Tuesday, 12 May 2015

BOOK OF LISTS: 


10 MOST PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN THE DOCTOR'S LIFE(VES)

            One of the many treats we received during the fiftieth anniversary season of Doctor Who was that intensely memorable opening sequence in The Name of the Doctor.  You know what I'm talking about: a brief peak back to "Gallifrey - a long time ago" where we watched that fateful moment where the First Doctor escaped with Susan in a rackety old TARDIS and started his adventures in Time And Space.   I think we can all agree that this was, without a doubt, the most important moment in the Time Lord's life.    Had he not made this all-important decision to forsake the ways of his people and go out into the Universe, we would never have had a show.  Or, at best, we would have had a far more boring one where the Doctor probably just caused some trouble in various Time Lord council meetings and was shouted down a bunch of times (a premise that I doubt would've lasted 50 years!).  
            But one of the most wonderful traits about this series is the fact that the Doctor's character does evolve and develop as the the show progresses.   So, while that brief sequence gave us a glimpse of the most pivotal moment in the Doctor's life, there are many more moments throughout the Classic and New Series where we see other significant decisions getting made that propel the lead character's destiny in all kinds of interesting directions.    Here, in chronological order, are the ten most pivotal moments in the Doctor's long and tangled history....

1. Making Amends with Barbara (The Brink of Disaster)

            For the first handful of episodes of Doctor Who, the Doctor isn't the nicest of fellows.   He seems very warm to his grandaughter but is most hostile towards her two school teachers that have been thrust upon him.   He argues constantly with her history teacher, Barbara Wright and actually seems to be in a power struggle with her science professor, Ian Chesterton.
            All this tension comes to a climax in the hastily-inserted third story The Edge of Destruction. Where a fault in the TARDIS' circuitry actually starts getting its passengers to behave very erratically.   And within all these strange motives, paranoia begins to flare.    The Doctor and the two teachers make all kinds of accusations back and forth and it really seems like they are about to become the most hated of enemies. 
            But then the problem in the TARDIS is sorted out and everyone cools back down.  And towards the end of that second episode (titled: The Brink of Disaster) the Doctor chooses to finally make peace with his two unexpected companions by offering a legitimately sincere apology to Barbara for his unacceptable behaviour.   In this moment, the Doctor loses much of the cold and selfish exterior we've been seeing so far and starts to really let some of his hidden charm shine through.    More importantly, he starts to allow himself to become attached to someone else besides Susan.   Basically, he starts letting humans affect him.   This will, forever, change his attitude.  




2. The Trial of a Time Lord (Episode 10 of The War Games)

            Next to his actual escape from Gallifrey, this is probably the most important moment of them all for the Doctor: Gallifrey finally catches up with him.  From hereon in, he is no longer slipping between the cracks amongst his own culture.   The Time Lords are now aware of who he is and what he's up to.    The nature of his journeys will never be the same.   Firstly, they will actually end for a while as he serves out his exile.  He will struggle constantly to escape his imprisonment on 20th Century Earth and fail again and again.   Eventually, he'll be allowed brief moments of freedom to perform specific missions for the Time Lords.  Even after the exile is revoked, we get the impression that the Time Lords are watching him more closely, now.   Especially since he is still, occasionally, maneuvered into sticky situations on their behalf.  Even three regenerations later, his people are still observing him intently as he stumbles upon one of their scandals and is placed on trial, yet again.   It seems he will never escape their all-pervading stare.     
            The decision to ask his peers to help him against the evil War Lords has far-reaching consequences for the rest of his travels.   From this point onwards, he will have to deal with the influence of his own people and the ongoing restrictions they will impose upon his freedom. 

3.  Freedom!   At last!    (Episode Four of The Three Doctors)

            The tenth anniversary tale packs a huge wallop in the Doctor's personal life.    He not only gets to know himself a whole lot better (and, oddly enough, doesn't seem to get on well with his other personaes) but he also meets one of his greatest boyhood heroes.    On top of all that, he manages to save both Gallifrey and the Universe, itself.  
            But none of that is as important to him as those last moments of Episode Four.   Past incarnations have been sent back to their proper timelines.  Supporting characters have filed off to their own business.   Jo Grant has had a nice heart-to-hearts with Doctor Three.   And then, suddenly, we hear the sound of materialisation and witness a familiar-looking circuit appearing on the time rotor.    As a thanks for all he's done, the Time Lords have revoked his exile.   He's free to roam the universe again.    It almost seems that the Doctor's love for travel grows stronger from this point, onwards.   Not just in the Pertwee incarnation, but in all subsequent portrayals.    Having been starved of what he enjoys most for several years, the Doctor appreciates his ability to go anywhere in Time and Space all the more once his punishment has been rescinded.  

