They’ve finally figured out their real target demographic.
"That’s the thing about a time machine, you can run away all you like and still be back in time for tea."
so what do you say?
Doctor Who Series 7: The Bells of Saint John
Freddie Lounds in Hannibal season 2, episode 5 ‘Mukōzuke’
This is a really fascinating scene from a meta perspective, and fits in with a lot of what we know about Gallifreyans: mainly, that they are not primarily visual creatures. Humans, by comparison, are. Thanks to the rather obvious superficial similarities, it’s a bit strange, at first glance, to consider Gallifreyans as anything else, and thus this scene is a bit painful—how could the Doctor not recognise Jamie?
They’re in love!But with a second look you realise that it’s painful in an altogether different way.
Gallifreyans, Time Lords or otherwise, are pretty obviously relying on something that isn’t sight, and you figure that out within a couple minutes of looking at their culture: they regenerate, and have little to no difficulty recognising each other despite that. And the answer is also pretty obvious: telepathy. Gallifreyans’ telepathic abilities have been consistently shown since, oh, The Sensorites, aired in the summer of 1964. In October of 1977, with The Invisible Enemy, we found out the species was a hivemind. They’re a bit more individualistic than what that term brings to mind—there’s no “we are legion” going on until 2009 and The End of Time, which has a bit to do with trauma and a bit more to do with Rassilon—but there’s no doubt that’s what they are. So it’s a telepathic hivemind for whom visual identification is little use, glad we’ve got that settled.
Of course, they’ve still pretty obviously got eyes. In fact, they’ve got rather good eyes, complete with a tapetum lucidium, as heavily implied by Lucifer Rising, published in 1993. So let’s have a very very basic rundown of eyes and how the brain translate what they’re perceiving. There’s the Primary Visual Cortex and the Secondary Visual Cortex and the Associative Visual Cortices, aka V1-V5 aka Brodmann’s Areas 17-19 aka “brains are complicated and nobody can agree on terminology it’s a Thing”. Anyway, these visual cortices all have different specifications and jobs, and some of them don’t exist in the brains of some animals but as a general rule, if it has eyes it at least has a V1. It’s all very complicated and very interesting and we honestly don’t care too much about this bit right now, because rather than discuss the possible function of a hypothetical V4 analogue in Gallifreyans (V4 is concerned with orientation, spatial frequency, colour, and object features of intermediate complexity, in humans) we’re going to talk about the fusiform gyrus.
The fusiform gyrus is part of the temporal and occipital lobes of the brain, and it does a lot of stuff that we don’t really fully understand, but one bit we do know about is called the fusiform face area, and as far as we can tell, it’s specialised to recognise faces (obviously) and other very familiar things with variations; an expert in cars’ fusiform face area may have involvement in the recognition thereof.
Damage to or malformation of the fusiform face area is linked to prosopagnosia, or face blindness, and Gallifreyans probably haven’t got one at all. There’s a vague analogue, certainly, but it’s not part of the fusiform gyrus or even likely in a lobe of the brain which exists in any terrestrial lifeforms (Spare Parts, 2002, et al), and it’s to do with biodata and psychic signatures rather than sight. They are not primarily visual creatures. The visual isn’t that big of a deal, for them, and why should it be? They change their faces.
Now, I said this scene (and, in fact, this serial on the whole) is painful, and I’ll get back to that, since we’re back to the topic of regeneration. When the Doctor realises they’ve done Jamie’s face wrong, looking back over it and figuring out that the proportions of the face are different (it’s a mathematical recognition rather than an innate uncanny-valley one), is very distraught. Not because they care, but because Jamie would care, and therefore they do as well. Jamie likes his face and wants to have it back. The Doctor wants Jamie to be happy, and so does everything in their power to get it back (and enlists Zoe’s help in recreating it this time. Thank you, Zoe, and your fusiform face area).
Vine just doesn’t seem worth the injuries. That’s what happens, right? You sign up for Vine and then the ground just flies into your face every time you turn your phone on? That’s what Tumblr has me believing.
Ron Swanson’s thoughts on Canada
I have seen the face of God
[IMAGINE DRAGONS RADIOACTIVE GASP]
I have so many questions
What kind of spa has hot pockets? Why are their walls so thin? Where can I find one of these spas with hot pockets?How did he know that they had them? How did he know which wall to break to get to where they were kept?
That’s a guy from my school, guys…..
the rock is fucking precious