JK

James Kuyper

04/10/2012 9:06 AM

"The Angles take Manhattan" - ground transport?

I was unavoidably unable to watch this episode when it aired, nor could
I arrange to record it for later viewing. I don't mind spoilers, and I'm
unwilling to wait for it to be re-run, so I viewed the description at
<http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Angels_Take_Manhattan>. It seems
fairly complete - but if so, there seems to be a gaping hole in the plot
(which is not exactly unusual :-( ). Possibly it's explained better in
the actual show?

The issue is this: there's a hypervolume of space-time, of unspecified
spatial and temporal extent, but including New York around 1938, which
the TARDIS cannot enter due to the density of time distortions. The
Doctor works around the problem by traveling to ancient China and
leaving a message on a vase which will eventually end up within that
hypervolume.
However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
1938, and then hop on a train to New York?
--
James Kuyper


This topic has 19 replies

dT

[email protected] (The Doctor)

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

05/10/2012 6:52 PM

In article <[email protected]>,
Mike Hall <[email protected]> wrote:
>On 04/10/2012 14:06, James Kuyper wrote:
>
>> However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
>> 1938, and then hop on a train to New York?
>>
>
>Does the Doctor do present-day public transport? Unless it flies
>through space or time, I can't remember any time he has been on any mass
>transportation device! Bessie was not public transport.
>
>
>Mike Hall
>

The TARDIS is his primary mode of transportation.
The Whomobile was last seen in the Planet of spiders.
Bessie is around a can do blistering scenes as seen in Battlefield.
As for public transport, double decker bus
and what was that about Easter Ham?
--
Member - Liberal International This is [email protected] Ici [email protected]
God,Queen and country!Never Satan President Republic!Beware AntiChrist rising!
http://www.fullyfollow.me/rootnl2k
USA petition to dissolve the Republic and vote to disoolve it in November 2012

DC

Daibhid Ceanaideach

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

07/10/2012 4:10 PM

On 07 Oct 2012, James Kuyper <[email protected]> wrote:

> On 10/07/2012 10:56 AM, John Hall wrote:
>> In article <[email protected]>,
>> James Kuyper <[email protected]> writes:
>> <snip>
>>> However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
>>> 1938, and then hop on a train to New York?
>>
>> I don't think it would even occur to the Doctor to take a train (or a
>> bus).
>
> That makes a certain amount of sense. Consider how much trouble he has
> with the passage of ordinary time ("The Slow Invasion").
>
> On the other hand, he took the equivalent of a tour bus in "Midnight" -
> though I have to admit, that didn't turn out very well for him.

I think that still works; taking a tour bus to see a crystal waterfall is
an "event" in and of itself, rather than a means of getting from A to B.

What does bug me is why it doesn't occur to the Pond-Williamses to take a
bus or train to somewhere the TARDIS can get to, and stop being "trapped"
in New York.

--
Dave
The problems in this world are not caused by those who love.
They're caused by those who hate.
--Arthur, King of Time and Space.

aK

[email protected] (Ken Arromdee)

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

22/10/2012 10:04 AM

In article <[email protected]>,
Daibhid Ceanaideach <[email protected]> wrote:
>What does bug me is why it doesn't occur to the Pond-Williamses to take a
>bus or train to somewhere the TARDIS can get to, and stop being "trapped"
>in New York.

What bugs me is that the Doctor didn't visit Rose by reasoning "The universes
don't allow travel between them. It was only possible to travel between
them for a brief period in 2006 and 2008. I have a time machine. So I can
travel back to 2008, cross over, then return to the present".
--
Ken Arromdee / arromdee_AT_rahul.net / http://www.rahul.net/arromdee

Obi-wan Kenobi: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."
Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no 'try'."

