stolen earth

Pleasing you

Synopsis: Stolen from Earth when you were only a teenager, what is left of your life consists of training to become an obedient pleasure slave on Sakaar… that is, until the Grandmaster, your slave driver, decides to gift you to King Loki, who seeks to visit to observe one of the Grandmaster’s infamous gladiator fights. Now, you belong to him, obliged to fulfil his every need. A truly tempting opportunity, is it not? After all—who is the God of Mischief to miss out on all the fun that comes with being king of Asgard?

Pairing: Loki x Reader
Rating: M
Chapter: 1/1 (Oneshot)
Words: 6725
Warnings: (sexual)
submission, kidnapping, (sexual) slavery, imprisonment, mentions of abuse, dub-con, smut

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8

screaming at the top of my lungs; finally i found someone
never knew what love could do; before you
i am opening my eyes; for the very first time
never knew what love could do;
before you

Tumblr Fact or Fiction - Doctor Who - David hadn’t seen Billie since Doomsday, and was surprised when she appeared on the deserted street while filming The Stolen Earth

When the post making this claim first started making its rounds on Tumblr, many of us laughed it off because we knew it was completely false/made up. But the post caught on and became popular, worming its way into the fanbase as fact and showing up elsewhere online.  Even though it is entirely untrue, many people believe it (and spread it!)  Sure, it’s a semi-romantic notion (if you don’t get offended on David’s behalf that some people don’t think he can act unless he’s tricked into an emotional situation).  The truth of the matter is, the claim above is so very far from the actual truth - and there are plenty of ways to prove it.

Let’s break it down piece by piece.

Fallacy #1:  David hadn’t seen Billie since they filmed Doomsday

Fact: David and Billie saw each other plenty of times between the end of filming on Series Two and Billie’s times filming in Series Four.  According to the Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition - Series Two Companion, the final block of recording on series two ended Friday, March 31st of 2006.  A list of just some of the occasions when David and Billie were seen together after this (without getting into stalker-ish territory) include:
➤ June 2006 - David presented Billie with her award at the Glamour Awards ceremony
➤ September 4, 2006 - David and Billie attended the TV Quick/TV Choice Awards together (and both won)
➤ October 31, 2006 - David and Billie attended National Television Awards together (and both won, as did Doctor Who)
➤ early 2007 - David attended the play “Treats” starring Billie & Laurence Fox and left with them both after the play
➤ Dec 31, 2007 - David attended Billie’s wedding to Laurence Fox

Fact:  Doomsday wasn’t even the last episode shot in Series Two.  The production team scheduled filming on all of the Cyberman episodes together in a block - so Rise of the Cyberman/The Age of Steel/Army of Ghosts/Doomsday were filmed together in the middle of the shooting schedule.  The last episodes filmed for Series Two were the Impossible Planet/Satan Pit two-parter.  You can see evidence of this on David Tennant’s video diaries for the series – where he discussed filming Billie’s goodbye on the beach when they were really only halfway through the shoot, as well as Billie’s emotional final scenes for Satan Pit (and all of the exact shooting dates are available in the DWM Series Two Companion guide as well).


Fallacy #2:  David was surprised to see Billie when he turned around on that deserted street in The Stolen Earth

Fact: Billie’s first scene filmed for The Stolen Earth was David’s regeneration on the TARDIS set (which was filmed Friday, February 22nd, 2008 - according to the Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition Series Four Companion).  The goodbye-on-the-beach scene was recorded on March 5th.  The running-in-the-street scenes weren’t filmed until March 13th (and ran overnight into March 14th).  Basically, the street scenes were among the last scenes shot for the two-parter – David and Billie had already been on set together for nearly a month before he turned around to see her walking toward him on that deserted street.

Fact: The fact that Billie and the other companions were returning for the finale leaked in the press before the episodes even started filming.  The Daily Star leaked the returning cast information on October 8, 2007 (4 months before they would begin filming the two-parter).  In November (the 25th) The Daily Express claimed that Russell T Davies and David Tennant had persuaded Billie to return as Rose, with the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail not far behind with similar claims about Billie and David reuniting.  It would be a pretty sad state of affairs if all of the tabloids knew that Billie was back before David did.

Fact:  Billie always knew she was coming back (and David did too).  From the Series Four Companion:  “I knew I was coming back when I knew I was leaving,” explained Billie on Doctor Who Confidential, thinking back to her departure, which had been shot in January 2006, “We all made a little pact that I’d come back and do a few more.  I really love lying to journalists when they ask me if I’m coming back.  I’m sorry that I lied to fans, but I think it was a surprise worth waiting for.”

Fact:  According to Russell T. Davies’ book, The Writer’s Tale, Davies was having trouble writing the Journey’s End Bad Wolf Bay scene.  Before shooting on the two-parter began, Julie had mentioned that the Bad Wolf Bay scene as originally scripted just wasn’t working for her, and David had weighed in as well, saying it was tragic - and then Davies obsessed over it for a month (according to the time stamps on the e-mails in the book), agreeing with Julie that Rose wouldn’t go with Doctor #2, mentioning at one point that “I just realised, my plan to make the Bad Wolf Bay scene work - the one involving Voidstuff - won’t work, because I’d forgotten that Mickey has to be free to stay in our universe. Bollocks.  Julie’s upset. She’s saying, ‘Leave Mickey in the parallel universe,’ and I’m saying, ‘Too late! We promised Noel that we’d bring him back in Torchwood Series Three.’  Then later, in an e-mail dated March 1st, 2008, he tells Benjamin Cook that he’s re-written the scene again, giving more of the decision to Rose to put her in control - and that now, “Julie is happy, David is happy, phew, good.”  Not only was David fully aware that Billie was in the script, he was concerned/had input on her goodbye scene (and all of that was well before filming the street scene).

