The Doctor’s dilemma in [The Waters of Mars], as in so many of the best of Davies’ episodes, was a moral one. It wasn’t a problem that could be solved by being clever or using the sonic or the TARDIS to fix everything. There was no winning scenario—the Doctor had to choose the best of two bad outcomes and it hurt to watch him do it. It made us hurt for him, which made us love him all the more. The Doctor knows what fixed points in time are, so can he refuse to save Pompeii? Should he have prevented the Dalek race from ever being born? Was it wrong to destroy the Racnoss, or was it just wrong to take steely pleasure in it? Was it wrong to depose Harriet Jones? There’s a moral question like that underpinning all the best of Who.
There’s very little of this exploration in Moffat’s Who, which creates an Eleven who is that arrogant, dangerous Time Lord Victorious from the end of “Waters of Mars.” He doesn’t have moral dilemmas, he’s not bothered about the consequences of his actions, he doesn’t even pause long enough to worry about the people who might get trampled under his feet or feel bad when innocent bystanders end up as collateral damage. Consider the particularly nauseating example of the solution to the Silence infestation of Earth in “Day of the Moon”: humans being hypnotoaded into being weapons of niche destruction. Perhaps it’s a testament to the vividness of his storytelling, but think about what Moffat has created here: in that world, thanks to the Doctor, every time you or I turn around we might feel a compulsion to splatter open a skull. There’s very little to love about a character with so much power who wields it so carelessly.
Part of what’s so maddening is that Moffat often has the opportunity to explore the moral dilemmas right in front of him and refuses to do anything with it. If there’s a consequence to the Eleventh Doctor’s behavior, Moffat’s hiding it inside a strangely constructed Rubik’s Cube, and we’re no longer convinced he isn’t more interested in playing with the puzzle than finding what’s inside."
this metaphor is fucking MAJESTIC.
moffat’s companions’ lives are all so strangely ungrounded in reality and i think it’s a good example of his very weak writing. in day of the doctor we see clara teaching - no explanation, no mention of it in the episode, and no build up to it. although obviously this was a (really lovely actually) nod to canon, it’s not the first time this has happened; amy just “became” a model in one episode and was never shown like this again (after her first job was as a kissogram). it’s impossible to imagine this happening with any of russell t davies’ companions, who all had lives incredibly minutely planned out; rose and mickey found their path to success obstructed by class boundaries and working manually, donna worked a succesion of uninspiring office jobs and even well off martha was shown physically working very hard to achieve her medical degree.
this ability to skip through professions as well as change locations and dump family just grounds the idea that moffat’s companions are strange, non-human, undeveloped creatures. their lives, trials and tribulations don’t matter outside of the doctor, and it’s like they’re a succession of barbie dolls; “i can be a model! i can be a teacher! i can be an archaeologist!” with an awful lot of pluck, a cheeky grin, and no substance whatsoever
Sometimes I think about how Martha Jones was offered all of Time and Space and endless adventure and walked away from it because she’d have to spend it with a person that didn’t respect her.
You talk about role models…
this this this this t h I s
so you’re telling me there’s an alien who regenerates into a completely random form, that he cannot control or determine himself, and who understandably could take millions of different appearances, but who all 13 times just turned into a different skinny white guy
at the end of the day though they didn’t actually make a different decision - the set of choices available to them changed, and they chose a third option which hadn’t been available before
which is… nice?? but kind of redundant if you’re trying to morally condemn the original decision, because it doesn’t for a second show that it was wrong in the circumstances
what happened to the zygons though?
They just let Zygons be bygons.
my favorite part was the .02 seconds we saw nine