by Z. P. Moo
After the financial success of the first series of Dark Eyes it was hardly a surprise when Big Finish commissioned a follow-up boxset and so along came the creatively titled Dark Eyes 2. For this release Big Finish went more into the extensive back-catalogue of their Doctor Who stories and brought in a few more familiar elements alongside the 8th Doctor and Molly O’Sullivan.
One of these returning elements is the character of Liv Chenka, played by Nicola Walker, returning from an encounter with the 7th Doctor that was seen in the Monthly Range story Robophobia. Another thing to return to Doctor Who there is the Eminence, a universal gaseous consciousness that the 4th and 6th Doctors had both encountered – the Doctor’s previous confrontation with it had ended with a dormant piece of the creature inside his head (this will be a major plot point later). We also have some giant robots call Viyrans, which had featured in a handful of other releases. But the biggest headline has to be that Alex MacQueen’s Master is back. Following an acclaimed debut in UNIT: Dominion (he’s undoubtedly the highlight of that story), it was only a matter of time before he showed up again and this time we get some context as to where he fits into the timeline of that character. I don’t want to get into review mode here, since I’m aiming to analyse and not review, but he is so damn perfect for the part that whoever decided to cast him should be given an award. Anyone who has seen him in literally anything he’s ever been in would surely have had him pegged as a candidate for playing the role, and he totally delivers.
I’ll save more of my gushing praise for his performance until we get to Eyes of the Master and pretty much everything in Dark Eyes 3, but why do I draw attention to these things now? Because by including them Big Finish give a statement of intent: “Dark Eyes 2 is going to be a much bigger story, the stakes are higher, and it’s more connected to the wider canon we’ve created.” One might argue that by your saying this you’ve set yourself up for failure, but we shall see.
With that mindset in place, let’s get things underway as we begin the boxset with its optimistically named openner The Traitor.
INSERT OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING HERE
Go and count them, this is the seventh Dalek “episode” in a row for McGann’s Doctor. I could go off on a tangent here about this issue … Actually, excuse me for a few paragraphs as I go do just that before exploring the main characters of Liv and the Doctor and what they each get up to over the course of the episode.
So, the question of Dalek overuse rears its ugly head once more. I’ve always taken the perspective that given they are Doctor Who’s most successful, recognisable, and popular monsters that there shouldn’t be any issue with them returning time after time on a regular basis. They seem to have a much higher hit-to-miss ratio than most recurring villains, so that you’ll forgive them the odd blunder like “Daleks in Manhattan“ or “Daleks Among Us“. Heck, all of these seven episodes in a row are actually good to varying extents. But it’s still seven of them. That’s overkill if you ask me. Tellingly after “The Traitor“ they disappear until “The Monster of Montmatre“ in the fourth set (save a brief cameo in this set’s finale).
I don’t personally agree with the prevailing view that they have been overused in the revived TV series (though it is a viewpoint I can understand) but seven in a row is pushing it. If I didn’t know better then I’d accuse Nick Briggs of an ego trip, what with him being their voice actor and the writer of all seven episodes and all that, but I won’t go round hurling accusations.
One of the problems that comes with having them show up all the time is that there’s not much more left to be done with them, and “The Traitor“ suffers from that with its obvious similarities to “The Dalek Invasion of Earth“ coming to mind (and to a lesser extent its immediate predecessor “X and the Daleks“ veered into that territory too). Another issue that having them show up all the time is lessening their impact, preventing them from striking fear into the heart of the audience – again, that shows up here although this story avoids those issues by making it about the people caught up in their invasion and not about the invasion itself.
Which allows me to segue nicely into the title character of Liv Chenka. She is introduced as a MedTech (a futuristic doctor) working on the planet Nixyce VII, which has fallen under Dalek occupation. Stop me if this sounds familiar, having a medical worker in a warzone making their companion debut in this context – it’s noticably similar to how we met Molly O’Sullivan back in The Great War. But it plays out very differently.
Because Liv is working with the Daleks as someone they employ to treat the wounded, hence her nickname “The Traitor”. She is trying to help people in need but they don’t see it as that. People see her as someone who has surrenderred to an occupying force and given in to the genocidal enemy.
