Friday, May 27, 2011

And a rider, to my previous post...

I had meant to link it to this excellent article by Dr Max Pemberton who writes a column in the Daily Telegraph, which I think sums up the problems at the heart of the NHS.

I am in favour of reform, and it is not all about cost cutting. Some of the things I talked about in my blog post can be done without spending money. For a start, patient b who was sent home from hospital before Christmas would have possibly saved the NHS a considerable amount of money if the patient had been kept there till better, and not wasted two ambulances coming out needlessly. I agree with Max Pemberton that the business model is a flawed one. (I have similar feelings about education). I have always worked in the commercial sector and while aghast occasionally at some of the ways the public sector seems to work, I don't think business and health are a happy mix. A wealthy nation is also a healthy and educated nation. If we keep people well and educate them properly, business can flourish. That shouldn't mean an open cheque book, but neither should it mean health and education are shoe horned into adopting business practices that don't make any sense and don't promote the needs of the patients/pupils.

I am also deeply aware that the majority of the staff working in the NHS are overworked, often underpaid and dedicated to what they do. But to give you one small example of where things are going wrong, let me tell you this story, which happened to us only last week.

Mil has recently needed to go to hospital on a regular basis for blood transfusions. Last week we were told she had to be ready for 8am (entailing a carer coming in at 7 to help her get ready), as she needed to be in the hospital by 9am for a blood test prior to having the transfusion. I would have taken her, but had the school run to do. I was slightly anxious about how the transport people would cope with her, so I dropped the kids off and got back to her flat at 8.45 to discover no sign of the transport. They eventually turned up at 9.45 and seemed surprised to learn they needed to push mil onto the ambulance in her wheelchair (this is a private company outsourced by the hospital, NOT the brilliant ambulance crews we have met on several occasions). The person pushing her seemed never to have used a wheelchair before and kept getting it stuck over the threshold of her doorway. We eventually arrived at the hospital at 10 am, so it was 12.30 before mil could have any blood (it takes time to make the blood up). She required two units of blood, which take 2 hours per unit. The earliest was getting away was 4.30pm. I had to shoot off for the school run so bil stayed with her. He reported that transport turned up at 3.40, twenty minutes before they were booked, and the attitude pretty much was if she doesn't go now, she doesn't get a lift home. Apparently if you are booked one way, you have to be booked the other, so bil wasn't allowed to do it himself. The result was she didn't have the second bag of blood. HOW can it be that transport dictate the treatment patients receive? This is a clear case of the tale wagging the dog.

On a more positive note the staff at the haemotology unit where she is being seen are uniformly excellent, but they agree with me that dragging an 86 year old, very infirm lady in in this manner once a week is not ideal. Nobody it appears is looking at the whole picture. And I am sure this is not unique to mil's situation.

I am reminded somehow of a powerful piece of thundering rhetoric in one of my favourite Dicken's novels, Bleak House. When the road sweeper, Jo dies in poverty, in shocking circumstances and Dickens launches into a rant about the inherent wrongness of his death.

Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead, right reverends and wrong reverends of every order. Dead, men and women, born with heavenly compassion in your hearts. And dying thus around us every day.

I think, if Dickens were alive today, he'd be tempted to say the same about the elderly dying in our hospitals, don't you?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Care of the Elderly

This is a post I have wanted to write for a very long time. It's something I care about passionately.

I have always been fond of the elderly. As a teenager, I used to visit a local old people's home at school. Having no grandparents of my own, I was endlessly fascinated with the stories they had to tell of lives lived in a world that seemed so different from my own. The downside was the inevitable (it seemed) mental decline of people in care homes. Ladies (they were mainly ladies) who started off relatively sparky and witty ended up demented and forgetful. At fourteen I was unable to cope with this and remember making a vow never to end up old.

At eighteen I spent four months as a volunteer caring for an elderly lady called Janey. She was 87 when I knew her, confined to a wheelchair and needed help with pretty much everything. She was sharp as anything though, and despite our age gap we formed a firm friendship, so much so that I was absolutely devastated when she died 18 months later. It was the first proper experience of loss I felt, and I think I felt it more keenly because, I'd met her so late in her life, she was such a vibrant person, and I would love to have known her better.

