Voyagers & Doctor Who – Voyager Drake vs. The Great Intelligence

After thinking about it for all of 5 minutes, I can't get it out of my head that Season 7's Doctor Who villain, "The Great Intelligence" – In the form of Victorian Londoner Walter Simeon (Played by Richard E. Grant) – is very, very much like "Voyagers!" resident villain – Voyager Drake!

On "Voyagers!"  Drake (Played by Stephen Liska) is a Voyager Code Violations Prosecutor. He delights in convicting innocent Voyagers of breaking his new, strict Voyager mandates – Inspired by Machiavelli himself, since Drake was his best Disciple.

"There's a new Voyager Credo: Discipline and order above all else. That's the direction the new Voyager Majority has mandated. There are more and more Voyagers who support the new movement of discipline. Voyagers on every level. Field workers, Administrators, even Judges."

"The ends justify the means."

The sentence for these wrongly convicted Voyagers is banishment to an uncharted Island without the omni. and Drake had over 30 successful prosecutions. He attempts to smear Voyager Phineas Bogg's name by tampering with the evidence on his omni and accusing him of endangering the life of the child Voyager, Jeffrey Jones.

When it's discovered that he's a liar and a fraud, Drake uses his omni to escape. He vanishes when Bogg and Jeffrey have to fix a red-light and becomes an official fugitive. Bogg and Jeffrey, while not specifically ordered to, make it a goal to eventually capture him and bring him back to Voyager Headquarters for judgement. Drake knows it will be harsh and swift for all the bad he's done.

We don't see Drake for another 7 episodes.

In "Voyagers!" final episode, our heroes meet Drake in foggy Victorian London. Drake pretends to be Jack the Ripper so he could kill the intrepid Reporter, Nellie Bly – She'd been intrigued by the serial killer and made an unexpected pit stop. But history tells us Nellie was attempting to beat Phileas Fogg's "Around the World in 80 Days" record from Jules Verne's book. This lay-over causes a red light on the omni.

Drake also sets his sights on Sherlock Holmes author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, here he's not yet knighted so he's called "Doctor Doyle." Hmm… getting warmer. We have a Doctor in the house. And Walter Simeon is a Doctor as well.

Bogg gets accused of being the Ripper after Nellie is attacked. She'd seen her attacker disappear into thin air and when she rouses, Bogg is the one left standing over her with the cloak her attacker wore.  She also remembers they had a shiny, metal compass. Guess what Bogg has? Thankfully Doyle is there to weigh all the evidence and he does a great job of it. It's Elementary of course.

Doyle is going through a severe writer's block and is overwhelmed by his own creation – Sherlock. This is another issue for the Voyagers to fix. Jeffrey, who is a big fan of the books, helps Doyle gain inspiration again by telling him to "…become Sherlock Holmes and find Jack the Ripper!"

"Voyagers!" only lasted 20 episodes, it was 1983 Television, and kid-oriented. The writers didn't delve into Drake's psyche or the extent of his dastardly deeds. But he'd certainly spiraled into villainy after his disgrace in the Court Room.

Drake's very intelligent and crafty (But he's not above cheating as a means to get ahead.) He's manipulative, arrogant, and has a craving for power within the Voyagers' Society.

According to Tardis Wikia: "The Great Intelligence was arrogant and thought very highly of itself, informing the Doctor that his brain was too small to grasp its purpose."

Drake insists to the Voyager Tribunal that he had to do it all "For the cause!" But the Councillor Garth tells him, "The only cause you ever served was your own!"

Drake is exposed through his diary, in which he'd documented all his cases and the crooked measures he'd taken to ensure prosecution.

"One day those words will vindicate me and all the work that I've tried to do. The future shall judge me as a hero!"

So basically, nobody truly understands him and his ideals. The Great Intelligence feels the same, even if it claims to be above petty emotions. We don't see them, but other Voyagers and officials blindly follow Drake and his cruel mandates. He'd surely had help when he prosecuted those other Voyagers.

Isn't that a little like The Whisper men? Or am I reaching again? They're silent partners with no eyes and mouths that follow the Great Intelligence and mete out its severe, deathly punishments.

The courts even have severe consequences for touching the omni. Look what happened when Bogg tried to leave the farce of a trial. I'm reaching with this, but doesn't that blue electrum look a lot like the Doctor's life-line energy in his grave? 

