“Hello,” he said. “I’m the Fifth Doctor.”
Today I said goodbye to an old friend.
I first met Vikki back in the early part of what was probably 2006. Things were different: I lived in a different house, did a slightly different job and Emily and I had only one of our three children. Vikki was my desk wife – a term she coined and which stuck through the years, through shifting geographies (I now refer to her as former desk wife), reassessed priorities and the casual growth of facial hair (mine, mostly). We’ve seen a lot of changes, but it’s that first year, when we were sitting together, that I remember with particular fondness, because she brightened up the place – and she still does, even in the face of her imminent departure for another well-respected publisher.
I have mentioned Vikki’s blog (it now has a new address, which doesn’t seem to be working this evening) more than once, but merely mentioning it really doesn’t do it justice. Read it. Better yet, subscribe to it. She’s one of the most intensely joyous people I’ve ever known – not in the sense of being purely joyful, as her life has had its trials and sorrows just like that of anybody else, but in the sense of squeezing every last inch of intrigue and innovation from what she sees around her. She will see an opportunity in every difficult situation. The pillars around her desk are adorned with images from culture – mainstream and otherwise – and she has spent the last seven years unleashing hidden talent after hidden talent, turning her hand to writing, knitting, chicken-rearing and goodness knows what else. Her knowledge of contemporary folk music is second to none, even if she and I disagree on the relative merits of Show of Hands and Steve Knightley’s Timotei hair. Taking a seat of importance among her loves, however, is Doctor Who, and she’s been a great source of tumblr-retrieved memes and general inspiration over the time I’ve known her. If I’m stuck for something to post, I can always rely on Vikki.
As part of her leaving gift her friends in the office assembled a ‘box of awesomeness, full of the sorts of creative endeavours for which she has become well known around here. There was home-made jam and (I think) felt origami, which technically isn’t origami at all, but at least you avoid the paper cuts. I’ve said before that I’m not the scissors-and-glue type – but I delved into her Facebook albums and then did a little creative cropping in Fireworks, and this is the result.
Well, you know. Happy trails, Ms Rose. With your departure you take some of the office’s colour with you. You will be missed by a great many of us, and particularly by me.
My first entry in this blog – way back when – concluded with a quote from Elton Pope, and I wanted to finish this one with another quote from one of the departing companion episodes. You know, something pithy and nice that manages to avoid the mawkish sentiment of Martha Jones’ farewell or the insufferable Rose-on-the-beach scene. We’re currently nearing the end of the Fourth Doctor’s run with Leela, but his final words to her (at the end of ‘The Invasion of Time’) are “I’ll miss you too, savage”. His final words to Romana II – “You were the noblest Romana of them all” – are a little better, if not exactly fitting, delivered as they are in a burst of white light. But perhaps we need to skip to the end. Because it’s not until afterwards, back in the TARDIS, as the Doctor leaves the fellow Time Lord and her tin dog behind in E-Space, that things are finally resolved properly, as Adric asks if Romana will be all right. “All right?” comes the Doctor’s response. “She’ll be superb…”
In which: The Doctor Dances.
Those of you who’ve been following for a while may remember the galleries I produced a few months ago when we suddenly built a Doctor Who figure collection. There were two stages to this: Emily’s chance discovery of a bunch of figures in a local charity shop one afternoon (we bought the lot, more or less) and then, some time later, the eleven Doctors set that I bought from Amazon.
Yesterday it was damp, and none of us could be bothered to go anywhere or do anything, so we poked around the house. In the midst of assorted laundry duties I found myself with a creative itch to scratch and got round to doing something I’ve been planning on doing for some time: the Great Doctor Who Dance-off.
(Keep going through all the dodgy poses and you’ll find a few recent acquisitions at the end. But really, this is all about bustin’ some moves.)
(That title is only going to mean anything if you know your Australian soaps, and are an ardent follower of Alan Dale.)
Anyway, Gareth spotted this on Facebook.
Bless ’em, they all loook so youthful! Hartnell is perhaps the biggest shock, given that when we met the First Doctor he was already an old man – it’s tempting to think that in his younger, wilder years he might have resembled the fiery pinup of the photo. Troughton and Pertwee are instantly recognisable thanks to their noses – which, by the way, is one of the most interesting things about Smith’s picture, suggesting that in more recent years he’s had it done (although it’s hard to really concentrate on the nose, because he appears to be wearing a ferret on his head).
Eccleston – who reminds me here of his performance in Shallow Grave – still looks like he’d rather be somewhere else. Davison is presumably en route to a Magnum audition somewhere, while Tennant has been listening to a little too much Joy Division. And McCoy resembles the love child of Albert Einstein and Frank Zappa. “Which, of course,” says Gareth, “he is.”