of the Moff, and while I love his writing, I don’t have an ounce of hope of him ever allowing Rose to be brought up again.
    I don’t care how much they airbrush her out of the Doctor’s memories and the ongoing narrative of the show – I cannot and will not relate to the Doctor as a person who wasn’t changed by her.
    I think the only way I’d be able to truly accept it, is if there was a scene explaining/showing how he’s just trying to bury it and let it all go, because it’s over now, for him. What’s the point in remembering something, that pure happiness that he had right in his arms…and he pushed it away and gave it up? I dunno, it’d just seem like a very Doctor thing to do, to me. It doesn’t mean I’d be perfectly okay with cutting Rose out of his history like she was never there, but… that’s the only way I could envision the Doctor being able to move on after what transpired in JE.
    I notice I’ve heard relatively little from the writers I admired when I first joined up. Are they as blocked as I am? I”m still writing, but I feel caught between two worlds and somehow I can’t just slot into fixit mode and say it doesn’t matter what’s canon. My loyalty is being pulled two ways and that is that.
    I think it’s hard to put feelings on the matter into words. On the one hand, I’ve come to accept it, and even enjoy writing TenToo/Rose, but on the other hand, I can’t, and won’t, ever say I’m happy with that ending. I truly believe TenToo is the Doctor in every sense of the word, but it’s just not right for Ten to be the one left out, to continue on all alone and without Rose.
    Somehow, [..] if I try to write that story, if I give it my loyalty, it negates all the emotion invested in the original stories of Rose and the Doctor.
    I know just what you mean. It’s hard to write for something when you’re caught in a struggle. But the only way I was ever able to make myself work through it was to timidly dive into that new world of TenToo/Rose. It actually helped a LOT. It helped me to sort through my feelings, to get into the heads of Rose and her new Doctor…I dunno, it just made things a little more clear to me.
    And, I think it makes things a lot easier to be able to get yourself to think of TenToo as the Doctor. To keep viewing him as something separate, something else, well…that makes it nearly impossible to accept him. But for me, I just kept imagining that reunion on the abandoned street, I thought back to those smiles and that flat-out run, oblivious to everything else. I thought back to when he heard Donna speak the words “Bad Wolf” and his entire expression that just said it all. That was all TenToo–he was there, he felt all the same things. Doing that helped me to see him as the Doctor, and not some extra thing that isn’t good enough.
    What helped me a lot too was envisioning that last beach scene from TenToo’s pov. The Doctor, who’s had his Rose torn away from him for two years now, mourned her ever since, been so damaged because of her absence, here he finally has her again and she’s standing with her back turned to him, all eyes for Ten, full on saying aloud “He’s not you!” when he SO is. Just imagining the hurt he must’ve been feeling through that… Ouch.
    So it might be an idea not to write. In time, I’ll adjust to it. I keep saying I need more time, after all….
    It is a very difficult thing to adjust to. Not exactly the ending we were all hoping for, or even dreading, was it? And it’s definitely not as easy to blissfully ignore as Doomsday was. And therapy fic can be all the lovely S2 fics and not just the new stuff. I’ve gone back and reread so many of my old favorites…it really does help. Well, er, I can see how it could make things worse, but… um, yeah. 😛
    ANYWAY sorry for writing up a novel in your LJ thread. xD Got a little carried away, there.

  3. I’m glad that my story helped you. I’m not going through the same thing with Doctor Who, but I have with other fandoms (hello, Dark Angel season two) and it is distressing to have something you love take a turn on you.

  4. resetting to zero and regarding it as a different show
    Think: Recovery. Think of it as the regeneration-that-wasn’t leaving the Doctor with brain damage, that there are parts of him that he can’t access and just don’t work the way they used to. It’s going to take a lot of dedication from him to be a man we love. He will never return to how he was when we first met him.
    Fortunately, we’re not married to him. We don’t have to stick around. In real life, I’m the one that’s damaged. You could argue that I brought my illness on myself by trying too hard and never resting. If you keep pulling faces, one day the wind will change and you’ll stick like it, as it were. But I’m the one that everyone leaves behind, which is a terrible irony now that I’m dependent on others to survive. It took far too long for me to ask others for help, partly because of pride and partly because of ignorance of how ill I am.
    But, we watch Doctor Who to escape reality. I haven’t rewatched Recovery because there are too many home truths for comfort. I would like to carry on watching Doctor Who, for hope.