4. Meeting his old Mentor, once more, but having no scarf.... (Episode 6 of Planet Of Spiders)

            A moment similiar to the apology to Barbara.   As he re-encounters the old Hermit that used to mentor him back when he was a young Gallifreyan, the Doctor realizes he must make a major change in his attitude.   In a brief exchange with his old teacher, he comes to terms with the fact that his love of travel also comes with a greed for knowledge.   And that his desire to stick his nose into everything and know as much as possible can have serious consequences.   What was meant to be the harmless acquisition of a beautiful sapphire has turned into a major disaster that could unleash the most dangerous of meglamaniacs upon the Universe.  
            Before this moment, the Doctor always seemed to be running away from accountability.    Yes, he saved lives and helped people - but he also delighted in being irresponsible.   But his encounter with his mentor sets him straight and he takes responsibility for what he's done.   In so doing, Doctor Three is thrown upon the funeral pyre.   
            As we watch Doctor Four take over, we do see more instances of him discussing the duties he has as a Time Lord - even one that has renounced the ways of his people. In the New Series, this trend continues.  The occassional speech is declared about his obligations even though he believes there is no one left from his society to stand in judgement over him.  That whole outlook seems to begin during that fateful discussion in the first few minutes of the final episode of Planet of Spiders.

5. Accidental Presidency (Episode Two of The Deadly Asssassin)

            What was meant to be just a little legal trickery to postpone his imminent execution ends up affecting his life for several incarnations.  Having being framed as the murderer of an outgoing Lord President of the Time Lords, the Doctor is looking for any way to buy himself more time so he can find out who the real culprit is.    Once again, he is facing a Gallifreyan courtroom.   Having researched Time Lord legalities, he finds a loophole that will keep him alive for just that bit longer.    He nominates himself to become the next Lord President.  
            As the events of Deadly Assassin ensue, we discover that the only other candidate for the position is the actual assassin the Doctor has been looking for.   As the killer is brought to justice, the Doctor is faced with the most ironic of fates.   By default, he holds the highest position in his civilisation.   He has become Lord President of the High Council of Time Lords.  
            While this status sometimes works to his detriment (ie: Chancellor Flavia trying to force him to stay on Gallifrey at the end of The Five Doctors), the Doctor does use his title to his advantage, now and again.   The most obvious example was in The Invasion of Time where he returns to Gallifrey to receive his coronation and also thwart a combined Vardan/Sontaran invasion.   But we see other instances, like in Timelash, where he declares his title to the attacking Bandrils in hopes that it will stop them.   
            Ultimately, the Doctor's neglect of his Presidential Duties caused him to lose the title during his Sixth Incarnation.   But, for at least a century or two, he was the Grand Pooba of all Time Lords.   And that had to make him feel pretty special after serving that nasty exile only a few years earlier.   

6. Farewell to the Mouth On Legs (Episode Four of Ressurection of the Daleks)

            Again, a moment of harsh attitude change.  The Daleks are condemned to a strange toothpaste-spewing defeat at the hands of the Fifth Doctor.   Tegan Jovanka, his long-serving companion, suddenly turns to him and declares: "It's stopped being fun."   Tearfully, she bids him farewell and resumes her life in 1980s London (for the second time, actually).   
            Peter Davison is well-known for bringing a huge dose of vulnerability to his portrayal of the Doctor and we never see it more strongly than in the moment after Tegan leaves.    In a brief discussion with his other companion, Turlough, he pronounces that he "must mend his ways."  
            It seems, at first, to just be a reflective moment after losing an old friend.    But as subsequent incarnations start rolling on, we do see changes in the Doctor's attitude towards his enemies.   He becomes more pro-active and less merciful.   Even a bit more devious.   His darker side is emerging more and more.    Before this incident, the Doctor was more the sort of protagonist who just seems to stumble into trouble.   Afterwards, he seems to seek trouble out and stare it straight in the face.  He also seems to have more of an "eye for an eye" mentality.    Repaying evil with evil.    Some versions of him show this attitude more strongly than others (ie: Doctor Seven) - but it does seem to be his general approach after he loses Tegan.    Given some of the less-than-compassionate things that he's done, we must almost wonder if "mending his ways" was such a good choice to make that day.   

