new vid - "New Dawn Fades" - Doctor Who - Ten character
New Dawn Fades
Fandom: Doctor Who (new)
Song/Artist: New Dawn Fades by Joy Division
Duration: 3:44 minutes
Summary: Ten hopes for something else.
Spoilers: to the end of season 3.
AVI version, Xvid, 45.57MB (If you have problems viewing, you need to download and install the free divx codec.)
WMV version, 35.21MB
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Audio commentary added November 2007. You can view it here.
Thanks very much to betas laurashapiro and chasarumba, to heresluck for all her help with the sound mix, and bradcpu for his kind offer of look-over and for bearing my constant whining.
Please refrain from distributing. This especially applies to sites like MySpace or YouTube. Thank you. :)
A change of speed, a change of style
A change of scene, with no regrets
A chance to watch, admire the distance
Still occupied, though you forget
Different colours, different shades
Over each mistakes were made
I took the blame.
Directionless so plain to see
A loaded gun won't set you free
So you say.
We'll share a drink and step outside
An angry voice and one who cried
'We'll give you everything and more,
The strain's too much, can't take much more.'
Oh, I've walked on water, run through fire
Can't seem to feel it anymore
It was me
Waiting for me
Hoping for something more
Seeing me this time
Hoping for something else
When I was in the thick of editing, something came to me at 3am in the morning and I jerked awake, shouting at the top of my lungs, "Those future!human!ball things are Daleks! The human race's ultimate destiny is to turn into Daleks! And there's nothing the Doctor can do about it!"
"Well, duh," M. mutters and rolls over. "Did it honestly take you this long to figure it out? Go back to sleep."
Let me preface this by saying I haven't seen old-school Who. I'd always meant to, and god knows M. has bugged me enough about it, but I just haven't found the time. So this vid as a character study feels woefully lacking because I don’t have a lot of the background knowledge to make qualified assertions.
But this song stayed in my head. The instrumental under the titles is the actual start of the song, which felt like an incredible coincidence to begin with. And the more I thought about it, the more links I drew between Ten and Ian Curtis. It shows up in the wildly manic-depressive behaviour, but there's something more than that. Despite the best efforts to create hope in this show, my personal reading is that it's always underpinned by an overwhelming sense of futility, and Joy Division sums futility up better than anybody.
He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm and the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and he can see the turn of the universe.
Before seeing the Family of Blood arc, I had a lot of trouble over how to structure the vid. It was only after watching the arc when I realised what the problem seemed to be: the Doctor's loneliness is beyond comprehension. You can have an idea of what it must be like, but the actual notion of non-linear time (and timelessness) isn't something that we can fully appreciate. There seem to be two core issues here: 1) that he alone must stand while everything slowly turns to dust all around him; and 2) he could visit people in all stages of their lives, watching them grow old in the space of a heartbeat. I wouldn't know how to communicate this in words, let alone convey it through manipulation of source.
But John's perspective is something we can understand. If he had stayed human, would he have been happy with his lot? Most likely not, but that's hardly the point. The point is that there's always the potential to live happily ever after - some might even say the potential of happiness is in fact the essence of happiness itself. As the Doctor he doesn't get the luxury of that delusion; he doesn't even get the luxury of this being a real choice.
On the Toclafane, I thought it was especially telling that the problem was never resolved. He may have won in the present, but all the Doctor could do was to send them back floating in the nothingness, at the end of space and time. That's it, then, for the human race - cannibalised, desperate, full of malice. There was never any suggestion that there could be anything more than this, and he knows it. One can argue all they like about existential self-worth coming from the very idea of meaninglessness, etc, etc, but on a gut level? It's simply depressing as hell.
So, Ten and Ian Curtis. To me the ending is always the same: alone, in the dark, with a length of rope.
ETA: The ensuing lines of poetry came up in my discussion below with milly, and I felt it was relevant enough to warrant editing into the notes. It's a stanza from Cinema, poem #10 in "The Suffolk Miracle" by Rob Jackaman.
Behind the mirror, banging to get out
You scream the scream of a man
a scream, cut off
But not liberated, the clock's pointed
Finger pokes through your eye
And tears the dreams out,
Even if you dream on tiptoe
So no-one can reach.
I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to both chasarumba and heresluck as they valiantly tried to battle a 30-year-old sound mix by an audio engineer who was no doubt dropping acid like his life depended on it. The understatement of the year would be to say we really, really dislike him. Let's leave it at that.
A few spots of additional footage from various space documentaries. Necessary? Probably not. But they were all glittery, and everybody knows how much I like shiny things.
Something of a random side-note: when I received my VVC DVD set, M. and I settled down to watch with much glee and of course the very first vid was fan_eunice's lovely Moons of Jupiter. M. watched it in silence, and then said, "Wow. That's the complete opposite of your vid."
Me (freaking out): "I KNOW!"
M.: "But the funny thing is, both of these vids are Ten. What does it mean when a character is so manic-depressive that you can split him right down the middle and have it look like two completely different people?"
A rather open-ended question. And now that I've totally exceeded my depressing/disturbing quota for the year, I'm off to engage in some sort of extremely fluffy activity. Hopefully with kittens.