In my previous posts I constantly reference The Doctor’s high moral code and aversion to violence.
The character of the Doctor was developed and is portrayed as someone who practices non-violent conflict resolution. He’s a hero that solves crisis through engagement – NOT violence. The Doctor is never cruel or cowardly and takes a long-term perspective on the ways of the Universe. The show explores with simplistic beauty some truly wrenching themes of loss and morality.
With that being said I would like to introduce you to The 9th Doctor.
The 9th Doctor comes to us as a child of war. Brutal at times, confrontational and inflexible, he states himself he sometimes creates carnage.
This is The Doctor I fell in love with.
I don’t mean fan girl SQUEE, I mean I fell in love with the darkness. This tough as nails Doctor damaged by war and guilt. Those events shaping his outlook and interactions, causing him to hide his sorrow inside a facade of manic energy and off beat humor.
Not only is he the bad boy of the Whoniverse, The 9th Doctor is something of an action hero, subsequent to The 4th Doctor, The Doctors had a tendency to be camp, overly knowing and lovable. The 9th Doctor is brusque, snarky and virile. You can just taste the edge of insanity, from destroying two civilizations, bubbling right under the skin.
This is The Doctor that tortures a Dalek and attempts to kill it in cold blood. Only the intervention from his companion stays his hand.
This Doctor sets out to teach his companion (Rose) about the wonders of the Universe. She teaches him to re connect with humanity. Together they make each other better than they would have been alone. She sets him on the path to his 10th and 11th self.
What has this got to do with the point of this blog, you ask?
Who among us is not damaged due to something that’s been done to us or we’ve done or been ordered to do? I myself identify with Doctor 9’s darkness because I see my reflection and the reflections of all those who’ve faced significant trauma.
How easy is it to cross the line and want to torture and kill your enemies or those that have committed violence against you. Does it matter if the violence was caused by gender, sexual orientation, political outlook or just being in the wrong area at the wrong time.
Perhaps like so many you’ve been in combat and the actions done there haunt you.
Rose has been criticised for being weak or an unflattering portrayal of a woman as a companion. I have to say it takes a deft hand to be a Doctor-Whisperer.
For the thirteen episodes you see The 9th Doctor, you watch her reel him back, teach him to love and re instill his humanity.
In the end he gives up everything because of her influence. The 9th Doctor tells his enemies he would rather be a coward than a killer.
At that point, the 9th Doctor is ready to become the 10th. He’s let go of the rage and learned to master the pain. I wish we had an army of Roses to put in all the VA Hospitals.
I have huge amounts of love for many of The Doctors. Numbers 4 and 10 do elicit that SQUEE so discussed earlier. The 9th Doctor showed me that you can regain your humanity, you don’t have to answer with violence.