By: +David Herron; Date: 2010-04-30 15:58
Tags: Doctor Who
Continuing on looking at season 5 episodes for clues (see Doctor Who s05e02 - The Beast Below and Doctor Who s05e01 - The Eleventh Hour for prior episodes) let's take a look at a rather controversial episode of the new season. Yes we know by now that Doctor Who is being rebooted yet again. It's like Stephen Moffat has reversed the polarity of the neutron flow and created an entirely new Doctor Who. Of course change is the constant companion of the Doctor but it seems there are some changes which lead into territory we believe are not rational. That is the case with this appearance of The Daleks.
The episode is set during the London Blitz with the Doctor having a working relationship with Winston Churchill, apparently having seen each other several times. Enough times that Churchill knows of the Doctors many faces and is nonplussed by them.
Maybe that's why Amy doesn't cause a scandal by showing up in a skimpy skirt, eh?
In any case we are quickly introduced to the Daleks, but are told that they are 'Ironsides' invented by a brilliant scientist. The Daleks deny being Dalek, deny knowing the Doctor, and profess to be there to win the War. What's curious to me is the reaction by the Doctor.
In the past the Doctor has always had respect for life forms even while attempting to kill them. At times the Doctor seems to have avatar-like or christ-like universal acceptance of all beings. An example was during The End of Time when he tried to convince the Master to give up his evil ways and travel around with The Doctor. But time and time again in the past he would act to aid some of the "monsters" he comes across, for example offering to help the Cybermen settle on an uninhabited planet to live out their Cyber-lives.
In this episode we see an aspect of the Doctor never seen before. Utter hatred of a living creature. The only portrayal even close to this was in the 9th Doctor's behavior towards a single Dalek. Coincidentally that episode also featured a companion who had no history with the Daleks, who had no conception of their evil, and who tried to strike up normal conversation with a Dalek.
"What does 'Hate' look like, Amy?" The Doctor then explains that it looks like 'Daleks'. But in actuality in this episode he is showing extreme hatred, of the Daleks. This is at odds with prior incarnations of The Doctor. Always the Doctor has acted to preserve all life everywhere. A great example was in Journey's End. The other (human) the 10th Doctor did the thing which killed all the Daleks causing the real (time lord) 10th Doctor to label the human 10th Doctor as having committed genocide.
How to we go from a Doctor who is willing to declare that his other half committed genocide and therefore must be imprisoned in the walled off universe, and go from that to an 11th Doctor who is willing to kill all remaining Daleks (an act which would be genocide). This is inconsistent with who the Doctor is.
Another inconsistency is so glaring that every podcast review I heard of this episode ranted on about it.
No matter how genius that robot Bracewell was, there is no way in heck that he could, in 10 minutes, convert some drawings of gravity bubbles into working equipment installed on Spitfires with trained fighter pilots able to shoot laser cannons. No way, no how, not possible, inconceivable. So why did the show writers try to push that on us?
Yeah, sure, it's clear that Bracewell (the robot) could have, given time, turned those drawings into working spitfires in space. But there was 10 minutes, Bracewell was in Central London, the airfields would have been in the countryside, the equipment hadn't been built, the laser cannons hadn't been built, the pilots didn't know how to fly space fighters, etc yadda yadda. Not to mention that such an event would have left a trail in a history book.
The one long term clue to the meta-story that is obviously being spread in this season is that Amy doesn't remember the Daleks.
Amy had to have lived through the Daleks theft of the planet, so why would she have not remembered this. There is no way for her to not know about the Daleks. But, she clearly doesn't know them.
Which obviously raises the question of just who is Amelia Pond? And why is that crack following her around?
My screwball theory of the moment is that she herself is one of these multidimensional entities. That she is related to those who are forming the cracks, alluded to by Prisoner Zero.