7. "Unlimitted Rice Pudding!"  (Episode One of Remembrance of the Daleks)

            Two incarnations later and the off-hand comment about mending his ways seems to reach its ultimate fruition.   For the first little while of his Seventh Life, the Doctor is more of a clown with just the slightest hints of a darker, more manipulative nature.    But then, as Doctor Who begins its Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration, we start to see the claws come out.  
            Achieving such ominous titles as the Cosmic Chess Player, Time's Champion or The Oncoming Storm, the Seventh Doctor seems to openly declare war on the Evils of the Universe. In the opening few minutes of Remembrance of the Daleks, we see that he is not accidentally visitting Earth in 1963 and just happens to run into the Daleks.   He's there on purpose.   He has a plan.  
            Yeah, we've seen the Doctor walk in with a pre-set gameplan before (Invasion of Time is a particularly good example of this strategy), but we've never seen him with one so thorough.    Nor have we seen him execute a plan so visciously.   The man is, basically, out to destroy an entire solar system so that he can thwart the machinations of his foes.   One must admit: that's pretty harsh.  
            In Remembrance, the Doctor develops a very serious "edge" to his personality.   An edge that emerges consistently throughout the rest of his Seventh Incarnation and continues to reveal itself to a lesser or greater extent in several subsequent regenerations.   Yes, a decision was made way back in the Days of Five.   But the execution of that decision happens here.   The Doctor has become downright powerful.  And a little dark and forboding on top of that.
            Some even believe that this particular decision was so monumental that it actually became the first shot fired in the Great Time Wars.   How's that for impact?





8.  Physician Healing Thyself (Night of the Doctor)

            Just when we think the Doctor can't get any darker, a seven minute web-isode takes the character to an even greater extreme!  
            Trying to bounce back from all the cruelty of his Seventh Personae, Doctor Eight does seem to be a much more merciful manifestation of our title character.   Just look at how he tries to reach out and save the Master as he's being sucked into the Eye of Harmony.  And he does this gesture after that rotten renegade Time Lord has spent the whole story trying steal away his remaining bodies.   If that doesn't say "new-found sense of compassion" - then nothing does!
            And that sense of mercy seems to persist throughout the unseen adventures of this incarnation.    Even as the Time Wars begin, he refuses to participate in them.   As important as it may be for the Daleks to lose, he just sees the whole event as something he cannot involve himself with.  That fighting in the Time Wars will reduce him to the same level as his enemies.    Instead, he chooses to remain at the fringes of the battlefield - trying to help the fallen in any way he can.   
            But that strategy, ultimately, becomes his undoing as he finds himself back on the Planet Karn.  With a mere four minutes of life left, he must make the most crucial of decisions: fight in the Time Wars or let the Universe die with him.   In despair, he decides to be "the Doctor no more" and the secret War Doctor is born.  
            A decision that rocked continuity to its very foundations and revealed a side so dark to the Doctor that even the Valeyard would feel a bit inadequate.  This is probably the Doctor's blackest moment.    It is here that he stops believing in himself and becomes all that he hates.   A decision that will haunt him for multiple incarnations...

9.  Time Lord Victorious (Waters of Mars)

            Having dealt with all kinds of levels of survivor guilt, the Doctor finds himself approaching the end of his Tenth Incarnation.   The various companions he's had since the fateful day he ended the Time Wars have helped to heal him from his self-inflicted wounds.   But the weight of those companions ending their travels with him has become too heavy.   It's not like the old days where he could move on from their departures and find someone new.   It all seems to hurt too much, now.   And so, the Doctor takes his Lonely God mantle to its fullest extent: he chooses to travel alone.  
            But as Donna points out - it's not good for him to be alone.    He no longer has someone to tell him when to stop.   And so, as his loneliness consumes him more and more, he starts questioning those duties he must maintain as a Time Lord.  Who is left to punish him should he start breaking the rules?   Why must he continue to suffer because of his respect for the Laws of Time?  
            And from the Lonely God, the Time Lord Victorious briefly emerges.  As he lands on the famous Bowie Base established on Mars in 2059, the Doctor knows that he has encountered a Fixed Point in Time. That he can do nothing to interfere with the tragic events that are about to ensue.   But, just this once, he decides not to adhere to his all-important principals and attempts what is probably one of the greatest offenses a Time Lord can commit:  he chooses to change a Fixed Point.    To make things happen the way he'd like to see them turn out rather than the way they are meant to.  
            While it was scary to see him turn into a warrior in Point #8 - it is far more frightening to see him, here.   In this case, he has turned into a meglamaniac.    And if it wasn't for the suicidal decision of Adelaide Brooke, he may have stayed that way.   For just the briefest of instances, the Doctor becomes the villain he has defeated so many times before.  
            A short while later, the Doctor regenerates. We see a change in his grieving process over the Time Wars after that. A change so heavy that his Tenth Self is aghast to see how he has “moved on” during Day of the Doctor. But the poor choice he made at the Bowie Base has shown him just how dangerous he can be when he doesn’t do something to lay all that angst to rest. The experience was a crucial tipping point in his attitude. He never wants to go that far again and adjusts his attitude accordingly to avoid it.

