The Ripper and the Whoniverse, Part 6

This penultimate entry in the series examines the second volume of The Ripper’s Curse:
Part Two September 30th 1888, and the ‘Double Event’. Rory and Abberline arrive at Mitre Square and the Inspector has the Doctor released. The Time Lord explains that the Ripper isn’t a man – “It’s a creature. Taloned fingers, some kind of leecher [extracting].. minerals from the deceased.. he’s wearing a shimmer suit.. drenched in Kryon radiation..” The culprit could be either of two races, “The Ju’wes [or] the Re’nar..” and the women’s missing organs are “..a tasty snack” to him, “The alien needs the victim to be scared.. the tastier.. they become.”
The Doctor then meets Warren, addding “You’re looking for a shape-changing alien.. a Ju’wes hunter, blades for fingers..” The nervy Commissioner tells this friend of ‘Clouseau’ that his imagination is worthy of H G Wells [i] before rushing away. The Doctor deduces that Warren knows what the killer is, but how?
The travellers are next seen in Abberline’s study at New Scotland Yard. Amy remembers reading about Jack the Ripper, “Wasn’t it someone from the Royal family?” and Rory recalls “one more [murder].. Mary.. we could save her.” Naturally, the Doctor disagrees, “Every Ripper victim is a staic point in time and space [that].. can’t be altered” (a similar argument takes place at the end of Matrix when the Doctor tells Ace that “those.. five women had to die.. that’s [what] happened”).
They are then summoned to Goulsten (sic) Street to view a new clue – a message [ii] that implicates the “Ju’wes.” Warren now appears and orders the removal of the seemingly anti-semitic graffiti, but Inspector Smith protests (hereby voicing another theory), “you’re.. defending your Freemason friends.” The Doctor concludes that the alien Ripper has feasted enough for weeks, perhaps the reason why no killings occured the next month, October 1888.
Back in the TARDIS, the trio again discuss the last canonical murder. The Doctor declares that “..Mary has to die.. there has to be a fifth victim.. All of London would be changed.” Rory follows Amy back outside, but the Doctor is stung by a paralysing dart. The Re’nar Ripper tells the Time Lord that these “most horrific murders.. will be blamed on the Ju’wes” (mirroring the double-meaning of the graffito’s key phrase).
Amy finds the Ten Bells pub [iii] where the landlord Bert is evicting two drunken women, Mary Warner and Mary Kelly. Amy tries to convince Kelly that she’ll be slain by the Ripper on November 9th. The two prostitutes stagger off as Rory catches up with his wife.
At Scotland Yard, the fully recovered Doctor visits Warren – in reality, the Ju’wes creature (the real Sir Charles is on holiday) who is hunting the escaped Re’nar, Mac’atyde, here in Earth’s past. They arrange to meet again in five weeks, when the Ripper strikes for the final time. Back at the TARDIS, the Doctor also tells Abbeline to be ready, at 9pm on November 8th – he now intends to save Kelly!
Fast forward to Miller’s Court – Abbeline is supervising the police surveillance, and at midnight the inspector informs the Doctor that ‘Warren’ has resigned. Despite waiting all night, Mary doesn’t return home, but at 10am, another murder is discovered upstairs in Kelly’s room. The Doctor had told the police that Mary Warner, not Kelly, was the next victim. He now realises that Amy’s warning has altered time (Kelly’s room was indeed at No. 13, but on the ground floor, a subtle but vital change), and the present is fluid again – the Ripper “could kill again, be anywhere.” Amy meanwhile, has been captured by the Ripper!
“Next: The Canonical Twelve”
 [iDoctor Who owes much to the stories of H G Wells (1866-1946). The Doctor first met ‘Herbert’ on screen in Time Lash (1985), and actually became the inspiration for the writer’s subsequent works of “science fiction.” Wells again assisted the Doctor in The Time Machination (IDW, 2009). In The Ghosts of N-Space (1996), the Doctor claimed to have lent ‘Bertie’ his ion-focusing coil for his invisibility experiments. When faced with the TARDIS interior in Pyramids of Mars (1975), Laurence Scarman likens it to the “scientific romances of Mr Wells.” The Master reads The War of the Worlds (1898) in Frontier in Space, whilst (Professor Chronotis in Shada and) the Doctor prefers The Time Machine (1895) in the TV Movie. In the context of Ripper fiction, the film Time After Time (1979) sees a friend of Wells, Dr. Stevenson (played by Unbound Doctor, David Warner) unmasked as ‘Jack’ and he escapes to the future in the writer’s own time machine. The hero of the US show TimeCop, Jack Logan, is sent back to 1888 to hunt a time traveller who has killed the real Ripper and taken on his identity. Incredibly, this episode, A Rip in Time (TX: 22/9/1997) not only includes a huge gaffe (here Eddowes is murdered on November 7th), but the police inspector, Wells, happens to be the uncle of H G Wells (actually played by William Morgan Sheppard, Old Canton in The Impossible Astronaut).
[ii] At about 3am, PC Long found a dirty, bloody piece of Eddowes’ [4] apron in the stairwell of Model dwellings at Goulston Street. On the wall above was the chalk-written message that is now known as the ‘graffito.’ Three slightly varied versions were recorded by Long, DC Halse, and Frederick Foster, before Warren demanded it’s removal. Here, ‘Smith’ probably represents the real detective, Halse, who advocated photographing the message, whilst wating for his superior, Major Smith (the City of London Commissioner and Warren’s counterpart). Many interpretations of the graffito have been advanced ever since.
[iii] The Ten Bells pub still stands on the corner of Commercial and Fournier Streets in Spitalfields. A ‘victims board’ on the wall opposite the bar even cites Martha Tabram as a Ripper target. It is believed that Annie Chapman [2] and Kelly [5] frequented the pub.

About ecklefecken

Whovian/Pethead/Tartan Noir reader/Ripperologist/Blogger
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