As the story progresses, she is treating a civilian only for them both to get taken hostage by two Robomen (these being people brainwashed and controlled by Daleks) who turn out to be disguised resistance fighters whose leader is the patient – Liv is forced to join the Resistance. She tries to point out that she was on their side all along and was only working with the Daleks because it put her in a position where she could help people.
Liv’s story plays out in parallel to the Doctor’s, both literally (as him and her both make their way to where the Dalek Time Controller is) and figuratively. The Doctor is also prepared to lie about who he is to the Daleks, and while Liv was pretending to be loyal to them he gives them a false name and passes himself off as a Roboman. Both of them are pretending to be someone that they’re not and both of them are seen as traitors.
Yes, The Traitor is a title with a hidden double-meaning! Initially we’re led to believe it refers to Liv forcing herself to work with the Daleks but the story ends with the Doctor telling the Daleks what they need to know in order to launch a weapon at some spaceships (for reasons that we do get context to later on) as Liv protests in horror at him betraying her trust.
The Doctor seemingly acts out-of-character by helping the Daleks, but this gives us context for how the locals feel about one of their own, Liv Chenka, doing the same. Except neither of these two are actually turning against their morals and both of them still detest everything the Daleks stand for. Both of them are using the Daleks to help achieve something important, but everyone who knows them doesn’t see them as anything but a traitor. For Liv that’s the people of Nixyce VII but for the Doctor this is we the audience. We are given a frame of reference to put his actions into and should see that he has a bigger plan in motion, but we don’t see what that is. We see the Doctor helping the Daleks and we don’t know why the Doctor would ever do that. What on Earth (or Nixyce VII for that matter) is he doing?
The White Room
After an ending where the Doctor gave in to the Daleks and gave them control of a superweapon we go into a lighthearted affair where the Doctor reunites with Molly and the two do battle with giant robots, deal with some timey-wimey stufff, and the Doctor falls down a well at one point.
Because of course that’s how you follow-up a Dalek occupation story, isn’t it? Hooray for tonal whiplash!
Conspicuously Nick Briggs has gone from the Dark Eyes saga at this point, so perhaps the sudden change in tone is down to that? Instead we hand over to one of the other Big Finish regulars Alan Barnes. This is his only contribution to the Dark Eyes series and a rare standalone story (there are only two such occasions out of sixteen instalments) which makes me wonder if it started life as a one-off monthly range story that he was asked to retool to feature the Eighth Doctor and Molly. I don’t know any inside information here, but it would make sense. For one thing it features the Viyrans as enemies despite them being part of a much bigger story arc of their own. You don’t need to be aware of that overarcing storyline to follow “The White Room“ though, and I know that because I still aren’t yet, which makes me suspect once again that there was some rewriting going on to remove those elements in place of reintroducing Molly. All you really need to know is that they created some viruses for biowarfare purposes and when these got out they had to set off trying to recapture them. In this case it’s a virus called “KX Variant 243” that sends people back through time if they get it.
The White Room is part of one spanning sixteen instalments, of which it is the sixth, so why have we been given obvious filler? It exists exclusively to get Molly back in the TARDIS (which is, in itself, a waste of time, as we shall see in Dark Eyes 3 & 4) and establish that her dark eyes are back, but that could’ve been done in just one single scene at the start and then move on to the larger story. The silly runaround with giant robots and timey-wimey shenangins adds nothing to the plot of Dark Eyes. And while I don’t protest putting standalone stories in the middle of larger arcs, if there’s only four stories available to you then you probably shouldn’t be wasting what space you have to tell the story. It’s a filler episode in a place where you shouldn’t be doing filler episodes. It’s just a scene where the Doctor and Molly are brought back together and then an extended runaround for the sake of it. I don’t really have very much insight to bring to it.
But let me try anyway.
The most interesting aspect of this story is the way it presents WWI deserters. We’re in 1918 London here and the plot revolves around such people being the subject of experiments with the virus. They are sent to the mysterious “white room” and then disappear. The brutal treatment that such people went through because of genuine trauma is one of the most shocking and upsetting things about the war, which really takes some doing, and it’s good to see Doctor Who bringing it up, even if in such an insanely niche story. Interestingly, the virus makes its victims (e.g. the war deserters) turn transparent before forcing them to go back through time. Is this invisibility intended to parallel how those in authority failed to notice the fact that shellshock is a real thing? If it is a deliberate parallel then Barnes goes to some lengths to avoid pointing it out.