10.  Not Quite the Time War We Thought it Was... (Day of the Doctor)

            No doubt, some of you have looked at these last few points and remarked to yourself:  "Why hasn't he included Pressing the Big Red Button that ends the Time Wars?!"    And, if it hadn't been for the Fiftieth Anniversary Special, it would have been Point #9.  But Day of the Doctor sheds new light on that particular moment and shows that the decision made on that day wasn't quite as it seems. 
            After having made multiple decisions since his Fifth Incarnation that have taken him down a darker and darker path, the Doctor achieves the ultimate triumph in this tale.   He returns to the Doctor he once was: the Man Who Finds a Better Way. 
            The tremendous emotional toll of the last seven seasons of the New Series is reversed in an instant as three different incarnations of the Doctor stand in some lonely alien barn - ready to initiate the most painful choice he has ever made.   And then, in a stroke of genius, the Doctor realizes things don't have to happen the way they do.   In the same way that he avoided his future without actually changing the established order of events at the end Series Six, he now does the same thing with his past.   To all intents and purposes, the galaxy believes that the Doctor unleashed The Moment and wiped out the Time Lords and the Daleks during the Fall of Arcadia.    But now, he knows differently.    Somewhere, in a pocket universe, Gallifrey Stands.   
            A whole new direction is presented in the Doctor's life.   Thanks to the decision of this day, he has truly begun his long journey home.
           
           


            

Friday, 1 May 2015

FIXING CONTINUITY GLITCHES:

This is one of several pieces I submitted to a fan publication that wanted me to write something for them. They asked for outlandish theories and this is, easilly, one of the most over-contrived explanations one could provide for the notorious "half-human issue" that gets raised in the 96 Telemovie. I don't even, necessarilly, believe in this idea. But I hope you'll find it to be a fun way to look at the whole problem.

The Seventh Doctor's Fob Watch:  More Than Meets the Eye
(No it isn't a Transformer - it's something just as cool, though)


The fob watch - or "pocket watch" as it is sometimes referred to - has been a favorite accessory for the Doctor throughout most of his lives.  Particularly back in the Classic Who days.   With the exception of the Second and Fifth Incarnations (and, including the Eighth), we've seen all the versions of the Doctor from the Old Series carrying this particular type of timepiece at some point during their existence. In the New Series, the Eleventh started sporting one during the later part of his era.
       
      Some Doctors, like the Sixth, wore one quite faithfully throughout his entire tenure.   Even after his mishap on Necros, we assume that he finds a new watch quite quickly as we see him using one in his very next story. His successor, the Seventh Doctor also wore a fob watch at all times.  Throughout most of his era, he clasped his to the lapel of his blazer and tucked it into his breast pocket. But when we saw him in the 96 Telemovie, he had shifted it to the vest pocket like so many other Doctors before him had worn it.
 
      As his stories progressed, we got the impression that Doctor Seven’s fob watch did more than just tell the time.   In Silver Nemesis, it appears to have a very sophisticated alarm system that can actually analyze the time period it's in and alert the Doctor to an impending doom.   In Survival, it even seems capable of doing low-level scans for him.    In much the same way that the First Doctor's ring had some very special properties, the Seventh Doctor's pocket watch appears to have some unique abilities too.
 
      As we move past Doctor Seven and into Series Three of New Who, we learn that a Time Lord's fob watch can be even more special.  That it is a vital component of a Chameleon Arch:   a special piece of technology that fits on a Time Lord's head and can re-write his biology.  It not only gives him a new identity that he believes to be true, but it actually changes him into a new species.  At the same time, the device has an attachment that can store his essence in a special receptacle that looks exactly like a pocket watch with crazy concentric circles on it.  When the watch is opened in the Time Lord's presence, the essence is released back into him and he reverts back to his true form.   Whatever false identity the Time Lord created through the Chameleon Arch is erased.   But the memory of all the things he did in that identity is retained.   We saw both the Doctor and the Master use Chameleon Arches to facilitate certain plans they had made to escape and hide themselves' from their enemies.    In both cases, those weird-looking fob watches were integral to the schemes they had hatched.   Without that receptacle to store their true identity in, they would never have been able to return to their true selves' at the proper opportunity.

