Critique Group – The Pandonian’s Paradox

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The Pandonian’s Paradox – by Micha-el

“The invisible planet?” Rose hung on tightly as the Doctor rushed around the six sided console in the TARDIS.

He grinned his response as he pulled a lever with his right hand before flipping a switch with his foot.

“But if its invisible-” The Doctor hit something with his hammer, causing it to ding. “Then how can you find it?”

The TARDIS shuddered, throwing Rose onto the Doctor briefly before she could right herself.

“Well, strictly speaking, it’s not actually invisible. More like the camouflaged planet; but that doesn’t have the same ring to it. The camouflaged planet…the imperceptible planet?….undetectable?….No…”

Rose grinned, tightening her grip.

A light flashed red above the Doctor’s head, setting of an alarm. The TARDIS jerked, sending Rose and the Doctor flying into each other before tossing them back the other way.

“What?” The Doctor did his best to read the console while the TARDIS continued to jerk and buck. “No, n-n-n-n-n-no!” A flash of confusion crossed his face for a moment as he tried flipping some switches. “But, …how…?”

The familiar whooshing of the TARDIS turned into a painful grind.

Another buck.

“How?” Letters passed by in front of the Doctors face in an odd script; he turned his head toward Rose. “Hang on!”

The TARDIS let out another jolt that threw the two on the floor before standing still with a slight hiss.

“You ok? Rose?” The Doctor rolled to his feet and hurried around the console.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” She accepted the Doctor’s hand and rode his pull to her feet. “What happened?”

“I don’t know… And it not very often I say that.” He hurried back to the screen, staying silent for a little while as he studied it, pressing a button now and again when the image went fuzzy. “Wait…, but that’s impossible.”

“What is it?” Rose hurried over and peered over his shoulder.

“But for it to… it’s just… impossible.” The Doctor stood there, squinting at the screen, now hitting it when it wasn’t working. “Behave a little.”

“Doctor, what is it?”

He ran a hand through his hair and turned toward Rose, sucking in his breath. “Somehow, some…thing, locked onto the TARDIS mid flight, pulling us through time and space to a planet with a Nycron atmosphere which is causing the TARDIS to recalibrate. We’re stuck here, for now.” He bent over and picked up a cast iron frying pan that lay on the floor from their crash. “How did this get here?”

“Nycron? Not sure about that one.” Rose glanced at the TARDIS’s now completely blank screen. “If it’s recalibrating, it will take a while. What do we do in the mean time?”

The Doctor was testing the weight of the frying pan. “You could really hurt someone with this.”

“Doctor?”

“Cast iron too, all that extra weight, giving it that extra oomph.”

“Doctor!”

“Right,” He let the hand with the frying pan drop to his side. “The TARDIS is going to take awhile to calibrate before she’ll be able to do anything.” Rose smiled, her eyes glancing at the TARDIS’s door before back to the Doctor. “Might as well, you know, take a look around.” He grinned as the two hurried toward the door.

Rose took in her breath as she stepped through the door. The planet was stunning.

Deep green grass stretched out in every direction, a pink sky held a bright blue sun; and, after the open grasses, trees that were as large as the TARDIS in diameter.

“Oh, its beautiful.” Rose bent down and ran a hand through the grass, grabbing a bit to smell. It smelled sweet and…something unidentifiable; like something you would make into tea.

“Oh! Nykiria. That’s lovely.” The Doctor turned in a small circle, as if refamilirizing himself with an old favourite.

Rose glanced at the Doctor. “Nykiria, is that the planet’s name?”

“Nykiria.” He gestured with his arms. “Lovely place; mountains, forests, rivers, oceans, birds, wildlife, and the intelligent indigenous species, Karyl’s.”

“Karyl?”

“We should see some soon enough, this was a popular field last time I came.” The Doctor flipped the small frying pan still in his hand, seemingly just remembering he hadn’t left it in the TARDIS.

He stared at it a moment. “Seriously though, you could hurt someone with this. Just a little momentum and…” The Doctor lazily swung his arm, careful not to hit the TARDIS, but instead, make the frying pan swing out past the edge; when the frying pan stopped suddenly, as though hitting something and making a dull thunk.

