Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Ripper and the Whoniverse, Part 6 [Revised]

The penultimate entry in my series 
examines the second volume of 
Ripper's Curse.

PART TWO September 30th 1888, and 
the 'Double Event'. Rory and Abberline 
arrive at Mitre Square in Aldgate, and the Inspector has the Doctor released. The
Time Lord explains that the Ripper isn't
a man at all, but "a creature [with]
taloned fingers, some kind of leecher [extracting] minerals from the deceased,
he's wearing a shimmer suit, drenched
in Kryon radiation". The culprit could be
either of two races, "The Ju'wes [or] the Re'nar" and the women's missing organs are merely "a tasty snack" to him, "The alien needs the victim to be scared, the tastier they become."
The Doctor then meets Warren, adding "You're looking for a shape-changing alien,
a Ju'wes hunter, blades for fingers" The nervy Commissioner tells this friend of 'Clouseau' that his imagination is worthy of H G Wells [i] before rushing away
(Wells' first books were only published in 1895). The Doctor deduces that the
Commissioner knows what the killer is, but how?
The travellers are next seen in Abberline's study at New Scotland Yard [ii]. Amy remembers reading about Jack the Ripper, "Wasn't it someone from the Royal family?" and Rory recalls "one more [murder, that of] Mary [Kelly] we could save her." Naturally, the Doctor disagrees, "Every Ripper victim is a static point in time and space [that] can't be altered" (a similar argument occurs at the end of
Matrix when the Doctor tells Ace that "those five women had to die, that's
[what] happened").
They are then summoned to nearby Goulsten (sic) Street to view a new clue -
a message [iii] that implicates the "Ju'wes." Warren now appears and orders the removal of the seemingly anti-semitic graffiti, but Inspector Smith protests (hereby voicing another theory), "you're.. defending your Freemason friends." The Doctor concludes that the alien Ripper has feasted enough for weeks, perhaps the reason why no killings occured the next month, October 1888.
Back in the TARDIS, the trio again discuss the last canonical murder. The Doctor declares that "Mary has to die, there has to be a fifth victim. All of London would be changed." Rory follows Amy back outside, but the Doctor is stung by a paralysing dart. The Re'nar Ripper tells the Time Lord that these "most horrific murders will be blamed on the Ju'wes" (mirroring the double-meaning of the graffito's key phrase).
Amy finds the Ten Bells pub [iv] where the landlord Bert is evicting two drunken women, Mary Warner and Mary Kelly. Amy tries to convince Kelly that she'll be slain by the Ripper on November 9th. The two prostitutes stagger off as Rory catches up with his wife.
At Scotland Yard, the fully recovered Doctor visits Warren - in reality, the Ju'wes creature (the real Sir Charles is on holiday) who is hunting the escaped Re'nar, Mac'atyde, here in Earth's past. They arrange to meet again in five weeks, when the Ripper strikes for the final time. Back at the TARDIS, the Doctor also tells Abbeline to be ready, at 9pm on November 8th - he now intends to save Kelly!
Fast forward to Miller's Court, off Dorset Street - Abbeline is supervising the police surveillance, and at midnight the inspector informs the Doctor that 'Warren' has resigned. Despite waiting all night, Mary doesn't return home, but at 10am, another murder is discovered upstairs in Kelly's room. The Doctor had told the police that Mary Warner, not Kelly, was the next victim. He now realises that Amy's warning
has altered time (Kelly's room was indeed at No. 13, but on the ground floor, a
subtle but vital change), and the present is fluid again - the Ripper "could kill
again, be anywhere." Amy meanwhile, has been captured by the Ripper!
"Next: The Canonical Twelve"

KEY Canonical Murders:
[1] Mary Ann Nicholls - Buck's Row, Friday August 31st 1888
[2] Annie Chapman - Hanbury St. Saturday September 8th
[3] Elizabeth Stride - Berner St. Sunday September 30th
[4] Catherine Eddowes - Mitre Square, also September 30th
[5] Mary Jane Kelly - Miller's Court, Friday November 9th

NOTES
 [iDoctor Who owes much to the stories of Herbert George Wells (1866-1946). 
The Doctor first met the writer on screen in Timelash, and actually became 
the inspiration for his subsequent works which he termed "science fiction." Wells again assisted the Doctor in The Time Machination (IDW, 2009). In The Ghosts
 of N-Space, the Doctor claimed to have lent 'Bertie' his ion-focusing coil for
 his invisibility experiments. When faced with the TARDIS interior in Pyramids 
of Mars, Laurence Scarman likens it to the "scientific romances of Mr. Wells." 
The Master reads The War of the Worlds (1898) in Frontier in Space, whilst 
the Doctor and Professor Chronotis both prefer The Time Machine (1895).
In the context of Ripper fiction, the film Time After Time (1979) sees a friend 
of Wells, Dr. Stevenson (played by Big Finish actor, David Warner) unmasked as 
Jack and he escapes to the future in the writer's own time machine. The hero of 
the US show Time Cop, Jack Logan, is sent back to 1888 to hunt a time traveller 
who has killed the real Ripper and taken on his identity. Incredibly, this episode, 
A Rip in Time (transmitted September 1997) not only includes a huge gaffe (here Eddowes is murdered on November 7th), but the police inspector, Wells, happens 
to be the uncle of H G Wells (and played by William Morgan Sheppard, see The
Impossible Astronaut).
[ii] Only in 1890 did the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police move from 
Whitehall to a new purpose-built base on the Victoria Embankment. In October 
1888, a female torso was discovered at the construction site for New Scotland 
Yard, but the police ruled out any connection to the concurrent Whitechapel 
Murders.
Between May 1887 and September 1889, the Thames Torso Murders were
committed in London. None of the four cases were solved, and only one
victim was identified.
[iii] At about 3am, PC Long found a dirty, bloody piece of Eddowes' [4] apron in
the stairwell of Model dwellings at Goulston Street. On the wall above was the
chalk-written message that is now known as the 'graffito.' Three slightly varied versions were recorded by Long, DC Halse, and Frederick Foster, before Warren demanded it's removal. Here, Smith probably represents the real detective, Halse, who advocated photographing the message, whilst waiting for his superior, Major Henry Smith (the City of London Commissioner and Warren's counterpart). Many interpretations of the graffito have been advanced ever since.
[iv] The Ten Bells pub still stands on the corner of Commercial and Fournier
Streets in Spitalfields. A 'victims board' on the wall opposite the bar even cites
Martha Tabram as a Ripper target. It is believed that Annie Chapman [2] and
Kelly [5] frequented the pub.

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