Another such parallel comes from the fact that the story ends with bells ringing out to mark the end of the war. No sooner has the Doctor defeated the viyrans and helped do away with the virus the war is over. It’s an interesting idea – it feels almost as though the bells are ringing for the Doctor himself in celebration of a relatively bloodless victory for him – but I don’t really see what the point is. The Doctor has prevented one war from breaking out as another war ends at the same time. Not the most deep of symbolism there but it’s a nice moment.
We have another aspect of warfare being discussed in the form of mutated viruses. These aren’t really used for that purpose but that was what they were made for even if they never saw that end achieved. Instead they exist to be rounded up by the viyrans, so any chance to call out the horrors of the most deadly and violent of modern war techniques is missed.
Once again a Dark Eyes story has the chance to pose and explore some interesting and difficult moral issues surrounding war and once again it decides to miss the beautiful opportunity. Frustration, thy name is Dark Eyes. It annoys me because there’s some really deep topics being brought up here but the story is only an hour long and so none of them feel especially developed. They’re just sort of there in an attempt to make the story seem deeper than it actually is.
With the random standalone filler over and done with, the Eighth Doctor and Molly arrive on a far future spaceship at the edge of the universe. The ship has found what appears to be a hole in space/time (or something just as technobabbly), which the ship’s captain has named “time’s horizon”. Get used to such naming conventions from here-on out in Dark Eyes because this story introduces two such things which will become recurring villains for the remainder of the series: The Eminence and the Infinite Warriors.
Yes, I know, both of these are horribly prententious and grandstandy names.
I’ll go ahead and put my cards on the table from the off – I really don’t like the Eminence. I don’t think it offers much for the different writers to work with and as a concept it just doesn’t do it for me. It should really have just shown up a couple times, like it already had at this point, and been left at that. Now that we’re clear on where I stand, let’s go ahead and ignore my opinions and look at this from an objective perspective. What is the Eminence all about? In a word, control. The Eminence is a universal gaseous consciousness that possesses people’s bodies and takes over them, physically transforming them into something known as an infinite warrior. That’s this guy on the cover.
I think this is an idea that probably sounded really good at the time and it does reuse them from a monthly range story with the 6th Doctor, meaning that the entire Dark Eyes saga is essentially a sequel to a Colin Baker story (which is itself a sequel to one with Tom Baker for you completionists).
This is another instance of Dark Eyes 2 desparatly trying to carve a place within the extended Doctor Who universe that Big Finish has played a huge role in building. The previous story did it with viyrans, the next story brings in their take on a fan-favourite villain, and this one uses the Eminence. It also takes a plot point from that 6th Doctor encounter that the Doctor has a piece of the Eminence stuck in his head lying there dormant; but if you want an explanation for how that has survived two regenerations, then you’re out of luck.
I’m going to save my discussion on what the Eminence is all about for another time because I feel like Dark Eyes 3’s finale, “Rule of the Eminence“, is the story that best deals with that issue. For now I’ll just say that the idea of how a single idea can grow and grow and grow until it becomes toxic and people just accept it as fact is a truly terrifying one, one which is only more relevent than ever in the modern post-truth world of “alternative facts”. Shame it’s only really that one story in Dark Eyes 3 that remembers to explore that concept but there you go. That’s something for you to look forward to next time.
“Time’s Horizon“ is a story that’s all about exploring space and it’s grand scope is something to be admired. It takes humanity to the very furthest reaches of the universe to its literal edge – who knew such a place even existed? – and naturally bad things happen, because it’s Doctor Who so of course they do, but I love the way this has humanity exploring and pushing itself as a species to discover new things. It’s always been a central cornerstone of the franchise, to see what the human race can achieve when they really push themselves and to utilise this viewpoint to demonstrate that humanity is special. This is why it’s the Doctor’s favourite species, we don’t need some American idiots to try to tell us it’s because he’s half-human or any of that rubbish. He loves humans because of their unquenchable thirst to see and discover everything and Time’s Horizon taps into that theme tremendously well.