Ow!”

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“An invisible planet? Really?” Amy watched the Doctor press buttons and pull levers on the TARDIS’s console. “Hang on, if it’s really invisible-“

“Then how do I know its there?” He grinned, his hand pausing above the final switch. “Want to find out?” As the switch came down, the familiar whoosh of the TARDIS started as the platform jerked.

Amy squealed, grabbing for the rail as she fell sideways; the initial jolt was always the worst of them.

“Right then, the invisible planet-” The Doctor was cut short when a red light appeared, and with it an alarm.

“What?” He moved around to the screen, doing his best to read the Gallifreyin figures. The TARDIS jerked harder, bucking this way and that.

“Doctor?” Amy’s knuckles turned white as her grip tightened, just to keep herself standing, barely.

“That can’t be…” The Doctor pulled a lever or two, eyes glued to the now slightly fuzzy screen; the alarm now being slightly drowned out by the grinding of the TARDIS.

“Doctor?!”

The screen went white, sparks popping from the console, and something hissed while spewing smoke; the Doctor turned his head slowly. “Hold on.” He gripped the console he was holding on to with new rigor.

The TARDIS jerked on last time before crashing to a stand still, throwing Amy and the Doctor to the floor as all but the emergency lighting switched off.

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13 replies

  1. All admit, I was just gonna skip over this (it’s been a long week…), but then I saw the name Amy. And The Doctor. And Rose. So of course I had to read it. 🙂

    Anyways, I really liked it a lot!! You did all the characters wonderfully! Awesome job, fellow Whovian!!

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  2. It seems pretty solid to me. Since I’m guessing your target audience is people who are into Doctor Who, I figure that is why there’s no description of the Doctor. Still, you may want to give an indication early on so we know if he’s Nine or Ten. (I’ve watched a bit of Doctor Who, but not enough to recognize which one he is, though maybe I just missed it.)
    You may want to include more of Rose’s thoughts. I felt pretty distant, which is okay if you’re going for a distant POV, making it more like the TV series. If that’s not what you’re shooting for, you might want to get into Rose’s POV and say what she’s thinking and feeling. I understand that where you’re writing fanfic, getting in a character’s head is much harder to do right, but I’m sure you’re familiar enough with these characters that you could manage it.
    Hopefully someone else with more Doctor Who experience can come in and tell you if you stayed in character.
    Is this by any chance a Doctor Who/Tangled crossover?

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    • No, no crossover.

      Thank you, I will go back and see what I can do with Rose.

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    • I agree with the need for a bit of description. I’m only roughly familiar with Dr. Who because of what friends have told me, so I have no knowledge of any of the characters mentioned.

      Great job writing out the scenes and the action. Loved the references to the cast iron frying pan. My brain went to Tangled too. It made me smile. 🙂

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  3. I have rarely seen Ten portrayed so well. Distracted, yet completely aware. Well done!

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  4. Micha-el,

    This seems like an exciting, action piece.

    Since I am unfamiliar with Doctor Who, I might be the wrong person to critique this. Then again, if you want people like me to enjoy it, maybe I am the right person for the job.

    First paragraph:

    “The invisible planet?” Rose hung on tightly as the Doctor rushed around the six sided console in the TARDIS.

    What is a TARDIS? I assume fans know, but I don’t, so I can’t picture the scene. What was Rose hanging on to?

    Next:

    “But if its invisible-” The Doctor hit something with his hammer, causing it to ding. “Then how can you find it?”

    Who said this? And what did he hit? The POV person can see what he hit, right? Then maybe tell what he hit.

    Next:

    “Well, strictly speaking, it’s not actually invisible. More like the camouflaged planet; but that doesn’t have the same ring to it. The camouflaged planet…the imperceptible planet?….undetectable?….No…”

    Who is speaking? Put a space before and after each ellipsis.

    Next:

    Rose grinned, tightening her grip.

    Tightening her grip on what?

