Sunday, 2 September 2012

Doctor Who?

Dr. Who season seven Asylum of the Daleks aired last night, and what a great episode it was. It made the Daleks scary again for those who had become blasé to the real fear that the Daleks inspire, because they forget that Daleks cannot be argued with. Things that can't be argued with are frightening, especially when they believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong. For the Daleks  that means that anyone who is not a Dalek is wrong, and wrong things have to be exterminated.

If you are lucky.

If you are not lucky then the Daleks will subjugate and enslave you, and worse of all make you one of them. Dehumanise you, remove the things that make you human, like love, compassion, empathy, and turn you into a hate filled monster that will obey the will of the Daleks.

The will of the Daleks? They have hive like mind, the chorus of hate that binds all Daleks together. A bit like living in a world where we are all connected by the internet, and can spout off about anything we believe in without consequence, upsetting others with the righteousness of our convictions.

The Daleks are the worst in us, and that is what makes the frightening, we could become like them. Forget the eye stalks, plungers and death-ray. It's the fact that ultimately their conviction in believing that they are the ultimate life-form, and that all others are inferior beings that must be exterminated is what makes them frightening.

And that is why the Daleks are really, really scary.


The Doctor has had a few. We all want to be a companion for the Doctor, except that the writers of the new series of Dr. Who have pretty much made it clear that the consequences of becoming a companion are quite high. You are not guaranteed a happy life. This brings me to another musing...

Oswind is played by the actress who will become this Doctor's new companion. If I were writing this I would be setting us all up for a good kick in the teeth by revealing that Oswind is the new companion and look at her fate; she gets to become a Dalek so as to save the Doctor's life. It sucks to be a companion of the Doctor.

Enough of that...

How about the fact that the new series has answered the question does the Doctor have a wife? Yes, at least two; River and the TARDIS. Does he have children? At least one; see the Doctors Daughter. And furthermore we know he has a grandchild; from the original Hartnell series.

So who is the Doctor?

The doctor is the healer of time and space, and will probably not be called Fred. The current writers can call upon the old series for inspiration à la Romana's full name; Romanadvoratrelundar from the House of Heartshaven, or not as the fancy takes them.

However, again if I were a writer on the series with the 50th anniversary coming up, I would be tempted to reveal the name of the doctor. I suspect that the writers will have a name, but it may not be what you think it is.

There again one can argue that the whole Time War between Gallifrey and Skaro is really not about who ultimately become the Lords of Time, but whether or not we become Time Lords or Daleks.


  1. Interesting...loved the first episode as well as the prequel, which unfortunately I saw after the show, oh well...

    1. Paul Cornell ( was on a Dr. Who panel at a convention I was at a couple of years ago, and (jokingly) accused me of eavesdropping in on the writers meetings with RTD when we were talking about the series. What can I say? I earn my living being an analyst.

  2. > remove the things that make you human, like love, compassion, empathy

    Have they worked for a Local Authority too?

  3. Well written, and I don't think I've seen the war between Gallifrey and Skaro framed like that before. Though, considering how the new series (don't know about the old series) has portrayed the Time Lords somewhat unfavorably, I wonder if both outcomes might be undesirable.

    Double Shyamalan twist: Oswind *is* the Doctor's new companion *and* the next incarnation of The Doctor.

    1. I think that either side winning, as an outcome of the time war, would be undesirable from the Doctors perspective, given the portrayal in the End of TIme episode.

      Also, I think this is internally consistent with the way Eccleston portrayed of the Doctor too. Conflicted. hates the Daleks, but will sacrifice his own to prevent them from ending time.

      Not sure I buy your twist even though it is a fun idea. Only because I can't see the writers going that route. Not that I have any insider information you understand.

    2. I don't buy my twist either. (Very few shows are willing to do a double Shyamalan.) I'm just kind of stuck on that scene at the end - it seems like the Doctor liked her enough to go back and get her. Hmm... maybe that is the twist, that the Doctor does return to her later and Jenna-Louise-Dalek becomes his companion.

      I agree about the Time War. That was such a big piece of the Ninth and Tenth Doctor's characters, I feel like the writers would be hard pressed to do more with it. I suppose Asylum of the Daleks was written partly to help distance the Eleventh Doctor from it.