Doctor Who Tuesday Trope Noodle Incident

first_img From survivor’s guilt to the action girl, Doctor Who‘s cup runneth over with repetitive motifs.Each week, I’ll tackle another trope, examining its use, effectiveness, and relevance to the long-running BBC show. And while Bill Watterson may have coined the term, there are no shortage of these in Doctor Who.The Noodle Incident (via Bill Watterson)NOODLE INCIDENTMeaning: Something from the past that is referred to but never explainedVariations: Noodle ImplementsUsage in Doctor Who: Provide glimpses into the Doctor’s past lives and allow the writers to have a little fun at the expense of historyA mysterious alien steals a time machine, runs away from his home planet, and travels through all of space and time with a rotating cast of companions.Is it any wonder the Doctor keeps so many secrets?Doctor Who overflows with noodle incidents (named for an unexplained event often referenced in Calvin and Hobbes) like Strega Nona’s magic pasta pot under Big Anthony’s care.Often used to avoid explanation (Rory apparently left his phone charger in Henry VIII’s en suite in “A Town Called Mercy”) or allude to historical events (the Doctor claims in “Voyage of the Damned” that he got the last room at the inn on the first Christmas), these dropped breadcrumbs merely insinuate a past or future that we’ll probably never know.Master of allusion, showrunner and part-time writer Steven Moffat has turned noodle incidents into a sort of running gag.It turns out the Doctor partied with Santa Claus (a.k.a. “Jeff”) and Albert Einstein at Frank Sinatra’s hunting lodge in the 1950s. And he has the photo to prove it.Clara Oswald once met Jane Austen—”amazing writer, a brilliant comic observer, and … a phenomenal kisser.”Oh, and the Doctor spent a night with Pope Benedict IX (who was apparently a woman with a real flair for the castanets) in 1045.Moffat notably subverted the trope in two-parter “Silence in the Library”/”Forest of the Dead,” when an excitable River Song mentions several occasions the Doctor has not yet experienced, including a picnic on Asgard and the crash of the Byzantium.Once the Time Lord sees the smoldering wreckage of the ship atop a stony plateau in “The Time of Angels,” however, the noodle incident becomes moot.Similarly, Noodle Implements are used to suggest an off-screen act—zany scheme, exotic sex—by listing a set of objects in context.In “The Impossible Astronaut,” for instance, the Doctor—sitting in the Oval Office—requests “a SWAT team ready to mobilize, street-level maps covering all of Florida, a pot of coffee, 12 Jammy Dodgers, and a fez.”It also works for the Fourth Doctor, whose pockets, famously full of unnecessary odds and ends, would be turned out every time he searched for something necessary.What is your favorite Doctor Who Noodle Incident? Share yours in the comment section below.Stream all of Doctor Who now for free with your Amazon Prime membership. HBO Max Scores Exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ Streaming RightsJo Tro Do Plo Plo No: ‘Doctor Who’ Welcomes Back Familiar Monster Stay on targetlast_img read more