Neil Gaiman: Eleven Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Corsair
As divulged by Mr. Neil Gaiman (from The Brilliant Book 2012)
- His TARDIS looked like a sailing ship whenever it was practical – and sometimes even when it wasn’t – because small, piratical sailing ships are cool.
- The Ouroboros tattoo, showing a snake eating its own tail and symbolising Eternity, moved around the Corsair’s body with each regeneration. The largest version was huge and multi-colored and covered the Corsair’s entire back. The smallest version was the size of a ten pence piece and was discreetly inked upon the Fifth Corsair’s upper thigh.
- The Corsair met his doom while working for the Time Lords on the Fourth Universal Survey Expedition. They were surveying the whole universe. It’s a big place. Somebody has to keep track of it.
- Most Time Lords disapproved of the Corsair. The Doctor, on the other hand, got drink with him (in the Corsair’s Fourth and Eighth incarnations) and with her (in her Fifth). Each time, the Doctor swore he would never do it again. Twice, they woke up in jail. Once, they woke up in the Bank of England vaults.
- The Corsair took his name from a term for ‘privateer’ – a sort of legitimate pirate. Some people assumed that this was because the Corsair did things for the Time Lords that they could deny responsibility for – such as stealing the secret of the Callisto Pulse from the Callistan Kleptocracy. The Corsair denied having stolen the Callisto Pulse. The Time Lords denied having asked him to steal it. The Callistans would like their pulse back.
- The Corsair never actually fought the Daleks. But her seventh incarnation was definitely spotted on Clarkor Nine the night the Dalek Scout Ship landed. On the following day the nine Daleks on the saucer discovered that their weapon arms and their suction cup arms had somehow been removed in the night, rendered inoperable, and fused together into a shape that means something very rude in Skarosian. They left immediately and did not return. The Corsair’s role in this is unclear.
- The Corsair visited Earth a number of times in its history. He was worshipped as a god by the ancient Assyrians until he got bored after a week and went off with the sacred temple cat.
- In ever incarnation the Corsair had an amazing smile. It was variously described as ‘reckless” ‘roguish’, or ‘very bad girl’. Whatever race or gender the Corsair was, he or she smiled the kind of smile that made the person being smiled at want to trust the person who was smiling, run of with him or her, and get into all manner of trouble. Sometimes people did.
- The Corsair liked having a cat and, sometimes, a parrot aboard his TARDIS. He never had a companion, however, preferring to travel alone. (Having said that, the Corsair took enormous pleasure in Rescuing Good Looking People from Dangerous Situations, but rarely stuck around long enough to be properly thanked.)
- The Time Lord High Council formally censured the Corsair following the disappearance of the mysterious Portrait of Rassilon in Lord President Borusa’s time. The Censure was later formally revoked by President Flavia, for reasons she declined to go into, although she was once heard to say that the Corsair had an extremely attractive smile.
- By the time the Ninth Corsair (a strapping big bloke, he was) realised he had been trapped on the intelligent asteroid that called itself House, his TARDIS had already been killed and eaten. He recorded a distress message, but before he could send it there was a tap on his shoulder and he felt and thought nothing more, not ever again.
Headcanon: the guy with the parrot from he last series of SJA was the Corsair.
Oddly enough, this was Russell T. Davies’ reaction to reading the eleven Corsair facts. He didn’t quite use the word headcanon, but he came close.
OH, HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THOSE WORDS
I was already grinning madly from the opening scene but there is something about the combination of those words that makes my soul happy.