  5. here from the SPDN, and what you’re saying (writing) really resonates for me. I know it’s pathetic – and everyone tells me so too – but Doctor Who (Ten, Rose, Ten/Rose, Nine, Nine/Rose, Mickey, Jackie …) and all it entails really was like a love affair to me. I fell in love with these characters and to have it stuffed in my face that the Doctor cannot ever be happy really really hurts. And I know that Ten2/Rose was the best happy ending RTD could give us, but honestly? I’d have preferred it if he hadn’t tried. I have days when I’m just so cut up over the way the Doctor/Rose storyline ended, and I know it’s completely illogical, but it’s like … well. It hurts.
    Time should make stuff better, maybe? *hopeful*

  6. Kalleah’s work is absolutely beautiful. Have you read her new TenToo/Rose series which currently consists of ‘The Quiet Chamber’ and ‘Flying Kites’? Perhaps they will reconcile you to TenToo/Rose; they are very sensitively and sympathetically written, peppered with sweet, romantic and humerous moments.

  7. Oh yes, they are wonderful…and it’s not that I can’t enjoy good TenToo stories. I really loved “One True Free Life” for example, and the “Six Stage of a Timelord-Human Metacrisis”. And I’m hooked on the Clone Doctor’s diary. But I don’t feel able to write them myself or feel comfortable with the resolution in canon. Worst of all, it’s strained my sympathy for the original Ten to breaking point – I just struggle to root for someone so self-destructive.
    I’m not sure what RTD’s going to do with him now. I have a couple of friends who reckon it still isn’t too late to fix things, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I think what bothers me most is that Ten’s been left in a place where there’s no real character development possible, and to all intents and purposes he’s bought Davros’s line. That’s a very sad way to leave 45 years of Who.

  8. Oh, I’m so glad it isn’t just me. Maybe the world divides into absolute romantics like myself (at least where entertainment’s concerned) and those pragmatists who can settle for a halfway-happy ending.
    I was just about okay until I read RTD’s book “The “Writer’s Tale” and discovered he hated it as well. It was never what he intended to do – the masterplan was that the Hand would become a human Doctor and go to Rose when he regenerated. That would have worked for me, I think, because I wouldn’t have the anguish of Tennant imprinted on my mind for evermore.
    I write at some length about all that in my other journal, catsfiction, if you’re interested.

  9. I think you’ve managed to distill something of what I’ve been feeling. Although I’m pretty good at just sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, “Lalalalalala I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
    My Who obsession has diminished over the past couple of months. Although I think life in general had more to do with it than anything else. With the new job starting soon, I’m hoping to be able to get back into fic writing. I miss doing it. I still occasionally get reviews on old fics and it does give me a warm fuzzy feeling that something I wrote made someone else happy.

  10. Yeah, I agree. In real life, I don’t think I’d consider myself anywhere near a romantic, but in fiction – well. Fiction is supposed to allow a happy ending. That’s what makes it fiction. And while I do like my tragic endings sometimes, the problem with this is that it’s not a tragic ending. Doomsday was a tragic ending. This – this is just a cop-out. And I cried. I cried because it felt all wrong, and it didn’t hurt the way a good tragedy is supposed to. It hurt because it was off.
    *agrees* It would also finish off Ten’s arc really well – it’d make sense. This … doesn’t.
    I am interested. 🙂 Link me?

  11. There is a big hole in my life where my love of Doctor Who used to be, and I continue to go through the motions of my obsession like a twitching corpse. But it’s more about habit than anything else….I’ve fallen out of love with Ten, I think. I haven’t yet forgiven him for being such a self-flagellating idiot in Journey’s End, and once you feel the hero’s brought his angst on himself, your sympathy is strained.

    Oh, I totally sympathise. I’m feeling the same way myself. I’ve tried writing fixits, AU fiction, drawing…nothing works. I feel like I ought to be doing something, but my muse is silent.
    I even told my hubby that I did NOT want the Series 4 DVD, which really surprised him, as I’d been waiting with bated breath for the first three series DVDs.
    I’ve been a Whovian for so long, nearly half my life. I even met my husband at a Doctor Who fan club, nineteen years ago. But the whole JE disaster totally fubared my love of the show. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to fandom.

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