       We saw a slight variation on Chameleon Arch technology at the end of Last of the Time Lords and the beginning of The End of Time - Part 1.   As a means of exacting a resurrection after his death, the Master sealed his essence in a special ring that also seemed to have some weird runes on it.    It was a very clever ruse to ensure that he could survive after a death that might completely destroy his body.   In fact, we might now safely guess that he used something similar to survive his incineration at the end of Planet of Fire.   Although, how he was able to create the resurrection ritual that we saw in End of Time on the planet Sarn demands some serious creative thinking.    Which means it's still difficult to piece together exactly how the Master survived to return, once more, in Mark of the Rani. But, thanks to those stories in Series Three and the 2009 Specials, we have a slightly clearer idea of things.  

      But now, let's go back to the Seventh Doctor.  Well known as the slyest, most conspiring incarnation we've ever seen, this version of the Doctor was obsessed with the Great Games he was playing with the Universe.  Affectionately dubbed:  "The Cosmic Chess Player", he was constantly creating complex masterplans to advance the Greater Good. None of the other incarnations before or since went to such extravagant lengths to execute their battles against their enemies.   Yes, other incarnations have been a bit crafty and a little manipulative.   Some have even been a bit pro-active.   But none go as far as the Seventh Doctor went.  

     Which leads me to believe that Doctor Seven might have taken out an extra insurance policy just in case one of his masterplans went wrong and he actually ended up getting diced up in the cross-fire of some battle he'd intentionally arranged.  And since he was so conniving, this insurance policy would be a fairly convoluted one.  

      I suggest that the special fob watch that could already do some extra tricks could also carry his Time Lord essence in it.  Just like the fob watches we would later see in Series Three of New Who.   In fact, it is my belief that Doctor Seven's fob watch worked more like the Master's ring.  It's there as an emergency if his current body should get destroyed before it can regenerate.    It's entirely possible that the Doctor constructed a special "resurrection chamber" inside the TARDIS for just such an emergency.   Being as sneaky as he is, the Time Lord may have even put a post-hypnotic suggestion in Ace's mind (or any other companion that may have followed her during those notorious "wilderness years" when Doctor Who went off the air) to take the fob watch from his body if he should die and bring it to that special room in the TARDIS where he could then be called back into existence.

      When you think about it, this is not something we would put past this particular incarnation of the Doctor.   Again, he was truly obsessed with winning his games of cosmic chess and was not afraid to hatch the most complex of schemes to do so.   So a special fob watch that could resurrect him in an extreme emergency is not entirely far-fetched.

      But why am I going to such great lengths to postulate all this?   Like all hardcore Who fans, I'm trying to get a very nasty piece of conflicting canon to fit!

     Okay, it's the beginning of the 96 Telemovie.    The Seventh Doctor is now travelling alone. But he's still carrying that fob watch on him and it's carrying his special back up plan in it.  He goes to pick up the Master's remains from his trial on Skaro.    We learn, of course, that the Master has sealed his own essence inside this strange green goo that can take on the form of a snake.   Whether or not this is also some form of Time Lord Chameleon Arch technology at work, who can say for sure?   My guess is it's some other alien technology that works in a similar way to a Chameleon Arch.  The Master would do this because if he used Time Lord technology, the Doctor would instantly recognize what he was up to and take measures to stop him.   Instead, the Doctor's pretty sure that he really is just stowing the Master's remains and bringing it to Gallifrey (he's still a little suspicious, of course - but not enough!).    

      Shortly after bringing the Master's urn aboard the TARDIS, the strange goo that has the Master's essence in it breaks loose and immediately fuses itself with the TARDIS console. The console starts sparking nastily and the time ship crashes to Earth. Why does the Master actually cause this to happen? How does this relate to his plans of stealing the Doctor's remaining lives?  It doesn't actually seem to make sense.

