But if the first three seasons are a journey toward the Doctor's understanding of the feminine, Jackson's arrival on the scene -- as a better man than the Doctor could ever be -- presaged a finale consumed by men. By fathers, and brothers, and sons. By a brother driven mad by harsher fathers, and Eight's rejection of the hardness of madmen. Wilf represents the greatest aspiration of men: A father you can be proud of. He takes the hard truths of Pete's World, the Age of Steel, and combines them with a love and wonder as tender and open as Rose, or Martha, or Donna could ever have shone. The open hand and the closed fist, at once. He is a dare.
Wilf makes his way up the central aisle, drawn to a stained-glass window that is a hidden picture of that wonder: A blue box, familiar to us all, hiding in a corner. He stares up, reminded of a man he loved once. "They call it the Legend of the Blue Box," says a voice, and he turns with a nervous smile. "I've never been in here before. I'm not one for churches," he says oddly: "Too cold."
The woman is all in white, old and beautiful. "This was the site of a convent, back in the 1300s. It's said a demon fell from the sky. Then a man appeared, a man in a blue box." She smiles. "They called him the Sainted Physician. He smote the demon and then disappeared." Wilf wonders about the coincidence; they both know there's no such thing. "Who knows? Perhaps he's coming back," she says, and his heart skips a beat, and then she is gone.
...This is the curse of life: that not
A nobler calmer train
Of wiser thoughts and feelings blot
Our passions from our brain;
But each day brings its petty dust
Our soon-chok'd souls to fill,
And we forget because we must,
And not because we will...
The Doctor's been hiding out, ever since his vision of Ood Sigma, on the day of his shame. The day he looked Sunday in the face and realized what he was becoming. He wouldn't call it hiding, but he knows. He arrives in the snows of Oodsphere in a lei and great silly hat, babbling senselessly at Ood Sigma, who has summoned him.
"I didn't exactly come straight here. Had a bit of fun, y'know? Travelled about. Did this and that. Got into trouble, you know me. It was brilliant! I saw the Phosphorous Carousel of the Great Magellan Gestadt! Saved a planet from the Red Carnivorous Maw, named a galaxy Alison, got married -- that was a mistake... Good Queen Bess, and let me tell you, her nickname is no longer..." I'm not sure if he married her (I think he means River Song), but that's about as blue as this show's ever gotten. The Virgin Queen. Not the first he's ruined.