Thursday, September 13, 2012

Doctor who and the flucuating pacifism

I rather enjoyed saturday's episode of Dr who. As a simple high concept idea, it was well thought out: an essentially pacifisfic ark built by the Silurians when they believed Earth life was doomed, taken advantage of by an unscrupulous profiteer. Splendidly the threat was rather small scale: the only lives at risk were those of the dinosaurs, and the drama is the Doctor being appalled at the loss of any life (although, y'know, dude does have a time machine. If he wanted to preserve the dinos it wouldn't be that hard...). The solution even mostly worked, although the Doctor's defeat of the robots was a bit techno babble (wave the magic wand and they break!)

Still, a reasonably plotted episode with some fun performances. Then theres the touch at the end where the Doctor decides to let the odious profiteer perish. That... seemed dark. I guess what bugs me about that choice is not that its not one the doctor might make, but that its not clear what his motives are. Some of this stems from the Doctor being an enigma, but some stems from poor writing.

Looking back to Tennant, the same Doctor who killed an alien in a sword fight, and left the family of blood in eternal tourment, then lectured Martha for joining Unit, an organisation designed to defend earth. There are certain episodes where not only will the doctor not kill, he'll go out of his way to stop others, and there are other episodes where he will utterly annihilate large parts of an enemy race (random Matt Smith example, he blows up a whole bunch of cyber ships just to prove a point!). The Doctor's been along time, and we can't really expect the Doctor now to be conistent with the Doctor played by Tom Baker, but it'd be nice if he could be consistent in one incarnation..


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