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     Home »  The Paul McGann Era »  The Half Human Dilemma
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    The Half Human Dilemma Views: 3568
     Friday, April 07 2006 @ 06:46 PM EDT
    One of the new revelations from the 1996 movie was that the Doctor was half human. This new tidbit tended to irk most Doctor Who fans and it remains to be seen if this will be ignored in the new series.

    Personally, I didn't care for it either but here is how it could be useful in the overall series......

    It's been awhile since I sat through the movie but I recall they used the half-human bit to help explain why the Doctor was so drawn to the planet Earth (besides the other story element, which I can't recall right now).

    In the original run of the show, we had always seen the Doctor's regenerations as being a jarring disruptive transition. However, when we saw Romana regenerate into the Lalla Ward version (off screen), she was able to choose her look without, presumably, burning through her regeneration cycles. This could be explained as a window of time available for a Time Lord's cells to regenerate as we saw with the Doctor's hand in the Christmas Invasion. However, the Doc's regens have never been as smooth as the one seen with Romana. Which brings me to perhaps the half human element always screws up the regeneration process a bit?

    Anyone else ever come to that same conclusion?

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     Friday, April 07 2006 @ 07:51 PM EDT
    I suppose it depends on which version of regeneration you prefer to accept. Ironically, the half-human scenario in the TV movie was presented to the audience with a good deal more respect for the audience's intelligence than Romana's regeneration sequence - which was a bit of a joke.

    The half-human thing really doesn't bother me. When I first saw the TV movie I just thought it was something that had been previously mentioned somewhere in the series and - me not being a hardened Who fan - I hadn't picked up on it. It wasn't until recently that I discovered that it had generated so much ire in the fanbase. To me it just seems tokenistic to suggest a half human side, nothing more.

    Abersoch

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     Friday, April 07 2006 @ 08:41 PM EDT

    The whole "half human" thing is rubbish as far as I am concerned. The new series has dispelled it sort of... well... not absolutely, for sure.

    In Rose, Rose asks the Doctor if he is alien, and he says he is (but I suppose Spock would say the same even though he is half-human)... The other remark the Doctor makes to Rose in The Unquiet Dead about Rose not looking bad for a "human" -- another reference in World War Three with the Slitheen trapping the Doctor in the room there was a bit dialog about the Doctor not being human -- and the ongoing ape references about humans... that the 9th Doctor made during the 2005 series...

    Going all the way to the first episode of the series, The Unearthly Child and throughout the series until the TVM, it was made clear that the Doctor is from another world, another civilization... that he was indeed not human...

    "I'm a Time Lord... I'm not a human being; I walk in eternity..."

    He did not say, I'm a Time Lord... I am only half human; I walk in eternity...

    The whole half-human thing I felt was a cop-out to make him more acceptable for US audiences going with the whole Spock 'half-human' bit. It's been done before, and it is not in line with what was established previously in the 26 years of the TV series. The non-cannon theatrical films with Peter Cushing had him as a human being. Let's not go there.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Friday, April 07 2006 @ 11:36 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Louis]
    The whole "half human" thing is rubbish as far as I am concerned. The new series has dispelled it sort of... well... not absolutely, for sure.

    In Rose, Rose asks the Doctor if he is alien, and he says he is (but I suppose Spock would say the same even though he is half-human)... The other remark the Doctor makes to Rose in The Unquiet Dead about Rose not looking bad for a "human" -- another reference in World War Three with the Slitheen trapping the Doctor in the room there was a bit dialog about the Doctor not being human -- and the ongoing ape references about humans... that the 9th Doctor made during the 2005 series...

    Going all the way to the first episode of the series, The Unearthly Child and throughout the series until the TVM, it was made clear that the Doctor is from another world, another civilization... that he was indeed not human...

    "I'm a Time Lord... I'm not a human being; I walk in eternity..."

    He did not say, I'm a Time Lord... I am only half human; I walk in eternity...

    The whole half-human thing I felt was a cop-out to make him more acceptable for US audiences going with the whole Spock 'half-human' bit. It's been done before, and it is not in line with what was established previously in the 26 years of the TV series. The non-cannon theatrical films with Peter Cushing had him as a human being. Let's not go there.

    Cheers,
    Louis



    If I recall, the half human revelation was new to the Doctor in the 1996 movie, wasn't it? If so, then of course in the original series he will refer to himself as non-human. He grew up identifying as Gallifreyian, believing he is Gallifreyian, therefore he might still refer to himself as such. For example, Halle Berry is half white but still identifies herself as African-American. The same principle. Self identity.

