Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany


Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you!
See more
See less

Which Doctor was at the party in the Condition of Muzak

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Which Doctor was at the party in the Condition of Muzak

    In the chapter of the Condition of Muzak titled 'The Mirror, or Harlequin Everywhere' Mr Smiles complains because he has not been alowed to come to the party as Frankenstein who was not suitable, or too modern or to general, but notes that Doctor Who was there. I had always assumed this was the first doctor for some reason, I think because by the seventies I felt he had become mythical. But now I wonder if that was the doctor Mike intended. I assume it was someone dressed as the Doctor but now I wonder about that; now we know he exists in Moorcock's multiverse, could the real Doctor have poped in?

  • #2
    I'm going to guess Tom Baker, not only because of the 1970s publishing date but also the startling resemblance between Baker's Doctor and MM favourite Bob Dylan (see cover of Blonde on Blonde for proof). ;)
    Last edited by Heresiologist; 01-09-2020, 11:14 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it may have been Tom Baker. Mike has said that while he liked the concept of Doctor Whoi he did not like the first or third Doctors as they were too paternalistic. He felt it realy came together with Tom Baker. However not sure why the party could have a charachter who had only existed for a couple of years but not Frankenstein. Of course if you dress as Frankenstein you take your model from Hollywood. The similarity between Bob in 66 and Tom in 75 may have been due to common influences. Tom's look was based on a painting by Lautrec; he is meant to look bohemian. A lotofpeople in the sixties werereaching back to the late Victorian and Edwardian era for dress as Doctor who did for its first 5 iterations of the charachter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Although I daresay the Fourth Doctor would have been the obvious candidate at the time of publication, I think the point of a time travelling character like Doctor Who means supposing it must be a specific incarnation who attends the Peace Talks would be a rather restrictive interpretation. Someone reading TCOM for the first time in 2020 is just as likely to picture Jodie Whitaker as Tom Baker or William Hartnell or even David Tennant.
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
          Although I daresay the Fourth Doctor would have been the obvious candidate at the time of publication, I think the point of a time travelling character like Doctor Who means supposing it must be a specific incarnation who attends the Peace Talks would be a rather restrictive interpretation. Someone reading TCOM for the first time in 2020 is just as likely to picture Jodie Whitaker as Tom Baker or William Hartnell or even David Tennant.
          I think TCOM is too much of its time for that to work. I think, even if I had not lived through that time, I would know it did not relate to what we now know. TCOM belongs to the late seventies with all its decline and loss as much as The Final Programme belongs to the mid sixties. So the Doctor has to be what he was then and, if I am being honest, he has to be fictional. No one, in those universes where he exists calls him Doctor Who. (apart from . . . )

          Comment


          • #6
            It was the real Doctor of course ;)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Una Persson View Post
              It was the real Doctor of course ;)
              Ah, but then why does Mr Smiles call him Doctor Who and not The Doctor?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by postodave View Post

                Ah, but then why does Mr Smiles call him Doctor Who and not The Doctor?
                Maybe he just didn't know him as well :)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Una Persson View Post

                  Maybe he just didn't know him as well :)
                  You are not taking this seriously, are you?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Una Persson View Post

                    Maybe he just didn't know him as well :)
                    Welcome back Una! :-)
                    "He found a coin in his pocket, flipped it. She called: 'Incubus!'
                    'Succubus,' he said. 'Lucky old me.'" - Michael Moorcock The Final Programme

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd refer you to the wikiverse if it was about. I think as is said above it was the Fourth Doctor. In many early stories the Doctor is referred to as Doctor Who. As regards whether the Doctor is real, of course he is - we know that from The Coming of the Terraphiles...
                      Statistically 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Elwher View Post
                        I'd refer you to the wikiverse if it was about. I think as is said above it was the Fourth Doctor. In many early stories the Doctor is referred to as Doctor Who. As regards whether the Doctor is real, of course he is - we know that from The Coming of the Terraphiles...
                        Ah, but a person can be real in one sector of the multiverse and fictional in another. So Doctor Who could be fictional in TCOM and real in TCOTT. The name Doctor Who is used on screen just once on TV but does occur in some other narratives as a title, for example in the first annual, maybe some comic strips, the Peter Cushing films (which we know exists in the Doctor Who universe.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          And then I remembered this from Elizabeth Sandiffer's review of The Mind Robber:
                          The clue is in episode two, in which Gulliver makes a comment that the Doctor is a traitor to the Land of Fiction. What on Earth could that possibly mean? (Yes, like all of Gulliver's lines, it's actually from Swift, but we are, I think, meant to assume that what he says is true, if oddly phrased) The obvious answer is that the Doctor is originally from the Land of Fiction. In fact, if we take Gulliver's line at face value (and there is admittedly some reason not to, though it seems to me given the rest of the story there's more reason to), the Doctor must hail from the Land of Fiction. You cannot be a traitor to a land you are not from.

                          Virtually everything in the episode seems to confirm this. For instance, Jamie stumbles upon a ticker tape that is actively creating the adventures of the Doctor and Zoe as they happen. (This leads to the one muffed moment of the episode, in which the Doctor and Zoe are menaced by Medusa as Jamie reads about it on ticker tape. The cliffhanger shot is the Doctor and Zoe, when, from a modern perspective, it's clear that the far more bizarrely chilling moment would be to cut back to Jamie and have him read out loud about their horrible fate, then cut to credits.) Or, perhaps more significantly, Jamie and Zoe are at one point made fictional, and the Doctor at one point frets that if he writes himself into the story directly he'll become fictional.

                          Let's say that again to really stress the weirdness of it. The primary threat in this story is that the characters will become fictional. This is, of course, a brilliant use of existential horror and one of the highlights of the story. But thinking about that from a remotely human perspective, it does not actually make any sense. The only way in which a person can meaningfully be threatened by fictionality is if they are already a character in a story. In other words, if they are already in some sense fictional and what is going on is not "becoming fiction" but rather "losing realness." After all, the story does establish that fictional characters cannot be destroyed, and at the end, for no explained reason, the Doctor and company avoid the explosion of the Land of Fiction. Why would this be?

                          The simplest explanation of all of this is that, on some level, the Doctor has always been a part of the Land of Fiction - intended to be its master and controller. And that he escaped.
                          So the Doctor is fictional but has become real by fleeing into the cosmos!

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X