    Next:

    A light flashed red above the Doctor’s head, setting of an alarm. The TARDIS jerked, sending Rose and the Doctor flying into each other before tossing them back the other way.

    Use “off” instead of “of.” A red light set off the alarm? That seems odd. If a vehicle jerks, it usually sends its passengers in the same direction, not into each other.

    Next:
    “What?” The Doctor did his best to read the console while the TARDIS continued to jerk and buck. “No, n-n-n-n-n-no!” A flash of confusion crossed his face for a moment as he tried flipping some switches. “But, …how…?”

    I assume this is Rose’s POV. If so, how does she know the Doctor is doing his best?

    Next:

    Another buck.

    What does this mean? It appears that you left out a verb.

    Next:

    “How?” Letters passed by in front of the Doctors face in an odd script; he turned his head toward Rose. “Hang on!”

    Can Rose see the letters? Why did he say “How?”? I saw no motivation for that question.

    Next:

    “I don’t know… And it not very often I say that.” He hurried back to the screen, staying silent for a little while as he studied it, pressing a button now and again when the image went fuzzy. “Wait…, but that’s impossible.”

    Missing “is” between “it” and “not.” If Rose is the POV character, how can she see that the image is fuzzy before she goes to the console?

    Next:

    “Nycron? Not sure about that one.” Rose glanced at the TARDIS’s now completely blank screen. “If it’s recalibrating, it will take a while. What do we do in the mean time?”

    Meantime is one word.

    Next:

    “Right,” He let the hand with the frying pan drop to his side. “The TARDIS is going to take awhile to calibrate before she’ll be able to do anything.” Rose smiled, her eyes glancing at the TARDIS’s door before back to the Doctor. “Might as well, you know, take a look around.” He grinned as the two hurried toward the door.

    Use a period after “Right” instead of a comma. In this case, “a while” should be two words. Since Rose is the POV character, delete “her eyes.” The phrasing seems wrong in the second part of that sentence. Maybe this – Rose smiled, glancing at the TARDIS’s door then again at the Doctor.”

    Next:

    Rose took in her breath as she stepped through the door. The planet was stunning.

    Why did she take in her breath? Because the planet was stunning? If so, you reported the reaction before its motivation.

    Next:

    Deep green grass stretched out in every direction, a pink sky held a bright blue sun; and, after the open grasses, trees that were as large as the TARDIS in diameter.

    You have a list of three. The first two have action verbs, but the third one doesn’t – “grass stretched … sky held … trees that were.” This is unbalanced. Also, since I don’t know what a TARDIS is, I don’t know how wide that is.

    Next:

    “Oh, its beautiful.” Rose bent down and ran a hand through the grass, grabbing a bit to smell. It smelled sweet and…something unidentifiable; like something you would make into tea.

    You need an apostrophe for “it’s.” Also, I don’t know what kind of creature Rose is, but the way you wrote it, it reads as though she smells with her hands.

    Next:

    “Oh! Nykiria. That’s lovely.” The Doctor turned in a small circle, as if refamilirizing himself with an old favourite.

    What does refamilirizing mean?

    Next:

    He stared at it a moment. “Seriously though, you could hurt someone with this. Just a little momentum and…” The Doctor lazily swung his arm, careful not to hit the TARDIS, but instead, make the frying pan swing out past the edge; when the frying pan stopped suddenly, as though hitting something and making a dull thunk.

    “Made” instead of “make.” Past the edge of what?

    Next:

    “An invisible planet? Really?” Amy watched the Doctor press buttons and pull levers on the TARDIS’s console. “Hang on, if it’s really invisible-“

    I know you included a scene break, but I am lost. Who is Amy? Why is she talking about an invisible planet? Where are we now? I am completely in the dark.

    Next:

    “Then how do I know its there?” He grinned, his hand pausing above the final switch. “Want to find out?” As the switch came down, the familiar whoosh of the TARDIS started as the platform jerked.

    You need an apostrophe in “it’s.” Is Amy the POV character now? If so, how does she know it’s the final switch?