    If you are going to ignore that aspect of the McGann era, then I choose to ignore the Colin Baker era!! lol Big Grin

    Ah well, it's not like the Doctor's history hasn't shifted over the years.

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     Saturday, April 08 2006 @ 01:46 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  atomic99] If I recall, the half human revelation was new to the Doctor in the 1996 movie, wasn't it? If so, then of course in the original series he will refer to himself as non-human. He grew up identifying as Gallifreyian, believing he is Gallifreyian, therefore he might still refer to himself as such. For example, Halle Berry is half white but still identifies herself as African-American. The same principle. Self identity.

    If you are going to ignore that aspect of the McGann era, then I choose to ignore the Colin Baker era!! lol Big Grin

    Ah well, it's not like the Doctor's history hasn't shifted over the years.


    It was new to the 1996 TVM, hence it broke from the established cannon of the series... just as the Peter Cushing movies did as well. My feelings is that it was a mistake. It is not the first time a mistake was made in the series and ignored later on... Just like name "Doctor Who" being used in The War Machines by WOTAN. I won't dismiss the entire story of The War Machines, but I do dismiss the name "Doctor Who" being used in it. Similarly, I do the same thing with the "half-human" nonsense in TVM...

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Saturday, April 08 2006 @ 07:27 PM EDT

    By just looking at the 1996 movie in isolation, that line seems like an afterthought, but it is part of a subplot that can't really be separated. If one looks at the scripts that were commissioned in the various attempts to get a movie project off the ground, we find that it was a major development in the "origin" stories that were proposed in some of those scripts. The way some of those scripts revealed the story of the Doctor's origins, and if this was to be a post-quel to them, then it doesn't look that strange. Whether those stories ever see the light of day or not in a published form, whether just a script/novel, or actually on screen, they were commissioned by the BBC or someone with a BBC license, so they can not be treated any less than The Masters of Luxor (the abandonded second Doctor Who serial a.k.a. Doctor Who and the Robots which was replaced by The Mutants a.k.a. The Daleks). The Lofficer's The N-th Doctor has a good summary of the history and plots of these developments.

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Monday, April 10 2006 @ 05:33 AM EDT
    During my mental meanderings whilst having a bath (I tend to daydream a lot, especially when in the bath!) I thought that maybe one day the Doctor might say that Humans are descended from TIme Lords. Or that maybe both Humans and Time Lords have a common ancestor (which would explain the physical similarities).

    This could explain why he is drawn to Earth, we might be two seperate species, but he still feels there is a common bond. Also, if that was the case now that there are no more timelords, this is the closest thing he'd have to a 'home' planet.

    It might explain why he's say he is half humann, but then again...! Like I say - it was just a bathtime ponderance!

    He's the strongest, he's the quickest, he's the best..... "Yorkshire is a state of mind"
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     Tuesday, April 11 2006 @ 10:45 AM EDT
    The Big Finish audio "Zagreus" explains the physical similarities between Time Lords, Humans and a whole host of other sentient species as being part of Rassilon's re-making the universe in his own image (along with doing quite a few other nasty things which I won't mention because it will spoil the story for anyone who cares).

    As for the Doctor being half-human... honestly I couldn't tell you. It's a complete non-sequitor with the rest of the series, both before and following the film. It's never mentioned again as far as I know in either the books, audios or the new series.

    I have my own fanwanky explanation involving the story in Lungbarrow where since the Doctor carries the DNA and possibly some of the memories of an individual known as "The Other" from pretty far back in Gallifreyan history, maybe it is "The Other" who is actually half-human.

    Useless trivia fact from Lungbarrow: the Doctor is the only Time Lord with a belly button, thus his cousins giving him the unfortunate nickname of "wormhole" in his youth. Tragic! Wink

    Of course the Loom thing from Lungbarrow seems to have been scrapped in the Big Finish audios - the doctor and other Time Lords refer to having had parents.

    But that's the problem with Doctor Who - it's always contradicting itself.

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     Tuesday, April 11 2006 @ 04:13 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Dangermouse] During my mental meanderings whilst having a bath (I tend to daydream a lot, especially when in the bath!) I thought that maybe one day the Doctor might say that Humans are descended from TIme Lords. Or that maybe both Humans and Time Lords have a common ancestor (which would explain the physical similarities).


