June 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “Iterations Of I” Disc One

The Doctor and his companions find themselves in a haunted house.

OK, this was a little screwy.  The font on the CD cover said this story was called “Iterations Of I,” but I couldn’t tell if the “I” was the letter “I” or a number 1.  The font, as written, could have been either.  I had to Google the title just to figure that much out.

Oh, and the story involves a cult and a haunted house.

Yes, there’s a cult running around an old house, but they seem to be dying.  Some time later, the TARDIS pops up, and the Doctor, Tegan, Adric, and Nyssa all get out.  So far, so good.  The cult seems to be all gone by then, and the house they were staying in, the dark and spooky kind made all the darker and spookier because it’s night time and stormy, is otherwise deserted.

So, why then does it seem to be haunted?  The men go out to look around while the women, neither of whom believe in ghosts, hide inside.  Well, “hiding” is not the right word for Tegan.  She has the general idea that staying there is a bad idea, but Nyssa is really freaked out despite the fact that, yes, she knows ghosts aren’t real.

But there’s this computer…

See, this is Doctor Who.  Ghosts aren’t a thing.  It’ll be a science-based thing whatever it is.  Sure, that could very well be entirely made-up science, but it’ll still be science.  So, when it comes out that the cult believed God was a mathematical equation represented by a single number, that could be what’s in the computer even though, as observed, it’s a 1980s computer.  It’s not like God here is being stored in a smartphone or something.

Gosh golly gee whiz, this story would be very different with a 21st century computer.  I basically have three of them within ten feet of me as I type this up.

But that’s neither here nor there.  This may be a Doctor Who story so there’s no need to worry about the supernatural, but there could still be weird aliens stuff.  That just means that even if there’s no ghosts, the whole “God is a number” thing could still be possible.  And yes, that seems to be the case.  Even as the local authorities come over, even as the Doctor and Adric find a number of graves for people who died at the house at fairly young ages, even as Nyssa seems to fall under the sway of the computer.

Oh, so does Adric because of course Adric fell under the spell of a math-based alien intelligence.

People under its influence just keep saying “I” over and over again.

Now, the Doctor is no dummy, so he knows not to mess with the computer.  One of the locals thinks his shotgun will solve the problem.  It doesn’t.  It just puts the thing in the local guy’s mind.  Probably as punishment for destroying the computer.

So, there’s a number-based alien intelligence that takes over people and makes them say a single letter of the alphabet that represents its whole existence over and over again.  It’s invisible and probably intangible.  Can the Doctor stop it if it is indeed malevolent, something that seems likely since there are a lot of dead people who died young buried outside?

I’d say probably.  It is what the Doctor does.