Time Lord Santa?

Our friend and fellow-blogger Evan came to me this week with another fan theory he was eager to share, and it has nothing to do with Pokemon! (I know, right?!) In fact, it’s connected to Doctor Who, of all things. It was quite fortunate, too, ‘cuz unforeseen circumstances ate up lots of time (is that a pun?) that I had counted on to work on a fan-casting post. Normally, I would have saved Evan’s guest-post for closer to Christmas (for obvious reasons), but I’m happy to present it this week instead.

“Is Santa Claus a Time Lord?: A Doctor Who Fan Theory”

by Evan Minton

Santa Claus made an appearance in Season 8’s Christmas Special (of the modern series) called “Last Christmas” to aid The Doctor, Clara, and a group of supposed scientists defeat a group of face-hugging, dream-inducing alien creatures. The Doctor theorized that he was a production of their subconscious minds trying to free them from the dream-induced state that was killing them (since the whole North Pole base they were in was a product of the collective dreams of the “scientists”). But what if The Doctor’s hypothesis was wrong? What if Santa is real (in The Doctor Who universe) and he was actually helping out. The end of the episode certainly seemed to subtly imply that Santa was more than a figment of their imagination when the final scene showed a tangerine in Clara’s window. [Ed.: I’m assuming that a tangerine has some significance to the plot, ‘cuz I’ve never heard of a magical “Christmas tangerine”.]

But if Santa actually exists in the Whoniverse, then how do we explain puzzling aspects of his job? How does he get all the toys traveled to all of the children all over the world in a single night? How does he even have enough toys to give to millions of children in that tiny little sleigh of his? Moreover, how has Santa endured through centuries? All of these questions can be answered if the following hypothesis is true: Santa Claus is a Time Lord.

The Sleigh Is A T.A.R.D.I.S

T.A.R.D.I.Ses are well known for being “bigger on the inside than they are on the outside”. Santa could own a special T.A.R.D.I.S large enough to house enough toys to satisfy the world’s children. It could be as big as 100,000 warehouses, but only on the inside, of course. On the outside, it looks like your average run-of-the-mill sleigh. Santa’s T.A.R.D.I.S has maintained the appearance of a sleigh for centuries? Why? Probably for the same reason The Doctor’s T.A.R.D.I.S looks like a 1960s police box wherever and whenever he goes: the disguise mechanism is busted.

Santa’s sleigh being a T.A.R.D.I.S would not only explain how he can deliver so many toys, but also how he can get them all to their designated houses in one night. Santa can simply teleport to different locations in space, but have the T.A.R.D.I.S set to the exact same moment in time. This would give the appearance of every house in the world having a sleigh on the roof simultaneously. If Santa is a Time Lord and the sleigh is his T.A.R.D.I.S, then he can deliver all of the toys not only in a single night, but in a single moment! That’s the beauty of a space ship also doubling as a time machine.

He’s Lived For So Long Because He Keeps Regenerating

The reason Santa’s endured through the centuries is that he just keeps regenerating. Whenever his body gives out, he regenerates, just as Doctor Number 1 regenerated when he got too old. Unlike The Doctor, who mostly regenerates because he gets fatally injured (e.g., a Cyberman’s laser beam to the chest), Santa is rarely in harm’s way, so whenever he regenerates, it’s simply due to old age. This would also explain why Santa has been depicted as both a white man and a black man. Time Lords can change age, race, and even gender upon regenerations. So some of Santa’s regenerations being white and others being black is unsurprising, and it also explains why those who may have seen him have depicted him as such.

Why Does He Do What He Does?

One must wonder why Santa does what he does. If he’s a Time Lord, why doesn’t he simply explore space and time rather than confine himself to one planet and use his T.A.R.D.I.S for nothing more than to give away toys for free? Simply because he has a heart of gold. He uses his alien resources to bring joy to millions just as The Doctor uses his to save the cosmos from evil, chaos, and destruction.

Conclusion

What do you think of this fan theory of mine? Do you think it holds up?

After reading Evan’s theory, I sent him the following:

“Question: In this scenario, other than programming the T.A.R.D.I.S, is Santa personally involved in the delivery of gifts (i.e., going down chimneys, placing gifts in stockings and under trees, eating cookies)? (That would seem exhausting and monotonous, though that is a critique of the myth, not of your theory.) Or, once over each house, extremely fine-tuned teleportation coordinates can be calculated and then the gifts are “beamed” into their rightful places?”