By the time Drake corners frightened Nellie Bly in a dead-end alley with a gun pointed on her, he knows his true purpose –

"You know Miss Bly, I can't believe my luck. Nellie Bly, Arthur Conan Doyle and Phineas Bogg, Three birds with one stone. Now don't misunderstand me…I'm not your Jack the Ripper. My life is dedicated to ruining history, not people. And you Miss Bly, are just a piece of history to obliterate."

How are these villains alike? Let me count the ways:

1. Both men love wearing black. In the 2 instances we see Drake, he has the same suit. Simeon wears a dark outfit and his army of freaky Whisper men dress exactly the same – black top hats and frock coats. Drake doesn't have a top hat (too bad!) but he does have a shock of black hair and dark eyes.

2. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – described Drake as "A bit of fop." The same could be said of Walter Simeon.

And doesn't the 11th Doctor waltz into Simeon's private quarters dressed like none other than Sherlock Holmes? He proceeds to make all these conclusions about what/who the Great Intelligence is.

Doyle in "Voyagers!" uses all the clues left behind at the scene of the crime to discover the identity of Jack the Ripper. Or at least create a profile of him. (He's really describing Drake, but doesn't know that.)

3. Simeon and Drake both have serious and dourly handsome faces. They don't know what a smile is – maybe just a sneer, smirk or a smug grin. – For Drake anyway. Simeon was soulless once the Great Intelligence fully possessed him. Drake is still human. He gloats. See?

4. Drake's not specifically from London's Victorian era, he doesn't even have a British accent. But he dresses like he's from the 19th Century and we know he'd spent a little time there during the Jack the Ripper scare.

5. Drake's also rather soulless. He doesn't view Nellie Bly or Conan Doyle as living breathing people, just pieces of history to do away with like you would a piece of trash. He's lost his mental balance. Simeon had lost his since childhood. Drake's childhood is a unknown. As a student in Voyager Academy, Bogg caught him cheating on his final exams, but never snitched. Perhaps that was Bogg's mistake.

6. The most important similarity: They both have grandstanding goals to ruin the flux of history!

What did Simeon say just before he jumped into the 11th Doctor's Time Line?

"…I can rewrite your every living moment. I can turn every one of you victories into defeats. Poison every friendship. Deliver pain to your every breath…"

Those threats are mighty similar to Drake's. The rogue Voyager tried to ruin Bogg at his trial, by slightly reframing the victorious scenes on Bogg's omni to make him look guilty. Bogg was nearly banished.

Drake would've surely poisoned Bogg's friendship with Jeffrey, because if he'd won the trial, Jeffrey was to be sent back to his own time-line with NO MEMORY of Bogg or being a Voyager.

And pain? Well, Drake's no lightweight. He put up a hard fight with Phineas.

Drake thought Bogg was of little consequence, a mere field worker that could easily be brought down, just as the Great Intelligence thought the Doctor couldn't comprehend his existence and goals. But they'd both underestimated the heroes.

After numerous defeats these villains have burning hatred toward their enemies.

Drake's omni is a silver 316-50, it's state-of-the-art and has an open time calibration. He can travel to any point in history. Bogg's 313 model is limited to 1450BC – 1970AD. If Drake wanted to, he can go to any point of history that Bogg and Jeffrey corrected and undo everything.

The Great Intelligence went into the Doctor's Timeline and started killing all of the Doctor's Regenerations. He'd created a nightmarish scenario where billions of lives and galaxies were lost because the Doctor wasn't there to save them. The Great Intelligence was so callous he didn't care that he was causing a destruction of the universe.

Drake had carefully studied Bogg's successful records on the omni, so he knew which ones to tamper with in court. He could easily go to the time zones where Bogg and Jeff will be and attempt to kill them. He's at that breaking point. That would erase the rest of their voyages and the red lights would snowball down the centuries. The entire universe might not unravel – "Voyagers!" doesn't deal with aliens – but it'd be a real pain for the Voyager Society to pick up the threads and fix it all over again.

That's a scary thought! And it would make for good fanfic…

So there you have it. It makes you wonder if "Doctor Who" Show Runner Steven Moffat was slightly inspired by the "Voyagers!" episode "Jack's Back" when creating Simeon's character. Just like I'd blogged years ago wondering if James Cameron watched "Voyagers of the Titanic" when doing research for that little movie he made in 1997. The similarities were there too! Read about that here, and here.

And even if this is all just a shot in the dark, it's still fun to pick apart, compare and contrast characters, storylines, and shows.

Until next post! May all your landings be soft!