1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by E. Stephen Burnett, Speculative Faith. Speculative Faith said: Does "Doctor Who" wrongly use "deus ex machina" endings? Not if a story has its reasons. On #SpecFaith: http://bit.ly/gA5ipP […]

  2. Royce says:

    “You can’t rewrite history, not one line!” -William Hartnel as the first Doctor

  3. And of course, Hartnell DID re-write history. But that’s another story. 😀

    The issues is that this not by definition a Deus ex machina. The definition of a Deus ex machina is when something that has nothing to do with the story is presented to save the characters. In almost all cases, the story elements that present the resolution to the adventure are introduced early on. By definition, therefore, it is NOT a DEM. I think that RTD has many probs as a writer, but this was not one of them, to be sure.

    • Royce says:

      I only mentioned the Hartnel quote because of the irony laying behind it. Just to hijack the conversation yet once again, the whole subject of being able to tinker with the causal nexus was dealt with in a beautiful fashion in Fritz Leiber’s short story, “Try and Change the Past,” in which a time agent discovers the time and method of his own death in the future. With each attempt to stop his demise through use of time travel, his future self still dies at that time, thought the method changes, in order that the causal chain remain unbroken. Leiber does the same sort of genius time traveling fiction in his Hugo Award winning book “The Big Time.” Now that I’m done with the book plug, and the thread hijacking, lets get back to Deus ex machina…

  4. kim says:

    Sigh . . I miss the Doctor. I wish he’d come back to the US. Sigh. . .

  5. Galadriel says:

    Kim, have you heard about the new season? The two-part opener is set in Utah.
    That’s a good point–DEM have no basis in the story: opening the Time Vortex or paradox loops do have their place in the Whoniverse.
    Another good example is Return of the King. The Eagles show up even before they rescue Frodo and Sam–even more so if you include The Silmarillion references. It’s not a DEM because that’s what Manwe summoned them for!

What do you think?