JB

John Burnham

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

05/10/2012 10:52 AM

On Fri, 05 Oct 2012 10:02:06 -0400, Mike Hall wrote:

> Does the Doctor do present-day public transport? Unless it flies
> through space or time, I can't remember any time he has been on any mass
> transportation device! Bessie was not public transport.
>

He was on the bus in Planet of the Dead.
J

JK

James Kuyper

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

07/10/2012 11:47 AM

On 10/07/2012 10:56 AM, John Hall wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>,
> James Kuyper <[email protected]> writes:
> <snip>
>> However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
>> 1938, and then hop on a train to New York?
>
> I don't think it would even occur to the Doctor to take a train (or a
> bus).

That makes a certain amount of sense. Consider how much trouble he has
with the passage of ordinary time ("The Slow Invasion").

On the other hand, he took the equivalent of a tour bus in "Midnight" -
though I have to admit, that didn't turn out very well for him.
--
James Kuyper

dT

[email protected] (The Doctor)

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

04/10/2012 3:09 PM

You have to angle those angels accordingly.

There are skewing the time space of New York 1938 so badly that
the Doctor cannot land.
--
Member - Liberal International This is [email protected] Ici [email protected]
God,Queen and country!Never Satan President Republic!Beware AntiChrist rising!
http://www.fullyfollow.me/rootnl2k
USA petition to dissolve the Republic and vote to disoolve it in November 2012

JH

John Hall

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

07/10/2012 10:56 AM

In article <[email protected]>,
James Kuyper <[email protected]> writes:
<snip>
>However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
>1938, and then hop on a train to New York?

I don't think it would even occur to the Doctor to take a train (or a
bus).
--
John Hall

"The beatings will continue until morale improves."
Attributed to the Commander of Japan's Submarine Forces in WW2

dT

[email protected] (The Doctor)

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

08/10/2012 9:21 AM

Please recall the Angels was scrambling the Doctor's
efforts to land. He needed a homing beacon to break through.
--
Member - Liberal International This is [email protected] Ici [email protected]
God,Queen and country!Never Satan President Republic!Beware AntiChrist rising!
http://www.fullyfollow.me/rootnl2k
USA petition to dissolve the Republic and vote to disoolve it in November 2012

MH

Mike Hall

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

05/10/2012 10:02 AM

On 04/10/2012 14:06, James Kuyper wrote:

> However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
> 1938, and then hop on a train to New York?
>

Does the Doctor do present-day public transport? Unless it flies
through space or time, I can't remember any time he has been on any mass
transportation device! Bessie was not public transport.


Mike Hall

JK

James Kuyper

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

07/10/2012 11:36 AM

On 10/07/2012 10:43 AM, [email protected] wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
>> Time travel might actually be impossible, but so long as top physicists
>> are seriously debating the issue, stories postulating that it can
>> actually be done are entirely legitimate science fiction.
>>
>
> Top scientists are therefore wasting their time and no doubt "public"
> money.
> "time" is an abstract concept not something you can travel through.
> Top scientist are therefore just writing mathematical science fantasy.

Wow. Most ordinary objects travel through time at a constant rate of 1
year per year - but if you were making any kind of sense, that would
imply that this forward time travel must also be an illusion of some kind.

With just as much (or as little) sense, I could say the same thing,
replacing "time" with space, thereby justifying the claim that it's not
possible to travel through space.

Einstein's special theory of relativity reduced the distinctions between
time and space, replacing both concepts with a four-dimensional
space-time - and that replacement ultimately led to equations that
describe the release of nuclear energy from a nucleus (whether from the
Sun, nuclear bombs, or nuclear power plants) - but that must all be a
fantasy - many of the people who were living in Nagasaki and Hiroshima
in 1945 must still be alive, and will be grateful to learn that their
deaths were just imaginary. The Sun going dark will, however, interfere
with their joy at their continued survival.

Einstein's general relativity changed space-time from an inanimate
background to an active participant in physics. Massive objects change
the shape of space-time, and the shape of space-time causes objects to
move in curved paths (called geodesics) even when no forces are applied
to them, the same phenomenon that Newton's theory of gravity explained
in terms of gravitational force. General Relativity can be used to make
many predictions about gravity that are somewhat different from those
made by Newtonian gravity, and many of those predictions have been
confirmed, none have failed.

