As a gift I would love for our generation and all the people that grew up without their parents, whether you knew them early on or not, is to have that conversation so you could let that anger go. Because that’s the sort of anger that keeps you from love - it makes you put up walls and you don’t let people get close to you, because you don’t ever want to feel that feeling of abandonment or that feeling of hurt again, so you don’t let certain people close to you.
Jay-Z, speaking on the impact he felt after repairing his relationship with his father Adnis “AJ” Reeves, during a conversation with Dr. Cornel West and Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library in 2010.
In Paul Cornell’s Four Doctors comic, we see a glimpse of the universe where the Tenth Doctor stays in his Time Lord Victorious phase and abandons Wilf in the radiation chamber. This alt-Ten eventually becomes ruler of the universe, reigning supreme over all time and space until meeting his end at the hands of a Raxarocoricofallicoptarorian assassin.
In parallel, Lance Parkin’s Father Time shows the last surviving Time Lord as supreme emperor of the universe for a thousand years, ruling from the Needle through his ruthless secret police and the power of fear. On the day of his daughter’s birth, he’s assassinated by an uprising; his daughter Miranda goes on to be adopted by the Eighth Doctor, and
and in The Gallifrey Chronicles it’s baaaasically confirmed that the Emperor is (or was) the Doctor.
Both these stories seem to be a peek into the same future, where the Tenth Doctor becomes Time Lord Victorious and emperor of the universe. In fact, since Father Time portrays this as the definite future of the Eighth Doctor’s universe, we could even say that the Emperor Victorious is the Doctor’s “original” future; something must have changed the timeline to turn him off of this path. (I hypothesize that it’s the return of Gallifrey in The End of Time: in particular, the interference of the mysterious Time-Lock-busting woman in white.)
If this timeline change did come so late in Ten’s life, when River Song described “her Doctor” in Silence in the Library, she was actually talking about the Time Lord Victorious. He was the one to marry her, while our Doctor only gave hasty vows in a collapsing bubble universe; he was the one to give her a sonic screwdriver, which is clearly a modified version of Ten’s, not Eleven’s or Twelve’s. This idea is quietly supported by her statements in the episode, which suggest that her Doctor still wears Ten’s face: for instance, she has to ask him whether he’s lived through the Byzantium, and she says he’s like an “early photograph” of her Doctor.
And what kind of future Ten does this describe? Who was the man that scared away the Vashta Nerada with just his name?
Now my Doctor, I’ve seen whole armies turn and run away. And he’d just swagger off back to his TARDIS and open the doors with a snap of his fingers. The Doctor in the TARDIS. Next stop, everywhere.
Next stop, everywhere. Forget the consequences. Forget the “fixed points”. Forget the rules. Because the Laws of Time are Ten’s, and they will obey Him.
What a splendid and fun supernatural procedural. I read it in its entirety on a cross-country flight, while a weary mother’s dictatorial three-year-old loudly terrorized my entire seating section from the seat beside mine. Even with a strange child’s feet flailing in my lap and a strange child’s popcorn arcing over my field of vision and a strange child’s crappy diaper removed and instantly refueled inches away from me, this novel held me. So, without further ado, five things about it:
1. It’s the first in a series: the Shadow Police series, book 3 of which came out last year in the UK and is coming here to the U.S. in May. I know that I’m a hypocrite to be saying I’m not a fan of series because I don’t like waiting for the next book to arrive, but there it is, it’s the truth. London Falling, however, wraps up book one’s concern in a satisfying, sprawling climax, and although there is a decidedly open ending, it’s better classified as a promise than a cliffhanger.
2. Cornell has writing chops. I knew before starting London Falling this was his debut novel, but I also knew that he wrote comics and had written a few episodes of Dr. Who. He brings that sprightly pacing to this novel, juggling four main characters with ease. It’s a procedural at heart, so expect efficient, brisk characterization rather than lavished pages of introspection, but the main characters were nonetheless specific and intriguing.
3. The magic is just wonderful. Sometimes when a book tries to meld grit and magic, one or the other suffers, but London Falling delivered some lovely and toothsome magic that felt essential and old.
4. The first 50 pages are a slog. I’m saying this because I want you to push past it. There are a lot of characters introduced very quickly and a lot of unfamiliar workplace relationships strung across the page, and for me, at least, it meant that I sometimes had to flip back to earlier pages to see if I was remembering last names correctly. This may have been due in part to my airplane seatmate’s shouting that she wanted her candy NOW, but I suspect not.
5. There is a very, very rewarding plot element three quarters of the way through the novel that I’d love to tell you about — but I won’t. It is the result of a careful building of a plot and character house, and far be it for me to bring it tumbling down before you get a chance to climb the stairs. Suffice to say that I grinned on the plane when I read it. Well done, Cornell, well done.
I’ll be checking out Cornell’s other work posthaste.
Where did this story of "Bucky trained Natasha as a child in the Red Room therefore shipping them is supporting statutory r ape" come from? Wasn't she well into adulthood when they first met?
I think when Brubaker wrote that plotline he probably considered Natasha to be about nineteen or twenty, still inexperienced and naïve and not really knowledgeable enough about her masters to know not to cross them, but definitely adult. The canon that Brubaker was working off of (mostly Uncanny X-Men #268) showed Natasha as a child in 1941, so she’d be at least eighteen in 1957/58. Winter Soldier was around twenty-three or twenty-four.
When Paul Cornell hammered down his own timeline for Natasha in Deadly Origin, he moved her birthday back into the late 1920s, so she was close to thirty when she met Winter Soldier, but pretending to be seventeen as a cover identity as a way, I guess, to “explain” why she might have seemed younger in other stories.
Actually, speaking of Doctor Who Magazine, I’m looking at a digital version of DWM 279 (from 1999) and it’s got a really interesting interview with Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell, Lance Parkin and Gareth Roberts on the idea of Doctor Who being revived and it’s got some of the best (and most ironic) quotes I’ve seen. Here’s just a small selection: