During these very difficult times, people are coming together in ways we never imagined. Filming on TV shows and movies has ground to a halt thanks to the coronavirus, but that hasn’t stopped fans from celebrating what they love.
Case in point? Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall took this time of social distancing to write a short story that fills out a plot hole that has bugged Whovians since Jodie Whittaker’s first episode as the 13th Doctor, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” as the titular Doctor.
Here’s Chibnall’s message to fans:
Hello! We’re living through some strange times right now.
With people staying home, and families stuck together, I thought maybe a few little presents from Doctor Who might help. Something to read, together or alone. New treats, from the people who make Doctor Who.
We’ll try and post things here once or twice a week. Later this week, we’ll have a never-before-published treat written by [former showrunner] Russell T Davies.
To start us off, I’ve written a few words about what went through the Thirteenth Doctor’s head, immediately after she regenerated and was thrown out her TARDIS.
If you recall, in the middle of the regeneration process, the 13th Doctor literally fell from the sky, right into the middle of a train. We never understood the physics behind that fall, and how it didn’t hurt the Doctor more than it did. She was falling out of the sky…literally. But thanks to Chibnall, we now know exactly what was going on in the moments between regeneration and that rough landing.
The short story is titled, “Things She Thought While Falling,” and is about what it sounds like. I absolutely loved reading this — it took me right back to that moment we realized we finally had our first female Doctor. Oh, the goosebumps!
She was cold.
The Doctor was cold.
The ragged clothes weren’t helping. She was cold, and in someone else’s ragged clothes.
She felt a little peeved that the ragged clothes did not include a built-in parachute. That felt like an error.
Wait, she thought. Why would I want a parachute? Oh yes, that’s right. She remembered.
She was falling.
The Doctor’s inner monologue is so fun to read because she’s literally arguing with herself. That’s something that happens when you have multiple brains, I guess.
No, wait, not just exploding. Now the TARDIS was dematerializing – while it exploded. Dematerialexploding, thought the Doctor. That’s not a word, chided the Doctor. Alright, replied the Doctor, I’m only a few minutes in here – you’re lucky I’ve got any words at all. Will you two stop arguing, chimed in the Doctor. Only if you stop sub-dividing us, replied the Doctor, this is all the same brain. Don’t confuse matters.
As she fell towards the ground, the Doctor thought about the force of the fall, the velocity at which she was going, and how she would manage because it was going to hurt.
She saw the ground and calculated her own velocity. Ooh, this is going to hurt, she thought. Even with a soft landing. And it probably won’t be a soft landing. She crossed her fingers and hoped she was heading for an open air trampoline factory.
As she grew closer to the ground, she began smelling her surroundings, and identifying exactly where she was. Pretty impressive, don’t you think? She had it down to the exact location!
She wondered where exactly she was. Which sky she was falling through. Which ground she was heading for. She stuck her tongue out. It was buffeted by the air. Tickled. Ah. That tasted like Earth. Northern Europe. Britain. Wood smoke, diesel, grass, fast approaching concrete, lot of moisture and attitude in the air. Yorkshire. Possibly South Yorkshire.
I knew the Doctor had talents, but this is some next-level stuff.
Now, you’re probably wondering (just as I was) how the Doctor didn’t have multiple injuries when she crash-landed? How was she completely okay when we first saw her on that train?
With a bit of luck any injuries would be taken care of by the still fizzing regeneration process. Like those injuries the Doctor had got after he’d crashed through the roof at Naismith manor. Or the hand he’d managed to grow back after the Sycorax had lopped one off. Watch out Doctor, she thought, your personal pronouns are drifting.
Ahhh, so Time Lords have that advantage, do they? The regeneration process healed her up pretty quick because it was still ongoing! Everything suddenly makes so much sense!
And then of the story had me in my feelings, remembering how I felt when Doctor Who finally brought the first female Doctor into our lives:
Then, having hit the floor of the train, and felt extra little regenerative energy particles heal where things had scratched and broken and hurt — newness, in train, on a train — she thought to herself: this is going to be a very interesting night!
The Doctor jumped up, zapped a creature she couldn’t quite understand and immediately made new friends.
h/t Digital Spy