In particular, GR predicts the existence of traveling distortions in the
shape of space-time called gravitational waves, which can carry energy,
momentum, and angular momentum. Gravitational waves are inherently very
weak and difficult to detect; they have not yet been directly detected.
However, if GR is correct, close binary pulsars should emit large
amounts of gravity waves. The lost energy and angular momentum should
cause their orbital periods to decay at a rate that can be both
predicted and measured with considerable accuracy. Those predictions
match those measurements - but that must also be a fantasy, right? After
all, those pulsars can't actually be shining brightly enough to be seen
from Earth - that would require the release of nuclear energy, which is
also a fantasy.
--
James Kuyper

e

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

05/10/2012 10:51 AM

In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
says...
>
> You have to angle those angels accordingly.
>
> There are skewing the time space of New York 1938 so badly that
> the Doctor cannot land.

Doctor who involves time travel which makes it science fantasy not
science fiction which in turn means any magical conjuring the writers do
is acceptable. I draw the line at convincing a young audience that
spitfires in space is ok but appart from such stupidity anything goes in
fantasy.
Consistency is nice but as for the vase being of the wrong dynasty -
perhaps the creators of this TV "play" didnt want to invest in a rather
expensive prop just to amuse the 3 people on the planet that may think
such a thing even worth noticing?

YY

[email protected] (Your Name)

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

08/10/2012 9:27 AM

In article <[email protected]>, James Kuyper
<[email protected]> wrote:
> On 10/07/2012 10:56 AM, John Hall wrote:
> > In article <[email protected]>,
> > James Kuyper <[email protected]> writes:
> > <snip>
> >> However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
> >> 1938, and then hop on a train to New York?
> >
> > I don't think it would even occur to the Doctor to take a train (or a
> > bus).
>
> That makes a certain amount of sense. Consider how much trouble he has
> with the passage of ordinary time ("The Slow Invasion").
>
> On the other hand, he took the equivalent of a tour bus in "Midnight" -
> though I have to admit, that didn't turn out very well for him.

He has been driven in cars by UNIT staff and driven a car in the Agatha
Christie episode, although they aren't "public transport". I seem to
vaguely recall at least one taxi ride (plus a rickshaw?). He has also been
on the Titanic liner (spaceship version) and the Orient Express.

The main problem with Matt Smith's Doctor is that he has a massive ADHD /
ADD problem ... he simply can't stay still for two minutes (as shown in
the recent cube invasion episode, among others), so a long train journey
would be absolutely horrific.

JK

James Kuyper

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

04/10/2012 9:59 AM

On 10/04/2012 09:43 AM, solar penguin wrote:
> James Kuyper wrote:
>
>>
>> The issue is this: there's a hypervolume of space-time, of unspecified
>> spatial and temporal extent, but including New York around 1938, which
>> the TARDIS cannot enter due to the density of time distortions. The
>> Doctor works around the problem by traveling to ancient China and
>> leaving a message on a vase which will eventually end up within that
>> hypervolume.
>> However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
>> 1938, and then hop on a train to New York?
>
> The Doctor wants to arrive at a precise point in time and space. New
> York 1938 is a pretty big hypervolume of time and space, many miles
> wide and a whole year long.
>
> If his train is delayed or his taxi from the station gets caught in a
> traffic jam, he might arrive too late to help. ...

That's not an extraordinarily difficult thing to avoid; just make an
adequate allowance for delays.

> ... If he catches an
> earlier train and arrives too early, he might change events too soon
> and cause a paradox. Getting a homing beacon there to aim at avoids
> these problems.

