Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Ripper and the Whoniverse, Part 6 [Revised]

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

PART TWO September 30th 1888, 
night of 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 9 pm 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 10 am, 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
[i] Doctor 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 read 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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