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Captain Jack Forever

I usually use MySpace for rambling about Doctor Who. This place is for fripperies and fanfiction and such like. I've had some stuff on my mind the last few days, though, and I need to get it down somewhere. Then, hopefully, I can move on. Frankly, it's all getting a bit silly now. Russell T. Davies makes one silly joke at the end of the most recent series of Who, and I feel like I've had my heart cut out. It doesn't help that the homophobic types have been in full Taunt Mode ever since, loving the suggestion that the one thing they seem to hate most of all about New Who would no longer be a threat to them if "the joke" were true. Anyway, I've been all out of sorts since Saturday, and I've come to a decision. The world can believe what it likes, but I know what I believe. So I'm going to set down my reasons for thinking that there's no way Captain Jack is ever going to become The Face Of Boe. Everybody else can embrace them or dismiss them, and I don't care. Because my Jack will always be just that. Jack.

Boe has his own mythology. I've always been rather fond of Boe. We've learnt quite a lot about him since he made his first appearance in "The End Of The World". Partly this has come from throwaway comments on the show, and partly it's come from the various tie-in books; but at any rate Boe is a rich and wonderful character in his own right. In "Bad Wolf" we learn that he's from the Isop Galaxy, and elsewhere this is narrowed down to a place called The Silver Devastation. He's from a species that only lives for forty years. All the rest of his race is short-lived, including his children (he's given birth himself several times), but for some reason he just carries on living. Boe is the last survivor of his race, as he tells the Doctor: "I'm the last of my kind, as you're the last of yours." He's a poignant character, and all the more interesting for that, really. But if it were to turn out that Jack one day becomes The Face Of Boe, then all of that gets written out of existence. There is no other species, there is no rich history, no race; and the Whoniverse is immediately made smaller. Reminds me of those strange stories that the fans used to write when the show was off air, trying to tie every tiny detail of the show's history up into little knots, connecting every adventure, every character, into a big web of fanboy dreaming. Why would anybody want to make the universe so small?

Secondly there's the Doctor. In "Utopia" he tells Jack that he's a fact. That he's "a fixed point in time and space"; something so abhorrent to the Doctor's viewpoint that in "The Parting Of The Ways" he ran off straight away, abandoning Jack. He didn't need to be with Jack to know about this, or even to see him. He just knew. And yet he didn't know anything about that when he was with Boe. Boe was clearly not abhorrent to him. Boe didn't set off his Time Lord "timey-wimey detectors". This is where it all gets oddest for me, really. I'd be happy to throw the line about Boe out of the window as a daft joke, if it hadn't been for that scene in "Utopia". It's a long scene, and a wonderful scene. But two weeks after the episode where Jack is declared a fixed point in time, RTD has him claim that he's ageing. How, RTD? It's easy to throw that aside, too, as Jack being Jack, and spinning one of his tales, but it bugs me, because it has all the appearance of a major, major continuity error. And I care too much about this show - and particularly about Jack - to be able to let that go without analysising it to death. I suppose I should be embarrassed about that. *Shrug* Maybe I am. I'm not making any apologies for it, though. Jack is just about the best thing that's ever happened to my television, and I'll be damned if I'll just let that stuff be washed over. And what a character he is. Heroic, grand, charismatic; and ready to kiss whoever is on his arm, be it man, woman, or sentient insect. He's unique on our TV screens, and now he's immortal. Now he's here forever, striding through the stars, being Jack. Or is he? Why tell us that he is one week, and then try to say two weeks later that he isn't? Was it all just for the fun of a throwaway joke, RTD? "You're a fixed point, Jack! Except that maybe you're not, and actually you turned into that bloke who died a few episodes back..." If the Doctor is really going to be that shaken to the core by all that Jack is - and we've already seen that the Doctor is just that shaken - then Jack can't be just another long-lived character. He has to be that fixed point. Nothing else would make sense, and I don't want to believe that you'd make such a crass error, Russell. I really don't...

Then there's Jack himself. We know that Boe is already old in 200,100, as Rose is asked a question about him in "Bad Wolf", by the Anne Droid. And Boe is still around when the Earth is destroyed by the sun, five billion years in Rose's future. So why would Jack spend several thousand years ageing, and turning into Boe - and then remain static for the next five billion years? How does that make sense? It doesn't, is the simple answer. None of it does. On the one hand we have Boe, a member of a completely different species - and on the other we have Jack, an immortal human. I don't want to stop anybody from believing that Jack is Boe if it pleases them, but I can't and won't believe it myself, hence this entry. Not only does the idea of Jack winding up as a head in a jar for five billion years leave me feeling physically sick, but it's also such a damned shame. Why create such a wonderful character, and then take away everything that makes him who he is? Jack is a hero - a square-jawed, action man hero in the old style. He's also a massive geek, a massive flirt, and fabulously, flamboyantly omnisexual. He's the first TV character with an approach to sexuality that I can relate to, certainly. And all that could wind up as a head in a jar? A completely different personality? For five billion years?! Screw that.

Jack is Jack and Boe is Boe, and so it will always be. They have their own personalities, their own lives, their own histories, and their own ultimate fates. What Jack's will be, I don't know. All I know is, that my Jack is an ageless, immortal hero; and that's the way he'll stay. Traversing time and space, saving the universe, picking its pockets and seducing its inhabitants all the way. That's Jack. The rest of you can believe what you like. :)

Which reminds me. Thanks for all the feedback for the last Torchwood story. Finally got around to starting a second. I'm setting it post-"Last Of The Time Lords", mostly just so that I can flaunt my own beliefs at the world again, by pointing out that Jack is ageless, and will always be thus. ;) That's not what the story is about, though. It's a proper adventure thingy, as always. I thought I'd put the first bit up here, to make sure that I behave, and get it written, rather than forgetting about it for ages like I did with the last one (sorry) and the Remington Steele one (sorry Vic!). I'll stick the first bit up later tonight, probably. I want to proof-read it again, and anyway, this entry is quite long enough!

Meantime... *Sticks tongue out at BBC Wales* You gave me Jack. I get to do what I want with him now. He's not yours anymore...

*Raises glass to Captain Jack*

Hooray! :)


Jul. 6th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)

Very well said!

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