      This is because I believe the TARDIS' crash landing was not actually part of the Master's plan but rather the result of his plans backfiring.  The Master enters the TARDIS console so that he can access the Chameleon Arch and transfer his essence into the Doctor's body through it.   However, because the Doctor is using Chameleon Arch technology in a way it's not intended and the Master's own container for his essence is only so compatible with Time Lord technology, some kind of weird "short circuit" occurs. The Master’s essence is rejected from the Chameleon Arch programming in the most vicious of manners. Causing the whole TARDIS to strongly react from the rejection and crash land on Earth.  

      At the same time, this short circuiting of the Chameleon Arch affects the Doctor's fob watch.   A human identity that is kept in the system should the Doctor ever want to disguise himself as one (which, of course, he eventually does several incarnations later) is downloaded into the watch.
Our TARDIS now crash-lands in San Francisco in 1999.   The Doctor is shot down by gangsters.  The Master's gooey essence scampers off to try to hatch some new scheme to steal his rival's body.  Chang Lee rushes the Doctor to the hospital, unknowingly taking the Master along for the ride so that he can eventually inhabit Bruce's body for a time.   Could it be that, as he lies unconscious in the ambulance, Doctor Seven already sees that he's having a lot of trouble inducing his regeneration?   Somewhere in his subconscious mind, he's trying to telepathically reach out to his fob watch. Fearful that his body is about to die, he wants to store the most recent version of his identity in the watch so that he doesn’t lose any memories during a forthcoming resurrection.
       
      No doubt, he's designed the watch to be telepathically, as well as physically accessible. There would be any number of times when he would want to open the watch and not use it to store his essence. He probably has a special subroutine set up so that he can only access those properties of the watch through sheer concentration.  Something his complex Time Lord mind could do even when it's at rest. Of course, the watch does something he didn’t expect.  Again, the Master caused that weird short-circuiting in the Chameleon Arch and he's now receiving human biological and mental patterns rather than sending his Time Lord essence into the watch.  

     So when that regeneration finally takes place later within the morgue - some human essence accessed from the fob watch while in the ambulance gets infused into the whole process and voila!    We have an Eighth Doctor who is half-human.  

     Think about it: the Doctor never claims his partial human lineage before or after this story.   It's only ever mentioned here.   Chameleon Arch technology is the best way to explain this.    It is, after all, capable of re-writing Time Lord biology - which would account for the Master seeing a human retinal structure as he looks at the Doctor through the Eye of Harmony.   It's also capable of instilling false memories.   Which is why the Doctor is suddenly claiming to Proffessor Wagg that he has a human mother when he's never mentionned this before or since.   This is all the result of Doctor Seven's attempts to access the fob watch when he's not fully conscious.   The short-circuit caused by the Master has messed up the process. He didn’t store his identity in the watch – he received a new one. But it’s just a partial re-write. Most of who the Doctor is remains intact. There’s just some extra human stuff added to the mix.   Which is why this new incarnation is claiming to be half human and even has some biological human traits.  It's all the result of the Seventh Doctor's and the Master's over-contrived plans not quite going the way they wanted.

      It's a bit of a mess, really.  In much the same way as Doctor Eight claiming to be half-human creates a bit of a mess of established continuity.   So, in that sense, this wonderful over-contrived theory fits the scenario quite nicely.  

      Once the Master's back-up plan of using the Eye of Harmony to steal the Doctor's remaining lives is also ruined, Doctor Eight is able to get a bit of downtime.   As he sits in the TARDIS console room after making some repairs - he clues in that something is wrong.  Perhaps, the needle flicking on the record player is the TARDIS' way of giving the Doctor a clue that things are amiss.  Whatever the case, he realizes his claims to being half-human don't make sense.   He's gotten his things back from Chang Lee. Which, of course, includes the fob watch.    The Doctor puts two and two together and sees what's happened.   He repairs the Chameleon Arch, plugs the fob watch into it and plops the whole contraption onto his head.   All his human biology and false memories are purged and he's a proper Time Lord again.   More than likely, that particular fob watch is now just a fob watch again.   He clasps it back onto his vest and continues on with his adventures, deciding he never wants to use the watch as an emergency back-up plan ever again.   After all, look at the trouble it caused him!

      Again, if we take this whole crazy idea and apply it to the situation - it is one of the better ways to explain this whole "half-human continuity issue".    It's all because the Seventh Doctor's fob watch was way more than it appeared to be.   Because the Master didn't know this, when his own sinister plot to commandeer his greatest enemy's remaining incarnations is employed - it creates a massive backfiring for both of them!    
       
      And for a brief period in time, the Doctor is genuinely half-human.   On his mother's side, of course!