Those experiences were a great grounding did I but know for the way my life has panned out in recent years. I have spoken frequently here about my mother in law, now herself approaching 87. She too, is a remarkable woman, with a list of care needs as long as your arm, but a bright and optimistic approach to life which means she copes with every bit of crap that gets thrown at her. Her mind though it wanders occasionally, is pretty much all there, and I am currently in the process of writing down the remarkable story of her youth, which she recalls with vivid clarity.

Up until two years ago, mil had never been to hospital. Ever. But after a succession of falls we found ourselves in a situation where she was in and out of hospital for several months. Today the The Healthcare Ombudsman have published a damning report about care of the elderly in our hospitals. Everything they have reported: lack of help feeding elderly patients, loss of dignity, inability to communicate adequately with the family, chimed in with our hideous hideous experience of having an elderly relative in hospital. On top of that I have been chatting to a friend, whose elderly mother has experienced similar, and another relative on my side of the family was also dismally failed by the system.

In order to protect the identity of the people I am writing about, I am therefore going to give you three case scenarios. All of which have happened in OUR hospitals.

Case 1) An elderly person suffering from life threatening cancer admitted to hospital with renal failure. Remarkably the drugs this person was given pulled them round enough so they were well enough to go home. The patient was delivered home to the spouse, with inadequate provision for their considerable personal needs, in the middle of the heavy snow last winter. Subsequently the patient's 75 yr old spouse & another older relative sat up in the middle of the night caring/cleaning the patient. The District Nurses were "too posh to wash", and decided the snowy conditions rendered it too hazardous to come over, the GP didn't come near the patient and the spouse was at the end of her tether. The patient should NEVER have been sent home without adequate care provision being in place. But it happened.

Case 2) An elderly person was in and out of hospital for many weeks. During the time spent in the local hospital it was nigh on impossible for the family to speak to a consultant to discuss any aspect of care. Information about the patient's needs were repeated endlessly and fruitlessly to staff, and ignored. Often the patient was sitting without a blanket when visitors arrived, usually on a continence mat as little care was taken about toiletting the patient. In time the patient was moved to a community hospital where at least the nurses had time to care properly, but before Christmas there was a clearout and the patient was sent home with a catheter without discussion with the family. Pleas from the family that the patient was simply too ill to come home, as the correct care package wasn't in place were swept aside. As a result the patient was seen by the GP on Christmas Eve, emergency doctor Christmas Day, the District Nurse a few days later, and was readmitted to hospital on January 2.

Case 3) An elderly patient with alzheimers was admitted to a hospital a considerable distance from where they lived. The family tried discuss the care package with the social care team in the hospital and found it impossible. The patient also spent time in a care home before coming home, and wasn't being seen by her own GP, so continuity of care was very difficult. When the patient eventually came home, to the 80+ year old spouse, it was with 20 different medications. None of which the patient or spouse were capable of administering. The carers who were looking after the patient are unable to administer ANY drugs without a dosset box provided by the local chemist's. The system doesn't allow time for those kind of procedures to be in place, when people are sent home, leading to all kinds of difficulties for the family.

On top of those case studies, these are things I have witnessed for myself with other elderly patients, who have been in the same ward as mil at different times.

1) when she was in the first ward where people are sent to be assessed before being placed on a general ward, I saw an elderly man who had had a fall and was in considerable pain, being sent home, where he clearly lived alone, even though he looked in no fit state to care for himself. Not only that he asked the nurse for pain relief, which never seemed to appear. He was groaning so loudly as he got dressed I wanted to go and help him. Perhaps I should have done. No one else did.

2) A lady with cancer shared a ward with her. She was thin as a pin, and also in considerable pain. I talked at length with her daughter, who ironically was a nurse. Do you think she looks ready to go home? she asked me. No, I really really didn't.

3) All the elderly women in the ward mil was in sat on continence mats. A lot of attention was paid to weighing them, measuring their blood pressure and taking their temperature. Ticking boxes in other words. Very little was paid to making sure they had time to go to the toilet/were reminded to do so, and as a consequence many had accidents. That is a basic care need. I was appalled to see the lack of consideration for people. If it was your mum would you want that for her? I longed to ask.

4) A friend reported visiting an elderly lady in our local hospital over the Christmas period. They were short staffed and using agency nurses, who clearly didn't care at all. My friend wasn't given any information about this lady as she wasn't a relative. Repeatedly she requested that this lady was cleaned after she had soiled herself. Such help wasn't forthcoming. In a modern hospital in a civilised country such lack of care is shocking, and makes me fume.