In Conclusion:  There’s absolutely nothing correct about that statement. Doctor Who is a television show, and David and Billie are professional actors (who must be booked well in advance, and who are given scripts containing their lines/the plot). They can act hurt without actually being hurt, look sad even when they’re happy inside, and can appear to be surprised/thrilled to see each other even though they’ve been filming together for weeks. They are also friends who get together socially, as well as making various public appearances together between the end of Series Two and filming on Series Four.  Both Billie and David always knew that Billie would be coming back, and Billie had been back and filming scenes for Series 4 (including other scenes with David) long before the infamous deserted-street scene was shot.


Disclaimer:  
I make no claim of being the keeper of all Doctor Who knowledge, and I’m certainly not perfect, but I am happy to share the sources that I’m aware of and provide a place to gather evidence as to the veracity (or lack thereof) of these claims.  I’m always open to other evidence that can shed light on the matter (but in this case the statement in question really is just totally made up and inaccurate)

Sources for this post:  

  • David Tennant Series Two video diaries (on the Series 2 DVD boxed set)
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition - Series Four Companion
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition - Series Two Companion
  • The Writer’s Tale - Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook

Other “Who Fact or Fiction” links (tag):
Judoon Platoon Upon the Moon
The shoes photo from The Idiot’s Lantern isn’t David & Billie (or is it?)

I just… really like the idea of Zuko’s broadswords.

Better people than I have written essays on how Zuko’s use of dual swords reflects on his own duality of good and evil. But like on a character and canon level, the fact that Zuko uses swords is very important to me.

It’s implied throughout the series that benders are prioritized over non-benders (though I’ll admit the gap is much smaller than in other nations). I think it may have been a fanfic that stated that it was almost shameful for a firebender to use weapons, that it was a sign of weakness in the fact that their bending isn’t strong enough that they needed to rely on something else.

Zuko is a firebender and not just any firebender but a royal firebender from a long line of scary talented benders. From the start, he had a great many expectations put on him which he consistently failed to meet. Azula was the prodigy he was average at best and constantly made aware of his shortcomings. We see in Zuko Alone that he had a fascination with blades as a boy (Iroh’s knife). Wherever that interest came from, it was his. Something apart from his Father’s unrealistic expectations and something he could do on his own.

Because Zuko can see that he’s far behind Azula in terms of firebending and it must be so frustrating to be constantly trying and failing. And so maybe at that point he begins to develop his love of swords. Comics stated he trained with Piandao but I can see Zuko taking it beyond any mandatory royal training and just falling in love with the motion and balance of sword fighting. Because it’s something he finds he’s good at, something Azula can’t do. Shameful or not, he knows he’ll never be as good a bender as she is, but he can wield those swords. It makes me smile to think of pre-teen Zuko, in the years following his mother’s disappearance, practicing his swordplay in secret. Using that time to forget all the ways he’s messed up and focusing on something he’s good at. And considering how good Zuko is by the main series, he put a LOT of time and effort into training.

It gets deeper as we think of Zuko using those skills to free Aang as the Blue Spirit. He used sneaky tactics and skills he shouldn’t have to commit treason against the Fire Nation. A Firebender doesn’t fight with swords, but a Firebender also shouldn’t be freeing the Avatar. I feel like Zuko was disassociating heavily during that break-out in order to get the job done, trying to justify that the person doing these treasonous things wasn’t him… when in fact, the Blue Spirit was probably more in line with Zuko’s true personality: rough but with good, noble intentions, quiet not brash, non-confrontational; would rather sneak around than openly harm.

And when Zuko is turned into a fugitive in Book 2 and was forced to hide within the Earth Kingdom those swords, for the first time in his life, became more than a secret hobby, it became his chance for survival. He couldn’t out himself as a bender so he had to rely on his swords to get through the Earth Kingdom. I think it’s also telling he lost his fancy FN blade at the North Pole and had to resort to stolen Earth Kingdom blade. And imagine how he felt to be respected for his blade skills? Teaching Lee how to fight with swords in the middle of the night was so important for Zuko’s development. Patiently talking the eager boy through the stances and philosophy of dual swords, encouraging him. When Zuko offers Iroh’s blade to him, what may have initially started Zuko’s interest, he’s telling Lee it’s okay to pursue this, this is a good thing. Which… obviously didn’t work out but man that’s something big for Zuko.  

Then Zuko openly wearing his swords in Ba Sing Se and using them to defend himself against Jet could be seen as Zuko reconnecting with who he is, instead of hiding it. This metaphor of Zuko’s swords representing his true self continues if you think of how, when he returns to the Fire Nation, we never see his swords. At all. I can’t think of one episode where they appear when he’s living at the palace except, oh, that one time where Zuko faced his father and took back his loyal, his destiny and himself. The final half of season three, Zuko is hardly seen without his swords. They’re always at his back, ready to be used to supplement his firebending or whatever. Zuko has opened up to himself, accepted who he is, and wears his swords and his swordsmanship proudly

TL;DR- The fact that Zuko, a Firebender, trained himself is swords tells us about a childhood of being second best and his blades was something for him to enjoy on his own, one skill he could succeed at. It also becomes a symbol of his true self, of when he hides it and when he allows it to shine.