Putting the message on the vase presents exactly the same kind of
opportunities to change events. As an inanimate object, the chances of
changing history are smaller, but not negligible - someone could read
the inscription, and despite their inevitable puzzlement about it's
meaning, still make a different decision about something (anything) than
they would have reached if they'd never read it. He's given it a couple
of millenia for those small chances to occur, which makes it at least as
dangerous as the possibility of arriving 30 minutes early.

> This is not actually explained in the epsiode, but it's pretty obvious
> if you think about it.
--
James Kuyper

sp

solar penguin

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

04/10/2012 9:43 AM

James Kuyper wrote:

>
> The issue is this: there's a hypervolume of space-time, of unspecified
> spatial and temporal extent, but including New York around 1938, which
> the TARDIS cannot enter due to the density of time distortions. The
> Doctor works around the problem by traveling to ancient China and
> leaving a message on a vase which will eventually end up within that
> hypervolume.
> However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
> 1938, and then hop on a train to New York?

The Doctor wants to arrive at a precise point in time and space. New
York 1938 is a pretty big hypervolume of time and space, many miles
wide and a whole year long.

If his train is delayed or his taxi from the station gets caught in a
traffic jam, he might arrive too late to help. If he catches an
earlier train and arrives too early, he might change events too soon
and cause a paradox. Getting a homing beacon there to aim at avoids
these problems.

This is not actually explained in the epsiode, but it's pretty obvious
if you think about it.

The big problem with the vase is that the dialogue identifies it as
early Qin dynasty, and the caption confirms the date when the Doctor
goes back to ancient China, but that style of blue-and-white patterned
glaze is from a much later era!

JK

James Kuyper

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

06/10/2012 12:11 AM

On 10/05/2012 10:51 AM, [email protected] wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
> says...
>>
>> You have to angle those angels accordingly.
>>
>> There are skewing the time space of New York 1938 so badly that
>> the Doctor cannot land.
>
> Doctor who involves time travel which makes it science fantasy not
> science fiction which in turn means any magical conjuring the writers do
> is acceptable.

Physicists are still debating whether a properly quantized version of
Einstein's theory of relativity would permit closed time-like loops
(which must exist in order for time travel to occur). It's been
theorized, but never proven, that such loops are impossible; that the
quantum fields become unstable in any space time which comes close to
containing such loops, and that the resulting instability disrupts the
loops - but this has never been proven in the general case, only for
simplified special cases where the math is a lot easier than in the
general case.

Tantalizing results have been produced of solutions to Einstein's
equations that almost, but not quite, allow such loops. While attending
Caltech, I went to a lecture given by Kip Thorne explaining how it might
be possible. He dismissed the difference between what he could prove and
what could actually be done as as a "mere engineering detail" - which
was a joke, since that "detail" involved a discrepancy of 30 orders of
magnitude. However, the simple fact that there was only a quantitative
distinction between the known and the possible was pretty exciting. We
may never have time-travel using the mechanism he described, but the
fact that he could describe it at all opens the possibility that some
much more clever scheme might eventually be found where the "engineering
details" would actually be solvable.

Time travel might actually be impossible, but so long as top physicists
are seriously debating the issue, stories postulating that it can
actually be done are entirely legitimate science fiction.

I would never promote Dr. Who as a model of hard science fiction; it's
nowhere near as well thought-out as that. But the simple fact that it
depends upon time travel is not the problem.

> Consistency is nice but as for the vase being of the wrong dynasty -
> perhaps the creators of this TV "play" didnt want to invest in a rather
> expensive prop just to amuse the 3 people on the planet that may think
> such a thing even worth noticing?

A real vase from that era would be quite expensive; but only because of
it's antiquity, not because of the quality of the workmanship. The
supposed date was 221 BC, at the start of the Qin dynasty. Vases from
that period would have been relatively crude, and it would have been
relatively easy for the prop department to put together a decent fake.
See <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_pottery#Early_wares_2> for
some examples. Take a close look at the items with dates closest to
221BC. How expensive would it have been to fake something like that? The
really nice items don't appear until more than 400 years later.
--
James Kuyper

e

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

07/10/2012 10:43 AM

In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
> Time travel might actually be impossible, but so long as top physicists
> are seriously debating the issue, stories postulating that it can
> actually be done are entirely legitimate science fiction.
>

Top scientists are therefore wasting their time and no doubt "public"
money.
"time" is an abstract concept not something you can travel through.
Top scientist are therefore just writing mathematical science fantasy.

