R is for the read-thru that keeps you in suspense.
E is for the eye-rolls at each run-on sentence .
GENERATION is for the groups of folks who grew up with this show,
and if I was a better poet this whole thing would rhyme.
I have no idea what I am doing.
Thirteen is falling from her TARDIS. I feel like it’s something I can relate to. Often.
One of the trickiest things about writing anything is finding your voice. I struggle with it, constantly questioning myself: What voice will I speak with this time? What do I want to say here? What is my point?
In order to try and work this out, I’m going to talk about regeneration.
I know that the concept of regeneration is kind of a big deal. It’s the critical point in the pendulum swing of The Doctors experiences. On either side this arc is the time spent living. It is not, however, an event any of us have ever had, nor will have, the pleasure or misfortune to experience. Mostly, this is due to the fact that it is a fictional process, a clever plot device invented to explain the change of talent. But I have to wonder how many of us, in that moment of its occurrence, have ever stopped to consider what it is actually like?
Imagine, if you will, or if you can, what the tearing apart and recombining of one single atom might feel like. An atom is about a ten-billionth of a meter, for reference. Theoretically, when a regeneration begins in full force, every atom begins this process of tearing apart and recombining. Every. Atom. Each of us has somewhere in the neighbourhood of 7×10^27, or seven billion billion billion atoms.
And at the moment of regeneration, every single one of those cowboys is going Boom Town in every direction at once, right before they get sucked back together again. Happy little atoms.
Now, it’s true that the regeneration process has evolved over the years. Initially, it was a far more subtle process, occurring quietly somewhere in or around TARDIS. Mostly.
However, since about the Eighth Doctor, the tone of regeneration has taken a marked upswing. It has now become somewhat of a character unto itself, with a style and flair unique to each iteration.
Remarkably, it has no lasting effects on clothing. I suppose this due to it being a biological process, but it seems to me that being a transaction of energy, of a sort, then the clothes would either fall to the ground a la Obi Wan Kenobi, or bust apart like the Hulk. They don’t. Must be in the script.
It probably isn’t a fun thing to go through, however, and because of all the associated pain, stress and and trauma that comes with a regeneration, perhaps its a good thing that one life ends and another begins. It would seem like awful, terrible baggage to carry around.
In summary, regeneration sucks. Every atom in the body gets rewritten, painfully, instantaneously. Like a brand new blank canvas, away walks a whole new person, a whole new universe to discover. As this new personality attempts to take shape, hands fumble at strange anatomy while processing unfamiliar sensations. It’s gooey, and messy.
First thoughts form somewhere in the brain and fire their way down through synapses, as neurons explode in cognitive awareness. They surf along vocal chords, riding the wave of sound up and over the tongue, spilling forth from between teeth and lips, becoming The Doctors First Words.
Come to think of it, writing, for me, is kind of a similar experience.
Writing sucks. Every syllable within a sentence gets written and rewritten, painfully, laboriously. Like with every brand new empty page, awaiting is some undiscovered idea. As this new idea takes shape, my hands fumble at across the plasticized keys of my laptop, while processing unfamiliar sentence structure. It’s boring, and it’s frustrating.
First thoughts form somewhere in the back of my brain, firing their way down through my synapses, as my one good neuron puffs limply with the barest of cognitive alacrity. They trip and tumble around in my creative washing machine, sliding out from my finger tips, becoming My First Words.
More often than not, they are usually “I have no idea what I am doing”.
What was I trying to say?
Do you wield a Sonic Quill? We're calling all Whovian Scribes who have a voice and are keen to get their ideas out there. Perhaps you write Doctor Who Fan Fiction, essays on the most obscure facets of the Whoniverse, or maybe you want to review the local stage adaptation of 'Blink'. Either way, if you'd like to join the ranks of our WBW Correspondents, get in touch and we'll chat.