The idea of humans on a spaceship going to somewhere that nobody has ever been and discovering new things, only for a lifeform unlike what they’re used to to show up and start causing trouble for them – it’s lifted right out of any number of Star Trek episodes. I would argue though that Star Trek is better suited to do that kind of story than Doctor Who is, just like when Who tries its hand at politics. Doctor Who doesn’t have the benefit of a fixed setting or defined canon, every week you get something different, whereas Star Trek puts the cast (which is bigger than Who’s) into a fixed setting, the ship, and has a strict set of rules that must be adhered to in every story. This leaves it set up perfectly to tackle these concepts because viewers know what the context is every time, whilst Who is always changing it up. Time’s Horizon demonstrates exactly this problem, we don’t know who most of these people are and don’t know which variation of the rules it is that we’re dealing with. As a result it’s not entirely successful, but I admire the attempt.
Liv Chenka returns in this story too. We’re seeing her at a later point in her timeline, tying the story in with “The Traitor“, and we learn that the Doctor’s actions in that story haven’t happened for him yet. This is yet another companion to add to the list that the Doctor meets them in the wrong order. (See also: Mel, River, Clara, and a few others too.) I’ve always enjoyed that concept since I first saw Steven Moffat do it with River Song in “Silence of the Library / Forest of the Dead” and I think it’s a genius idea. Why wouldn’t that happen occasionally in a series about time travel?
I’ve always admired Moffat’s writing and I like the fact that his ideas have occasionally crept into other writer’s works. Toby Whithouse tried his hand at timey-wimey in “Before the Flood“, we see Mark Gatiss address ‘Making The Mundane Scary’ in stories like “Sleep No More“ and “Night Terrors“, and Big Finish have dealt with gender-swap regenerations on multiple occasions since 2003’s “Exile“ (released two years before NewWho arrived but four years after Moffat introduced the idea in a parody), to the point where even a Troughton story, “The Black Hole“ has done it by now. It speaks volumes of Moffat’s undeniable skill that others have tried to do things that he came up with. It has been said that immitation is the sincerest form of flattery and for him to come up with multiple ideas that have retroactively been made canon in the show’s classic era, that’s no small acheievment and yet another milestone to attach to the outgoing showrunner’s legacy. Show me another writer who has pulled that off.
Steven Moffat is a genius. Fact.
I do seem to have gotten off-topic, but I think it’s important to put Dark Eyes into context with how the revived TV series connects to it. And before you go thinking that I’m calling Steven Moffat the supreme overlord of Doctor Who, just bear with me because in the next story we’ll see him borrowing something from Big Finish. Having said that, I do think Moffat is undoubtedly the best writer ever to grace Doctor Who with his presence … have fun with that one, potential commenters.
Where was I before I went off on a tangent about Steven “The Great One” Moffat? Oh yes, that was it, Liv Chenka. A big theme in Time’s Horizon is her distrust of the Doctor. That’s entirely understandable of course, given that the last time she saw him he was giving the Daleks the means to launch a weapon. We have scenes of the Doctor being locked away and rendered unable to help as the situation with the Eminence’s attack gets worse and worse with the Doctor forced to watch on as hell begins to break lose. Molly too is distrusted because of her association with the Doctor. When Liv eventually agrees to give the Doctor a chance to help it is almost too late, he does succeed but only just. Liv almost makes it possible for the Eminence to win. She almost makes it so the Doctor dies. And the Doctor has no idea why.
Liv has to learn to trust the Doctor. It’s a startling new way to introduce the next companion and I love it. Someone who doesn’t trust him at first being forced to let him prove himself. Liv still doesn’t entirely give him her trust even when the Eminence has been stopped but she has accepted that maybe he had a reason for his actions and is prepared to let him prove himself. It’s much more realistic than the typical version of events of having the Doctor show up and the companion go running off with him to where or whenever. That’s two for two in Dark Eyes!
“Time’s Horizon” does some good things that I have a lot of appreiciation for. I would argue though that as a story it doesn’t quite hold itself together very well, being mostly set-up for the recurring villain it serves to introduce rather than being a great story in its own right. The edning reveals that a spy on the ship was working for the IDES Institute which the Doctor and Molly have previously met in 1970s London back in Fugitives in the first set, so that’s where they go.
After the credits role on this story, with the Doctor now armed with a second companion for the first time in ages, we get a brief post-credits scene to set up the finale. In 1970s London we have Dr Sally Armstrong get saved from being in a car crash by someone calling himself “Dr De’ath”. (What a great name!) The consequence of the Doctor’s actions in Dark Eyes 1 was the creation of a new timeline where, among other things, Sally Armstrong wasn’t killed. Imagine if one of his oldest enemies decided to utlise that and go round causing chaos.
