Doctor Who
The Long Game

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B+ | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
The Re-Animated Corpse Of Anderson Cooper

On Floor 500, the computer confirms a breach, and the Editor giggles kind of crazily: "I knew it...It's someone inside that room! Which one?" We focus on Rose and the Doctor and Adam, the last of whom is wigging out this time because he can see Cathica's very useful brain. (What was the worst part for Rose? I guess just the fun time all the aliens were having. That's way less stressful than this. No, well, Earth blowing up. I think maybe Rose wins after all. Plus Adam being a pussy and all.) Rose asks Adam whether he wants to get out of there, but Adam = Knowledge. "No...no! This...technology, it's amazing!" The Doctor almost snaps his fingers: "This technology's wrong." The music goes all "We're on the case," that discotheque-ish dance mix sound, and Rose looks up excitedly: "Trouble?" She and the Doctor grin wolfishly at each other, Adam completely left out: "Oh yeah."

Two stories here, before we continue. The first one's Zoroastrian, and the second one is Gnostic. Stick with me.

First, in the Avesta, Angra Mainyu, or Ahriman, is the Evil Spirit of the God Ahura Mazda -- specifically, the twin of Spenta Mainyu, whom Zoroaster used to illuminate the two principles of creation and destruction which combined in Ahura Mazda. (Compare with Shiva.) Ahriman chose evil, and, in doing so, created death. On Judgment Day, Ahriman will be destroyed and disappear from the world forever. But some believe that the whole material world is just a trap created by Ahura Mazda for Ahriman anyway, meaning that when he destroys the world, we will be free, as well. So that's one story: if you're trapped in God's prison with the Devil, and the Devil wants out, who's really the bad guy? Ask Milton.

The second story -- and I'd advise you that there's a reason we named the baby "Sophia" -- goes like this: in most versions of the Gnostic myth, Sophia births the world that Plato called the demiurgos, or for a single deity, the Demiurge, an entity responsible for the creation of the universe. Sometimes he's benevolent, leonine, like Mithras, and just got caught in the trap of his own creation. Elsewhere, though, he's not so nice. He has three names, like gods usually do: Ialdabaoth, meaning "Suffer the little children to come unto me"; Samael the Blind; and Saklas the Fool. He doesn't even know that there's a better god out there because he's so caught up in his own creation. Generally, he creates some archangels, or "Archons," Editors, who rule the material realm and usually do the whole Pilgrim's Progress deal on those of us inside it. If you're wondering why this episode seems to owe so much to The Matrix, well, it's little show of faith in Russell Davies to say that the source material's all there and quite old. Or maybe it's all because of that Elvis Costello song. In any case, the Gnostic belief is that there's a certain kind of spiritual light lodged in the material world, symbolized by knowledge, of a specific kind, that the redeemer figure retrieves and gives back to God -- individual redemption as the restoration of the divine. So you've got Ahriman, who destroys the cage, and Sophia, who takes it apart, and they're both looking for the information, and they both mean the end of the world, and the start of something unimaginably beautiful. Maintenance of the divine becomes your Cartesian problem, as an active mover -- like the alchemists. The thing about these stories, where the Creator isn't necessarily the same guy as regular old helpful God, is that the focus is more on information, and less on who's better or worse off -- white hat or black hat, you and your information are just the stuff in the zit between them. Yeah, "Dalek" is better. I like this one more. See the distinction?

So the computer makes a noise, and focuses on Suki, who twitches a bit, and the Editor screams: "Yes! She's the liar!" He focuses in on her, via the corpsicles, and she comes out of her trance, gasping like she's been shocked. This somehow means that the other staffers have to disengage, as well, and the wall-lights turn off, and the spike stops, and the door in Cathica's head closes. Suki rubs her just-zapped hands together and breathes, as Cathica bitches her out: "Come off it, Suki! I wasn't even halfway!"

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