More Remembrances of Things Past, the Proust title again, heralding another look back into The Doctor’s past. Because the one thing this series was always about was filling in the blanks. And there is still a blank about how exactly The Doctor’s son was killed – or if he was killed. The seed of doubt was planted way back in Rassilon’s Envelope, when it was suggested that he is not one of the dead souls of the Time Lords. A further hint was given in Millennium Man, setting The Doctor on a new quest. One fraught with anxiety, which I probably should have given more than the five episodes of this particular story arc, but I had by now set a deadline to complete the Unfinished Business by November 23rd, and launch the new story series on that day, the anniversary of the first Doctor Who episode in 1963.
So it was important to develop the obsession in a very few stories and let the angst build up. The idea that trouble could be brewing was seeded in the beginning of Dark Matrix when TEN warned Rose to keep an eye on Nine and not let him become obsessed. But The Doctor is not a man to be told what to do and obsession is where he was going very quickly.
The idea that the TARDIS could recreate this courtroom scene from the file in its databanks seemed to me at the time to be pushing it a bit. The things the TARDIS can do must, surely, have limits. But then, only recently, we discovered that the TARDIS has a facility for letting The Doctor change his DNA and become temporarily Human with a whole new personality devised by the TARDIS. (Human Nature, broadcast May 26th, 2007) So really, what the TARDIS can do seems to be limited only by the writer’s imagination.
The names of all of the characters involved in the court are from my own writing. There are actually very few known Time Lord names in the mythology of Doctor Who. We have met Borusa, Chancellor Flavia, Councillor Hedin, Castellan Kelner, Lord Gomer, Lord Savar, Romana, Rodan, and a few others. But there seemed to be plenty of scope to create new Time Lord names. Mírraflaex became the family name of the woman The Doctor’s son married. Ravenswode had already been mentioned in the Theta Sigma stories as one of the snobbier Oldblood families. In fact, one of the Ravenswode’s tries a military coup on Gallifrey in Theta Sigma, but there isn’t enough evidence to implicate the whole family. It is fun naming Time Lords.
And so some more evidence is presented that somehow
Christoper de Lœngbærrow might, in fact, have fallen through
a temporal rift and possibly be alive. The Doctor’s obsession is
fuelled and old wounds opened. Before he and Rose can be ready to marry
and be happy together those wounds need to mend once and for all.