Well, that’s exactly what this Dr De’ath person is. But who could that be?
- A) One of the Movellans?
- B) One of the Macra?
- C) One of the Mechanoids?
- D) …
Look, it’s obvious, it’s the Master, he’s literally right there on the cover, and the next story is titled Eyes of the Master. Who else could it possibly be? Let’s talk about that story now.
[Tibère’s note: I do think the Master’s pseudonym, De’ath, is a reference to an episode of The Avengers, “Castle De’Ath” – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0516814/ ; Big Finish does audios out of that show too, after all. Also it’s a great show and a ton of fun. And Diana Rigg is bae]
Eyes of the Master
We conclude Dark Eyes 2 by introducing the other major player on the villain side with the Master, as played by Alex MacQueen. And I simply cannot resist heaping praise upon his portrayal of this iconic villain, he is simply perfect casting. Folowing his debut in UNIT: Dominion he makes his welcome return to Doctor Who here, and he continues the trend he started off in that story. This is Big Finish’s first orignal incarnation of the Master and while they had rather cleverly managed to keep his place in the timeline vague in the earlier story, here they fill it in for us. This is the Master resurrected by the Time Lords following his death in The TV Movie, presumably to fight in the Time War. He comes before Derek Jacobi and after Eric Roberts; Roberts’s portrayal even gets a reference when the Master recognises this Doctor and reminsices about meeting him before. The same is true of Delgado’s original Master come to that, mentioning how this being the 1970s means that both of the Time Lords have an earlier incarnation running around somewhere nearby.
Which provides a nice segue into a discussion about the Master in NewWho vs the Master in ClassicWho. Let’s go to the man I gave a tonne of praise to above and see what he has to say. Over to you, Steven Moffat:
And this right there is why I think the Master of Moffat’s Who is better than in ClassicWho. This is a writer that understands that to make a compelling villain in the modern world we need them to have a motivation for why they do the things they do. While I do have a lot of love for the Masters played by Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley, neither of them is written as having much motivation beyond Rule The Universe Because We Can. We see in every appearance the same basic fundamental plot and while the specifics vary it essentially boils down to them finding some new way they might Do Evil Things and the Doctor shows up to stop them.
And in fairness these stories are mostly pretty good. It’s just that in all the times we see variations on this theme we never once get a proper explanation for why they’re doing this. It’s telling that this has been a favourite question for the expanded universe to answer. For example in Joe Lidster’s Master (creative title there, Joseph, way to push the boat out) it’s suggested to boil down to what is essentially a childhood trauma. In David McIntee’s novel from the Virgin Missing Adventures range The Dark Path it is said that the Master starts like an anti-heroic version of the Doctor but he turned evil when a close lover is killed. To anyone trying to fit either of these stories with the canon of the TV series I wish you best of luck and suggest you’re going to need it, but the point is clear: The Master was never given an on-screen explanation for his actions.
Until Russell T Davies showed up. In 2009-10 we got The End of Time and in it the Master, now played by John Simm, learns that Rassilon had planted a drumbeat in his head when the Master was just a child. The idea is that Rassilon can lock-on to the drumbeat and escape the Time War but it has a consequence of turning the Master into the insane meglomaniac we see all through his appearances in the series. When in 2014 Moffat’s Who sees the Master return, now in a female incarnation called Missy, she has become a very different character. Her goal is to get the Twelfth Doctor to stoop to her level and her motivations are deliberate, she is going after the Doctor because she has developed an obsession for him after he saved Gallifrey. She believes that the Doctor did that specifically to rescue her. That’s a false belief but the insanity of Simm’s Master is still there and this is probably what’s responsible for these delusions.
But a much more accurate way to describe Missy is as someone who causes chaos for the Doctor to fix just because she can and it’s fun. Moffat deserves praise for changing the way we see the Master – Except that Gomez’s portrayal wasn’t the first to do that. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Alex MacQueen!