These are not isolated incidents. They happen all the time, to our grandparents, our parents, and eventually, they will happen to us.

The NHS needs serious reform in this area. I'm glad the Healthcare Ombudsman has issued this report. It's long overdue. Please God someone takes notice.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

That article - again

Oh and here is what a few of my other Romantic Novelist buddies have to say about THAT article.

This is what Romantic Novelists are REALLY like.

Cross? Us?

And here's what we look like. Not a blue rinse in sight.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Following on from my earlier post...

My lovely gorgeous young Romantic Novelist friend, Kate Johnson has come up with a witty internet response to the Daily Fail. Using the hashtag #thisiswhataromanticnovelistlookslike, several us have put our faces on Twitter, FB and our blogs.

So here's mine. I'm sorry to report that I neither have a blue rinse, a twinset, or wear support stockings. I do occasionally wear pearls that my brother gave me, but I think that's allowed.

If you want to see a really lovely young RN, go to Kate's blog and see what she looks like too.

A tale of two parties

I went out last week. I know. Rare occurrence, getting away to the Big Smoke. And the reason I went? It was the RNA's Summer Party. Now I have banged on boringly here often enough about how much I love the RNA (Romantic Novelist's Association in case you don't know). Not only is it THE most supportive writing group I belong to, its members are warm, funny, clever, brilliant and I have enjoyed every RNA event I've ever attended. From my very first summer party, which I dragged myself up to, heavily pregnant with no3. That time I knew one person & felt pretty nervous entering a room where clearly everyone knew everyone else. But by the end of the evening thanks to the warmth and friendliness of the people I met, including the amazingly kind Katie Fforde, (already a major seller, taking time out to be nice to a newbie wannabe) I felt really at home. Since then I've got to know most of my RNA chums online, meeting them in the flesh on the all too rare occasions when I can get to a function, and I have a blast every time I do.

So, I set off on Wednesday expecting to: meet friends new and old (check); have a great time (check); network (uncheck, was too busy yacking); have scintillating & sparkling conversations (check); be dazzled by the glamour on display (check); and see the best shoe collection in London (double check).

As expected, I had a really fun night and though I was too busy to take any pics, you can see the full glamour on display(complete with a few shoes)

So it was some disappointment that I read this ridiculous article in the Daily Mail
OK it's the Daily Mail. We all know what to expect, right? But talk about giving a wrong picture of the event. I didn't spot a single twinset or blue rinse - (though Katie Fforde our outgoing chairman and incoming President has admitted to wearing pearls) - and I find the whole thing so bleedin' patronising towards our older members, many of whom could win a glamorous granny contest hands down. Not only that, she's missed the point about the RNA, which is a hugely broad church - there are people writing chick lit, sagas, historical, M&B - you name it the RNA probably produces it. The old fashioned image of Barbara Cartland dictating steamy scenes to her adoring secretary (hilariously parodied by Matt Lucas in Little Britain) is so far removed from the truth as to be laughable.

The RNA isn't full of batty old ladies writing rude stories, it encompasses women from their twenties, up to their eighties, who write stories about human relationships in all their forms, it provides pleasure to millions of readers and it is very tiresome of the Daily Mail and their ilk to still sneer at us, when frankly romantic fiction is selling in its droves at a time of considerable economic hardship. I have never understood why romantic fiction is sneered at when romantic films are not (the majority of them are written by women, anyone?), but such is sadly the case. But it would be nice for once, if a journalist, who was invited to our party could have for once put away her preconceived ideas and actually looked and listened to the people who were there.

Personally I think she travelled to another dimension where Barbara Cartland has cloned herself and has us all chained to our desks writing books in her honour. She certainly didn't attend the fabulous party I went to. Which is a pity, as she might have learnt something if she had.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Doctor's Wife

Ok, so I didn't blog last week's Doctor Who, because it was frankly, a bit crap and a terrible waste of Lily Cole I thought. Oh well. You can't win 'em all.