His response:

“That’s a good question. I don’t know. I suppose if Santa is a Time Lord, he could have gotten some alien tech that would have allowed him to beam the presents into the house. This could also account for why so few children have ever successfully seen him, despite trying to.”

Works for me. Feel free to posit your own speculations in the comments below….

Of course, I realize that Evan isn’t the first person to think along these lines. And, as I understand it, the idea of Santa operating in the Whoniverse has been explored in comic and short-story form, too, though I think he is still assumed to be human. Regardless, I think this is a fun fan theory!

One o’ these days, I may have to check out this Doctor fella. Wait, he isn’t a “fella” in his latest regeneration, right? Sheesh!

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Tributes to Two Genre Giants

I really enjoyed Bill Paxton, and I’m gonna miss him.

Bill Paxton collage

Bill Paxton collage

In case you haven’t been keeping up on current events, Paxton passed away the other day from complications during surgery at age 61. As genre actors go, he was both beloved by fans and, I think, perhaps a bit underappreciated. His resume goes back to the mid-1970s and includes many movies and TV appearances that sci-fi/fantasy and action/adventure fans, along with fans of other genres, will forever remember him for. Some roles were quite brief (e.g., one of three punks who first encounter the T-800 in The Terminator), some were significant supporting roles, and others were terrific starring roles. Good or bad, you could tell he loved his job.

Most recently, Paxton could be seen co-starring with Justin Cornwell in the new “Training Day” TV series. A couple years ago, he did a guest stint on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”. I haven’t watched everything he was in, of course. But, of those I have seen, probably my top 5 Paxton roles were: Pvt. Hudson in Aliens (1986), Morgan Earp in Tombstone (1993), Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995), Bill Harding in Twister (1996), and, yes, “Punk Leader” from The Terminator (1984). He also appeared in Weird Science, Commando, Predator 2, Trespass, Boxing Helena, True Lies, Titanic, Mighty Joe Young (1998 remake), U-571, a couple of Spy Kids sequels, Edge of Tomorrow, and many more.

Paxton may not have been quite the household name as some of his co-stars, but among many aficionados of TV and film, he was a “big deal”. He provided a lot of entertainment to young and old, and I’ll always enjoy his work. He is gone too soon from this world, and all that is left to say is, “Thank you, sir.” Well, that and…

Game over, man. Well played.

Neil Fingleton

Neil Fingleton / Mag the Mighty

The other “giant” I’d like to pay tribute to was not nearly as well known as Paxton but was a giant of another kind. Former basketball player Neil Fingleton was known as the UK’s “tallest British-born man” at 7 feet 7.5 inches (232.5 cm) in height. He was playing professionally in an American minor league in Europe when he decided to give it up and pursue a career in showbiz.

Fingleton’s name and face may not be very familiar even to genre fans, unless perhaps you saw him on one or the other (or both) of two British TV documentaries he appeared in in 2007: “Britain’s Tallest Men” on BBC Four and “Superhuman: Giants” on ITV. The reasons are 1) at his height, there haven’t been that many roles he fit, and 2) the roles he had involved him being covered in a lot of make-up, prosthetics, and/or armor.

His credits include minor roles in X-Men: First Class and Jupiter Ascending. In 47 Ronin, he played a Lovecraftian Samurai who fought Keanu Reeves’ character. He played the giant “Mag the Mighty” in the epic “Game of Thrones” episode “The Watchers on the Wall”. (Other GoT giants, Dongo and Wun Wun, were played by Ian Whyte (7’1″).) In 2015 he portrayed the scary Fisher King in the “Doctor Who” episode “Before the Flood”. He also did a few stunts and motion capture work for “Ultron” in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Fingleton died of heart failure this past weekend mere days after turning 36.

One last thing… I watched For the Love of Spock last week. If you haven’t already seen it and were curious, I very much recommend it. It’s a touching tribute to both the character of Spock and the man who first brought him to life, Leonard Nimoy. Certainly, it’s a must-see for Trekkies/Trekkers, and particularly for fans of the Original Series.