This is a Master who goes round trying to control everything simply because it’s fun. In UNIT: Dominion for example, he finds a way to open portals to other dimensions and seeks to rule all of them at once, while throughout Dark Eyes his goal is to seek dominance over the universe using the powers of the Eminence. But in both instances he actively seeks out the Doctor so that his mortal enemy can bear witness to it. In the former story for example, he bluffs his way into UNIT’s trust by pretending to be a future Doctor whilst in this one he is seeking im out but is fully expecting the Doctor to show up, even expressing surprise over which one does. The final cliffhanger sees him, having been thwarted by the Doctor, kidnapping Molly O’Sullivan to use her retrogenitor particles but also because she’s a companion to the Doctor making this a deliberate attack. He has no need to be seeking the Doctor’s attention but he does it anyway because it’s more fun that way.
Everything Moffat gave us with Michelle Gomez is clearly inspired by what we had already seen with Alex MacQueen, it’s hard to deny the strong similarities in the two. One of my wishes for Doctor Who, which I file under the Never Gonna Happen category, is to see MacQueen on-screen, and possibly have him with Gomez sharing a multi-Master story. These two perfectly exemplify what makes the Master such a perfect villain for the Doctor.
His plot in this story is simple enough – The Time Lords have seen a possible future (as a result of the new timeline created in “X and the Daleks“) where the Eminence has become the only form of life in the universe and they have tasked the Master to investigate. There are thousands of Eminence caskets headed for Nixyce VII in the future in hope of enslaving humanity there so the Master goes to steal one casket and takes it to Sally at the IDES Institutes to perform experiments. Being the Master, he sets out to see if he can use the sole consciousness that defines the Eminence to take control over people and does this by posing as an eye doctor with a supposed cure for blindness. It turns out that he can, even though the Doctor uses the piece of the Eminence lodged in his brain to get rid of the casket that the Master has and put a stop to it, the Master still got what he needed and has this knowledge of how to control the Eminence. Then the Doctor sets out to have the Daleks blow up the approaching Eminence caskets, hence his actions in The Traitor, but although he has stopped the Eminence invading that world he hasn’t stopped the war between humanity and the Eminence. This is a war that the next boxset is centred around, while the Master is continuing his quest to perfect his own infinite warriors.
So essentially “Eyes of the Master” is one long set-up for Dark Eyes 3 but it still manages to stand on its own two feet. The Master’s plot involving removing people’s eyes and replacing them is creepy as it gets and writer Matt Fitton makes it very effective. He combines a technobabble-heavy plot of what is essentially exposition with some horror elements and proves he has a perfect handle on how to handle the Master – I can’t complain about that.
It’s easy to draw comparisons to the plot of Dark Eyes 1 as well. Both times we have a Time Lord implanting stuff into someone’s eyes to evil ends, last time Kotris was focussed specifically on Molly and here we have the Master doing it en masse. Like Kotris in “Tanged Web“ he kidnaps her in the final scene, which also brings the narrative of “Eyes of the Master“ full-circle as it begins with him effectively kidnapping someone else, Sally, and making her his companion which is a role we see Molly join her in in the openner of Dark Eyes 3.
Thematically speaking that’s all there really is to say about Eyes of the Master. It does some very exciting things with the Master himself in how he is presented in the narrative of this story and it does some top quality setup for Dark Eyes 3 & 4 but it’s not especially deep. Still, good character establishing for the latest villain to join the storyline and resolving the story thread introduced in The Traitor so I can’t really take issue with it.
I think the fact that Dark Eyes 1 was an experiment is showing very obviously in Dark Eyes 2. The overall plot has very little to do with what came before and the intent to create a bigger and better story with larger stakes isn’t working. As well as that, the set isn’t nearly as deep as the first one was and there’s nowhere near as much thematic stuff to think over as there was before.
It’s a step-down in quality. It doesn’t manage to be as interesting in spite of the presence of some new monsters, a new companion, and one of the best portrayals of the Master that there’s ever been, and the result is a disappointment. Honestly, Dark Eyes should’ve stopped at one boxset. In terms of how it sets up Dark Eyes 3 though, I can’t find fault with it there. The pieces are all in place for the next chapter in the saga as the war of humanity and the Eminence is ready to begin.
About the author:
Z. P. Moo is a cow who watches Doctor Who a lot. (He may or may not REALLY be a cow called “moo” but that’s what he tells us.) According to some accounts he’s a human that studies physics for a living, but claiming he’s an anthropomorphic Gallifreyan cow is much more fun. Also contributor on Warped Factor.