I'm androgyne, transexual, poly, and androphilic. Nec hoc nec illud is Latin slang for bisexual, but I use it because it translates loosely as "Neither one thing nor the other." I think this is a good description of me, even though I'm not bisexual. This tumblr is neither one thing nor another also. It's random stuff I'm randomly interested in. I don't do "reblog if you believe X" posts, as I feel they are coercive to the reader and if you read my stuff you already know what I believe.
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I have been contemplating power inflation as a result of that Moffat Who article the other day. So often in old Who, it would have been so much easier if they had psychic paper. A whole lot of plots go like this: Doctor Who and companion(s) show up in the middle of a crisis. The authorities demand to know they are. The Doctor sometimes tricks them into believing he’s an official. Sometimes he tells the truth and some believe and some do not. Sometimes the trickery fails and he must escape and dodge both sides while trying to solve the crisis. In the episodes of 4 I watched today, the minions demand his papers, he fakes a pocket search, then flees. Easily solved by psychic paper, right? The pattern gets a bit repetitive, so these days, they skip the phase where the authorities try to decide if he’s the one killing crewmen/expedition members/villagers/minions/guards, and either have him instantly accepted or instantly exposed by the occasional person the paper doesn’t work on. It also means that the phrase “I’m the Doctor and I’m here to help” is hardly ever questioned no matter how implausible his arrival is. (I say hardly ever, because there have been a tiny number of exceptions.)
Today, I’ve been contemplating the way that the no psychic paper old school Who arrival is a test for the people he’s helping. Think about it: An obviously unreliable, strangely dressed man turns up talking nonsense when everybody is already under stress. The paranoid military mind and power hungry despot tends to respond to this with violence: Arrest him! Torture him! Execute him! The more intellectual or kind characters are always of the opinion that they should at least listen to his story and see if he can, in fact, help. Reactions to the Doctor are a way of gauging worthiness for the help he’s offering. As Craig Ferguson might say, it separates intellect and romance from brute force and cynicism. You get characters like the Brigadier who sit on the bubble sometimes. You get characters that change sides. The thing is though, the initial responses tell you and presumably the Doctor where the allies and obstacles are. He will help them no matter how stubborn and undeserving they are, but it is good to know the characters of the people he is relying on to work with him in a crisis.
I’m not saying it’s better or worse; I’m just thinking about how having or not having that particular bit of power inflation changes the way the stories get told as well as the sorts of stories that get told.
I am now wondering how Superman was different before power inflation. I bet they told different stories when he just was fast and had a super leap than they tell now when he can fly through space unprotected and somehow turn back time be changing the rotational direction of the earth. (Magic!) These days both Doctor Who and Superman are essentially Gods. I know I miss the human scaled Doctor in New Who, and it makes him less interesting when the Universe revolves around him. I wonder if that’s why I stopped caring about superman once I hit adolescence.