    I hope they don't do that; it reeks of Stargate SG-1, of which I'm a fan, but I don't think we need another scifi storyline like humans begin descended from "the Ancients."

    supremacy is relative
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     Wednesday, June 14 2006 @ 05:33 AM EDT
    First post--must say I love the podcast (listening to it every day since I discovered it last week) and I always love finding new Dr Who forums.

    I've been spending a lot of time trawling through wikipedia.org to catch up on the New Adventures as I've read only a couple. It seems there have been several attempts to explain this revelation, including the following:

    Quite apart from the kisses mentioned earlier, the Doctor's revelation in the 1996 television movie that he was half-human (on his mother's side) also proved controversial among fans. Some have suggested that the Doctor was joking, or that only the Eighth Doctor was half-human due to the particularly traumatic circumstances of his regeneration, rather than the Doctor having been half-human all along. The Time Lord ability to change species during regeneration is referenced by the Eighth Doctor in relation to the Master in the television movie, and is supported by Romana's regeneration scene in the 1979 serial Destiny of the Daleks. The Daleks also implied during the events of The Daleks' Master Plan that the First Doctor's humanoid form is not his actual appearance. The new series has not made any allusions to mixed parentage, only referring to the Doctor as "alien". However, the trade paperback Doctor Who: The Legend Continues by Justin Richards, published to coincide with the new series, refers to the Doctor as half-human.

    The spin-off novels have also tried to explain this revelation in various ways, suggesting that the Doctor retained some human DNA from his time as Dr John Smith in Human Nature. In the Ninth Doctor Adventures novel The Deviant Strain by Justin Richards, the Doctor comments that his DNA is "close" to that of humans. However, as noted above, the canonicity of the novels is uncertain.

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     Wednesday, June 14 2006 @ 09:25 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Dangermouse] During my mental meanderings whilst having a bath (I tend to daydream a lot, especially when in the bath!)

    Have you ever thought of applying for the captaincy of the Golgafringian B Ark? Smile

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Sunday, June 25 2006 @ 04:18 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    [Quote  by:  Dangermouse] During my mental meanderings whilst having a bath (I tend to daydream a lot, especially when in the bath!)

    Have you ever thought of applying for the captaincy of the Golgafringian B Ark? Smile

    Taras
    You, sir, are clearly a man who knows where his towel is.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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     Friday, June 30 2006 @ 07:44 PM EDT
    I reckon the writers were looking for a reason to explain why 1. an alien would bother with earth and 2. look like a human. Maybe they thought those were questions viewers would be asking. 1996 was the height of X-files mania, after all, and that particular show seemed to create a culture of "Why's" - it's possible that they thought nobody would "buy" the idea of Doctor Who without "answers."

    If Worzel Gummidge and the Third Doctor had a fist fight - who would win?
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     Sunday, August 06 2006 @ 06:01 AM EDT
    Well, let's face it: the "half human" thing was a plot device, pure and simple. It's pretty blatantly there to explain why a human retinal pattern could open the Eye of Harmony.

    What's particularly dumb about this is that the Master at that point had human eyes, so it really makes no sense why "Bruce" couldn't have opened the Eye. I mean, the Master was literally half-human at that point, too.

    That said, RTD has included it as a possibility in the new series, when the pre-regenerative Ninth Doctor suggests he might come back as something other than a humanoid shape. This suggests that regeneration is a far more dynamic process than we've previously seen, and that the Eighth Doctor could have been half-human when other regenerations weren't.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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     Sunday, August 06 2006 @ 09:23 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical] Well, let's face it: the "half human" thing was a plot device, pure and simple. It's pretty blatantly there to explain why a human retinal pattern could open the Eye of Harmony.

    What's particularly dumb about this is that the Master at that point had human eyes, so it really makes no sense why "Bruce" couldn't have opened the Eye. I mean, the Master was literally half-human at that point, too.

    That said, RTD has included it as a possibility in the new series, when the pre-regenerative Ninth Doctor suggests he might come back as something other than a humanoid shape. This suggests that regeneration is a far more dynamic process than we've previously seen, and that the Eighth Doctor could have been half-human when other regenerations weren't.


    Well, if the Master had completely human eyes in the form of Eric Roberts, then they shouldn't have been able to glow green at his wife.

    But other than that, sure, he should have been able to open the eye of Harmony himself.

    The half-human thing was something the Master said, so we can only assume it's a ridiculous assumption.

    It's complete rubbish as Louis said. A desperate attempt to Americanize the series in 1996.

    Let's hear no more of it.

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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