Doctor Who #1025: The Secret of Novice Hame

"I wonder..."
TECHNICAL SPECS: Released on YouTube 30 May 2020.

IN THIS ONE... The Doctor visits Novice Hame on her death bed.

Russel T Davies' second funeral written for Doctor Who: Lockdown (this time for the global watch party for New Earth and Gridlock) is essentially an audio tale set to a cute picture that gets modified with extra art or effects, with Anna Hope and (squee) David Tennant reprising their roles as Novice Hame and the Tenth Doctor respectively, with Murray Gold on music. It's set during Doc10's "friendship tour" in The End of Time and consequently, both leads are on their death bed. What RTD provides here is very much a slice of his era, and at first, I wasn't sure I wanted yet another story of a character waiting for the Doctor like a comforting Messiah. It's the kind of stuff I found indulgent and sappy in the Tennant days, all the lonely god stuff, and everyone just so in love with him. I am not a fan of the "tour", and adding to it, here not only visiting Hame on her last night, but also arranging a reunion with her parents, it strain credulity more and more. If you do like the tour, it adds credence to the fan theory (theory? hope!) that he visited all past companions, not just those of his era.

But it also does what RTD does best. One of these is world-building. Not only does he efficiently give Hame an entire life from cradle to grave, sketching in the history of New Earth to extents we never knew, but he also suggests that by the year 5 billion, most animals from Earth have become sentient, not just cats. There are some beautiful descriptions, and while the tone is much like Farewell Sara Jane's, the first person narrative gives the poetry an appreciable immediacy. And as RTD can't help but be naughty, in this case he infers that the Doctor will regenerate into animals eventually. In Hame's head canon, he's worn a hundred faces of all types. Of course, Davies' BEST quality as a writer is to tug at your heart strings, so whatever else I was feeling about this short, it's hard to keep one's eyes dry in the final minutes. Hame's death is a beautiful event, and doesn't stop her from narrating. The realization that the Doctor no longer hears her is a sad one, but fills us with hope. The Cat Kingdom of her afterlife may yet exist, and the message is that we should at least wonder, because that's hope.

We never do learn the secret Novive Hame is keeping, what she discovered about the genesis of New Earth and how it could be so exactly like Earth, as if by design. An open door to a future adventure then, one in which this is revealed. One you might have to write yourselves, friends. But wouldn't it be cool if RTD penned this story - on TV or audio - at some point?

- A beautiful funereal minisode that may just make you shed a tear.


James Williams said...

Great Information,
Thank you for sharing..


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