However, as a long time fan of Neil Gaiman (a friend who used to run a comic shop introduced me to The Sandman series years ago & I was totally blown away by his imagination & storytelling abilities. If there was ever a writer I would love to be like, it would definitely be Neil Gaiman. And yes, I know I don't write fantasy - yet...) I was beyond excited when I discovered he was going to be writing for Dr Who. My favourite fantasy writer and my favourite TV programme? How good could that be???

Of course there's always the worry that it couldn't be good at all ... but thankfully that didn't happen.

So here, with all the Spoilers in the world is my take on one of the most gloriously batty, weird, and wonderful Dr Who episodes of recent times.

It was a great tease to give the title of this episode the Doctor's Wife, but even better when we realised why. The story begins with four strange, typically Neil Gaiman characters: a rather mad looking woman called Idris, a spooky couple called Uncle and Auntie, who appeared to be sewn together with bits of other people and a rather scary looking Ood with green eyes, known as nephew. We're in a junkyard at the end of the Universe and Idris is about to be sacrificed by an unknown entity called House.

Meanwhile on the Tardis, the Doctor hears a knocking at the door - in the deepest of deep space he's got mail (Oh lordy lord, how I just loved Neil Gaiman's script, it was witty and elegant & goddamned beautiful). And it seems to be from a Time Lord. There's a possibility that they're not all dead, so how can the Doc resist. Even when Amy says, You just want their forgiveness - Doesn't everyone says the Doc. How much pathos can you get into that line, Matt, hmm, hmm? The episode was full of such moments. Matt Smith really excelled himself, but Suranne Jones as Idris was complete revelation. As it turns out, of course there aren't any Time Lords in the junkyard at the end of the universe, the malevolent House has been tricking them all AND stealing the soul of their Tardises into the bargain. So Idris has taken on the persona of the Tardis and the first time in their joint history the Doctor and the Tardis can actually speak to one another. What do you call me? You sexy thing. / Are humans bigger on the inside? And a whole brilliant riff on who stole whom... Seeing the Doctor and Tardis interact in this way was one of the most joyous Doctor Who moments I think I've ever seen. It was brilliant, and Suranne Jones was mad and wonderful and sad (her body was dying the minute the Tardis went into her - we KNOW how the story will end right from the get go) & also wonderfully funny and the dynamic between her and the Doctor was fabulous.

Not only that, Gaiman piled in a whole lot of scary stuff - Uncle and Auntie are stitched together from bits of Time Lord bodies, eurgh, and once House realises this is the last Tardis, he no longer needs them and they drop down dead in front of the Doctor and Idris. In the meantime House has taken over the Tardis with Rory and Amy trapped inside, and then starts playing some very very messy mind games (My ONLY gripe would be, why the fuck did Amy and Rory keep letting go hands, when every time they did they got separated), which ended with Rory apparently dying thinking Amy had left him and the words, HATE AMY scrawled everywhere. Taking aside the fact that Rory apparently died AGAIN (maybe there's a point to that people?) it was a chilling moment. Rory, lovely amiable Rory (whom my children now love more then they loved Mickey, which is saying something) being so full of vitriolic hate for Amy - ouch. I thought the thing about him keeping the memories of waiting 2000 years for her locked up was important, I'm guessing it really really is now....

And I also loved the bit when the Doctor watches the Tardis disappear and says I really don't know what to do, that's new (not quite he had a moment of that with Donna when he got trapped in the Medusa wotsit didn't he?) - but still that's scary. The Doctor ALWAYS knows what to do...

The solution to escaping was of course cobbling together all the bits of the old Tardises (again the pathos of Idris, they are all my sisters and brothers - The Doc is not the only last of his kind), and another witty exchange - You never read the manual/I know what I'm doing - the argument about Ikea flatpacks beloved by couples everywhere, genius. The dialogue was so sparkling and swift, I didn't catch it all, but as well as all the weirdness, Neil Gaiman has delivered a rom com in the tradition of Cary Grant movies. OH I SO WANT TO BE ABLE TO WRITE LIKE THAT!!!
Even to the moment when the Doctor is scratching his head unable to work out why he can't get it moving and Idris tells him how dumb he is - he needs her and he can't work it out.