JK

James Kuyper

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

07/10/2012 7:27 PM

On 10/07/2012 04:10 PM, Daibhid Ceanaideach wrote:
> On 07 Oct 2012, James Kuyper <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> On 10/07/2012 10:56 AM, John Hall wrote:
>>> In article <[email protected]>,
>>> James Kuyper <[email protected]> writes:
>>> <snip>
>>>> However, wouldn't it be simpler to take the TARDIS to say, Chicago in
>>>> 1938, and then hop on a train to New York?
>>>
>>> I don't think it would even occur to the Doctor to take a train (or a
>>> bus).
>>
>> That makes a certain amount of sense. Consider how much trouble he has
>> with the passage of ordinary time ("The Slow Invasion").
>>
>> On the other hand, he took the equivalent of a tour bus in "Midnight" -
>> though I have to admit, that didn't turn out very well for him.
>
> I think that still works; taking a tour bus to see a crystal waterfall is
> an "event" in and of itself, rather than a means of getting from A to B.
>
> What does bug me is why it doesn't occur to the Pond-Williamses to take a
> bus or train to somewhere the TARDIS can get to, and stop being "trapped"
> in New York.

That seems like the flip side of the same issue, and I originally
planned to mention it. But then I realized it's really a quite different
issue. The reason why the Doctor can never see them again is not because
they're trapped in New York, and he can't go there. It's because the
parts of the book that he read imply that he'll never see them again.
And thanks to a brand-new interpretation of what a "fixed point in time"
really means, that can't be changed.

When the concept was first introduced, a "fixed point in time" was
apparently intended to be something really unusual. Now that we know one
way in which they can be created, it seems like just about any time
travelers (and time travelers are a dime a dozen in the Whoniverse) who
find any records of journeys to the past that they haven't carried out
yet, should generate hordes of fixed points every time they examine
those records. I don't like the idea that fixed points are that easy to
create.
--
James Kuyper

dT

[email protected] (The Doctor)

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

05/10/2012 6:53 PM

In article <sEy*[email protected]>,
John Burnham <[email protected]> wrote:
>On Fri, 05 Oct 2012 10:02:06 -0400, Mike Hall wrote:
>
>> Does the Doctor do present-day public transport? Unless it flies
>> through space or time, I can't remember any time he has been on any mass
>> transportation device! Bessie was not public transport.
>>
>
>He was on the bus in Planet of the Dead.
> J
>


Add to that he was able to get the bus to fly.

Yes the Doctor is incredible.
--
Member - Liberal International This is [email protected] Ici [email protected]
God,Queen and country!Never Satan President Republic!Beware AntiChrist rising!
http://www.fullyfollow.me/rootnl2k
USA petition to dissolve the Republic and vote to disoolve it in November 2012

sp

solar penguin

in reply to James Kuyper on 04/10/2012 9:06 AM

05/10/2012 11:15 AM

John Burnham wrote:
> On Fri, 05 Oct 2012 10:02:06 -0400, Mike Hall wrote:
>
> > Does the Doctor do present-day public transport? Unless it flies
> > through space or time, I can't remember any time he has been on any mass
> > transportation device! Bessie was not public transport.
> >
>
> He was on the bus in Planet of the Dead.
> J


He was also captured and taken aboard a bus in "Terror of the Autons",
and captured and taken aboard a train in "The Wedding of River Song".

He travels on Concorde in Time-Flight but it's not a passenger flight.

He goes on various boats and ships in "The Sea Devils", though only
one of them was really public transport.

And he took in a taxi in "Evil of the Daleks".


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