Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
(I didn’t initially leave space to link to the previous chapter, so here’s me correcting that.
I tend to have a problem when I near the end of a book I’m reviewing under this banner. Eventually I run out of ways to open the next installment without spoilers on the home page. I’ve also run out of characters to talk about in Who history so…I don’t know, let me discuss my history with the franchise for the remaining chapters I guess.
I first heard of Doctor Who from a friend of mine who caught it at 6 PM on our local PBS station. Since that was typically when we had supper as my dad came home from work and we didn’t have a VCR at the time I didn’t catch it. Eventually we did get a VCR and a PBS station out of Massachusetts aired them by editing the serials into a movie format, something closer to what we get with modern airings of found episodes or animated replacements of missing episodes if they air on TV. (Think “Power Of The Daleks” or “Shada”.) Eventually our local station altered the air time and I got to see that show. Eventually I came across comics and novelizations, the comics already reviewed and the novelizations I may do in the future. For now let’s see if any of our new mysteries get solved in today’s chapter.
Well, there’s one question we might not get an answer to: why was Bamford traveling through time in the alternate 2006 anyway, and what ended her up in 1974? She’s dead now so I guess we may never know unless the Doctor succeeds in find past…young…alternate Bamford…you see my problem with time travel? I hope we haven’t discovered it in the future because we’re dead if they do.
It’s going to get worse, but we’ll also mess with lore momentarily. Right now a new problem exists. Bamford’s last order was to literally nuke the place by causing the reactor to meltdown. Seems a harsh solution for someone trying to end all this, but I don’t think her rational thinking ability is what got her promoted. We do learn why she wanted to off all the time alternates, and apparently the “vagrants” in the area may have all been time alternate as well. Which raises a few questions about vagrants in the real Canary Warf area but I don’t live in London and can’t speak to it. This does allow the Doctor to use the loop to create a stable bridge to where Bamford arrived and presumably sent the TARDIS, where the Doctor is sure she found a way in and studied it enough to lead to where we are today. Yes, the alien artifact was the TARDIS, and apparently Bamford and the Andrewses all saw a vision of it during their travel…especially the Andrews who slammed face first into it in the vortex. Apparently Susan can’t seem to can figure this out but can’t wrap her head around the fact that going to stop it isn’t changing history but restoring it. I’m going to save the history of time travel and Doctor Who‘s weird dance so I have a discussion topic in the next installment’s opener (remind me if I forget), but we are told that the Doctor may have lied to Barbara and in fact the problem isn’t that history is unchangable but the results of trying can be catastrophic. Just ask Wally’s mentor, Barry Allen.
Also learned: Griffiths is actually Abi’s father, which raises questions as to why Abi said they were “just friends” among others, and Barbara somehow finally realizes that this is the Ian she knew, making all that nonsense pointless when she shifts to figuring out alternate Ian was married and possibly alternate Barbara is a widow. We could have just gone with that. Also, Griffiths was cold to Abi because he was planning on going back through time and stopping the war and all the time travel nonsense and is not planning on being able to come back. Not that it matters since she’s dead now too, but that’s how these stories go. Kill everyone before the time reset button is pressed…though that usually happens with the main cast in an alternate timeline/universe. Now I have to wonder if the reason WOTAN (fixed a few days later because I got the computer confused with the Haydonite member of our heroes over in Robotech II: The Sentinels) succeeds is because there’s a timeline where the TARDIS crew were trapped in time and the Doctor never had that meeting…in which case the Cybermen should have already conquered Earth if they are indeed the “machine people”….
Yeah, let’s just end this before I have to break out the Austin Powers “I’ve gone crosseyed” clip. Next time our heroes go back to the past, and not to play bad video games. Only four more chapters to go.