Then it was so much fun, watching them escape, with Idris doing a telepathic link to Rory - the pretty one - The pretty one? queries the Doc - showing him how to find his way into the archived Tardis console (hurray, a lovely shout back to DT days) - which cleverly allowed them (sorry can't quite remember how need to watch it again) get back control of the console proper to allow Idris and the Doctor back into the Tardis, where it was a matter of moments to despatch House before the episode wrapped up the only way it could with Idris dying and releasing the Tardis back into the bluebox again. You knew it was coming all the way through, but oh god, didn't Matt Smith play it well - the joy of having finally spoken to his lifelong companion - the one who's always there when everyone else has gone and then losing her again was just terrible. Of all the losses he's faced, I'm not sure if this one is the worst, even perhaps worse then losing River (though of course there was a neat nod to her in the last words Idris spoke to Rory, which I'm sure will be terribly significant). And the ending with the Doctor talking to the Tardis and stroking the console, You sexy thing, was very very sweet.

Fabulous, fabulous episode. I do hope Gaiman gets to write for Doctor Who again. Even better, can he take over as show runner when Steven Moffat gives up. Please, pretty please....

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I wear a stetson now...













Time wimey stuff, Matt Smith in a stetson, aliens you forget as soon as you look at them, Amy Pond in danger, River Song kicking ass, Rory doing his Rory thing, and a dead cool FBI agent called Canton Delaware... It can only be the return of my favourite TV programme.

I was going to blog the first episode last week, but what with all these HOLIDAYS, I ran out of time, so I thought I'd try and get my head together and see if I can make any coherent sense out of the first two episodes. Both of which I've seen twice now. And do you know... I still can't.

Which is why I love Steven Moffat's writing so much. Cos he raised more questions then he answered, and by the end of episode two we were no further forward in knowing who a) the little girl was b) who River Song is and c) what happened to Amy's pregnancy.

But I really really don't care, because from the moment Amy, Rory, River and the Doctor met and had what turned out to (apparently - I don't trust you on this one, Mr Moffat, the Doctor can't possibly be dead) be a last supper of sorts, we were on a roller coaster ride, and I for one didn't want to get off.

There had been much teasing beforehand about who was going to die in episode one, and my money had been on Amy, because I really didn't think anyone would dare kill the Doctor - not properly, in the middle of his regeneration - but that's exactly what Steven Moffat did. Wow. I was totally blown away by that, and felt pretty much like Amy did, thinking SURELY someone can do something... when of course it turned out that the Doctor wasn't dead at all. Well not yet... it was a 200 year older self who died, and who'd known he was going to his death, so he sent his younger self an invitation to meet up with Amy & co to solve whatever mystery had to be solved in 1969. And bingo. We're back in Steven Moffat timey wimey hurty head land. And from here on in, I haven't got a CLUE what's going on.

Well, that's not quite true... thanks to the fourth mysterious guest (the aforementioned Canton Delaware) pitching up with some handy petrol to send the dead Doctor off in a blaze of glory, our intrepid heroes end up at the White House where a very puzzled President Nixon has been receiving mysterious phone calls from a young girl. In the meantime, Amy keeps seeing scary aliens - or doesn't. When she turns round she forgets they are there... I have to say I wasn't particularly spooked by the appearance of the much trumpeted Silence, but as ever Steven Moffat's special genius is making you afraid of your own shadow. The idea of an enemy hidden in time, all around us, only we forget them the minute we turn away is brilliant, and very very scary. AND the scene in the second episode where Amy walks into an empty room, and then looks up and sees a whole bunch of aliens, sleeping upside down like bats was properly spooky. EEK.

Episode one ended with the reappearance of the astronaut who apparently shot the Doctor at the start, causing Amy to react by shooting the astronaut, before she raised her visor and we realised that it was the mysterious little girl. Eek, and double eek. THAT was horrific...

Jump forward to episode two and it was as if the previous week's episode almost hadn't happened. We've fast forwarded three months, the Doctor is being held prisoner, Amy is chased to the edge of a cliff by Canton, and shot, Rory to the edge of a dam to meet the same fate, and River (oh River, you are so bloody marvellous!!! I could hug Steven Moffat for introducing an older actress into my favourite tv show) throws herself backwards out of a tower block to escape...