    Next:

    Amy squealed, grabbing for the rail as she fell sideways; the initial jolt was always the worst of them.

    What rail? You can probably delete “of them.”

    Next:

    “What?” He moved around to the screen, doing his best to read the Gallifreyin figures. The TARDIS jerked harder, bucking this way and that.

    What are Gallifrevin figures? If Amy is the POV character, can she see these figures? How does she know he is doing his best?

    Next:

    “That can’t be…” The Doctor pulled a lever or two, eyes glued to the now slightly fuzzy screen; the alarm now being slightly drowned out by the grinding of the TARDIS.

    A lever or two? Can’t Amy tell if it was one or two? Slightly drowned out? Either it is drowned out or it is not drowned out.

    Next:

    The TARDIS jerked on last time before crashing to a stand still, throwing Amy and the Doctor to the floor as all but the emergency lighting switched off.

    “One” instead of “on.” Standstill is one word.

    That’s all I have. I assume Doctor Who fans will understand what is going on, but I was lost throughout the piece. I couldn’t picture the scene or the characters, and I got even more lost when the scene switched from the one with Rose to the one with Amy. I had no idea why the switch came about.

    If you want non-fans to understand this, then you will have to change this piece a lot. If not, then maybe it’s fine. I have no way of knowing.

    In any case, I hope you keep writing. 🙂

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  5. Hi Micha-el,

    I love the Doctor, but I have to say, I’m not really a fan of fanfic in general because it is usually poorly done (in my opinion). That said, the fact that you submitted your story here shows that you care about it. So thanks for sharing with us!

    As a few have already said, you portrayals of the characters are *ahem* fantastic! If Rose wasn’t there, I still would have known it was 10 because of his mannerisms.

    Mr. Davis mentioned a few POV problems, and I just want to say that I agree. Point of View is sooo important when it comes to writing. You can’t have characters knowing what the other one thinks. I’m not sure who the POV character is in this story, and that’s a little confusing. If it’s Rose’s, how can she know the Doctor is doing his best to read the console? If it’s the Doctor’s, why doesn’t he read the Gallifreyan?

    Let me also encourage you to show and not tell. Pretend you’re writing an actual episode. “The Doctor did his best to read the console while the TARDIS continued to jerk and buck.” What would that look like on a screen? The Doctor clutching the console so he won’t fall over? Pushing his nose against the screen and squinting? Muttering to himself? Show us what the scenes look like!

    Keep going, bro. Don’t stop writing and learning! Allons-y!

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  6. Yes! Yes! Yes! A fellow whovian on The Authors Chair! This fanfic is so amazing!!! Like others have already said, your portrayal of Ten is Brilliant! And I love that its like a Ten and Rose/Eleven and Amy crossover. But now I’m dying because this isn’t an episode so I can’t go watch it! I want to know what happens!!!!

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  7. Thank you everyone!

    I am planning on finishing the piece soon; then I can go back an really working on fixing my POV and other things.

    Thank you for your help, I will use it!

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  8. I didn’t expect to see a Doctor Who piece on here. Very good! A few errors here and there, and as some have said the POV can be a bit confusing. Overall though, a FANTASTIC job, especially on the characters!

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  9. First of all as a Doctor Who fan, I enjoyed this. Rose and Amy are my favorite companions. The invisible planet is a good idea. I think it could be improved as well though. You assume that the readers know what everything and everyone look like and you mostly describe sounds. I would add some more description, especially in the first half as to what Doctor Rose is with. All it takes is describining the trench coat or the leather jumper. Remember she’s with 9 and 10.

    I would also be careful of your grammar. There are several errors such as inconsistent ellipses here: “The camouflaged planet…the imperceptible planet?….undetectable?….No…”

    Take head about your sentence variation as well. The first two pairs of actions sentences in the beginning for example are identical in structure. Also make sure to keep in mind these are British characters. Putting in some British slang would help us picture their voices. I have some further critique but this is what I have time for right now. I hope this helps! You’re really brave for putting a piece of your writing up for critique. A lot of people wouldn’t do that. 🙂

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