Time Zones Will Be the Death of Me
In my day job I am a software architect, and easily the bane of my existence has been time zones. This is not a unique experience, and Tom Scott does a lovely job explaining why it is such a problem. I actually own a t-shirt that was designed for me by my friend (and fellow Doctor Who fan) Michael Montoure which reads "Time zones will be the death of me". I have long ago lost track of how many hours I have spent dealing with time zone issues, even when using the most stable and well-regarded common software libraries. Just the phrase "time zone" makes me cringe. So you can imagine my visceral reaction when, it today's viewing, the Doctor and companions find a map laying out all of the different wars being fought (the Great War, the American Civil War, etc.), with each one being labeled as a different "Time Zone".
Let's talk about that.
The War Games - Episodes 3 & 4
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
The escape from the Roman army at the last episode's cliffhanger was easy enough, our heroes just piled back into their ambulance and backed up into the mist again. This is the point where the Doctor has fully deduced that the mists are barriers between different "time zones", and gets the swell idea to go back to British HQ to find a map. Soon enough, after a few hurdles and a small bit of explosive, they have recovered an accurate map of the entire battle world with all of its eras clearly marked. Near the center of the map is a blank area, and the Doctor decides that must be where the people controlling all of the wars must be.
Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of that very Central HQ, with General Smythe reporting to the War Chief and discussing tactics, along with the head of the German army from the Great War time zone.
Our heroes cross over into the American Civil War time zone while trying to reach the center of the map. Along the way Major Carstairs is captured by some soldiers, while the Doctor, Jamie, Zoe, and Lady Jennifer all wind up hiding in a barn. If my memory serves from the last time I watched this story, they will be revisiting that barn a lot. Anyway, while they are there a TARDIS-like thing materializes and a large number of American Civil War soldiers emerge from the open doorway. Once they are all gone the Doctor goes inside, followed by Zoe. Unfortunately the unit then dematerializes, thus leaving Jamie and Lady Jennifer behind.
In the fourth episode Jamie and Jennifer get captured, freed, and captured again over the course of the story. Along the way they meet a soldier who knows all about the different time zones and is unaffected by the mind control glasses used by the generals. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Zoe spend the episode running around Central HQ and seeing a lecture about the mind control technique used to hypnotize the soldiers sent to all of the different time zones. They also find the previously captured Major Carstairs, but he has subsequently been re-brainwashed. The cliffhanger has Carstairs holding a gun to Zoe, whom he believes is a German spy, and Carstairs is just pulling the trigger. Roll credits.
I had thought that maybe these episodes would be padded out, but I really didn't find any fluff in them at all. There continues to be a slow reveal of the actual situation, and we now know that all of the soldiers are kidnapped from Earth and brought to this battle world where they are hypnotized into believing they are still fighting whatever war they came from. We also know that about 5% of the most strong-minded of the humans are able to brush off the mind control, and that they are a growing threat to whatever the ultimate plan is for the War Chief and his superiors.
Thus far I am continuing to enjoy the story quite a bit. Hopefully that will continue to be the case, I've got three more days of this particular story left to go.
Companion(s): Jamie McCrimmon, Zoe Heriot
Episode(s): The War Games - Episodes 3 & 4
Steps Walked: 6,875 today, 840,687 total
Distance Walked: 3.57 miles today, 407.43 miles total
Weight: 272.54 lbs (five day moving average), net change -35.27 lbs