Of course, there are going to be people who bitch about this (in fact I've already read a couple of online reviews griping about it), as nothing from episode one was resolved and we didn't actually discover how they found out who the Silence were considering they are so easily forgotten. Except... I can't help thinking based on our previous experience of watching series 5, Steven Moffat is playing with us. There is going to turn out to be a reason for those missing three months you mark my words. And I bet it has something to do with Amy's on/off pregnancy. Why for example did Amy HAVE to tell the Doctor about the pregnancy in the middle of a stressful situation? I suspect timey wimey stuff will be at the heart of it, and she had to tell him before she forgot again/or it was a future version of Amy who told him.

As to who the baby is - I'm convinced it's got to be River Song, who may also be the little girl. Although this theory got kicked to touch when the little girl started apparently regenerating right at the end of episode two. BUT... the Doctor KNEW who she was when she shot him, and River Song is in prison for killing a good man... And I've thought from the off there must be some connection between River and Amy... And I'll probably be proved wrong in six months, time but what the hell, it's fun speculating. And I feel sure that Rory' s ability to compartmentalise his memory is also going to be important somehow...

Anyway, I digress. Once we'd established that Amy & Rory had only been shot to bamboozle the Silence, we were back to business as usual, with the Doctor going to rescue River as she fell out of the tower block - Open the doors to the swimming pool - hilarious; and a plan to discover who the missing little girl was, which led Amy and Canton to a really scary orphanage, where Amy discovers a room with pictures of the girl, including one of her holding a baby, before being taken prisoner by the Silence, while the Doctor breaks into the Apollo mission to do something clever as part of his scheme to defeat the Silence. Now here again, I'd say time went a bit wibbly wobbly. We had an AWFUL lot of time concentrating on Canton and Amy, and very little about what River, Rory and the Doctor were up to. Deliberate I'll bet. And I'm sure we'll find out why in Episode 13...

And time was very wibbly wobbly for Amy - given that she can't remember the Silence, nor how long she's been held prisoner, is it just possible that they have stolen her baby, and she doesn't remember? They certainly seem to be using the little girl for reasons unknown...

And weren't they defeated a little too easily? After all that time being invested in earth, would they really have given up without a fight. Surely, having created the Silence, Steven Moffat's not going to leave it there?

That said, those are questions which may or may not be answered by the series story arc - I decided to forget all that and simply enjoy the spectacle of the Doctor and River flirting (how Matt Smith acts so old/young is brilliant & makes their relationship utterly believable) and River taking out all of the Silence (only don't tell the old man how many, he doesn't like it.) I also loved the Doctor's line about her shooting people, I shouldn't like it, but I do a bit... Yes, sweetie, she's got the measure of you.

It all ended in a dazzling shootout, earth being saved, Canton accepting his inability to be the first married gay FBI agent (hilarious dialogue again between him and the President which left all my children, even the older two who think they know it all, going Duh?), River being dropped back at her cell door (but oh, the poignancy of the it's his first/her last kiss moment) and the Doctor, Amy and Rory off for another adventure. But being Steven Moffat, he can't just leave it there. We not only have the conundrum of Amy's is she/isn't she pregnant? , but also inexplicably the Doctor decides not to pursue the little girl. Why? Particularly as she appears to be a Time Lord (or does she? I am hazarding a guess she absorbed his regenerative powers when she killed the Doctor). And is there a significance to her regenerating nine months after the beginning of the story or am I overcomplicating things? I am sure there is an answer, and it will become clear. Only probably not till episode 13...

PS. Ooh, ooh, just had another thought. WHY didn't River realise the Doctor hadn't kissed her before? Once she'd established that this version is 200 years younger then dead version with whom she happily compared notes, she must have known they hadn't snogged yet. Soooo.... more timey wimey stuff? Did something happen to the doc those three months when he was in prison? Is it one of those apparent continuity errors which turn out not to be anything of the sort? Answers on a postcard please. Preferably, Tardis blue.

PPS OH, and another thing. Y'know the beginning, where I thought it started oddly with Amy & Rory at home just mooching about waiting for the Doctor, and Amy says, trying to attract their attention is the sort of thing the Doctor would do? - WELL, if eldest child is to be believed and this two parter is in fact the beginning of this series finale, which would be typically mind bending time changing nuttiness from Steven Moffat, perhaps she's right. Perhaps this series is all about adventures which have ALREADY HAPPENED, and Amy and Rory have to go back to the beginning to change it all, so it doesn't end with the Doctor getting shot by a psychotic child in a space suit. Now my head is REALLY hurting...