With every new episode of the new Doctor, we learn something new. And these discoveries usually come with another unanswered question.
[Doctor Who](series:200668) Episode One: DEEP BREATH was the transitional episode and brought plenty of questions from, not only the Doctor's companions and friends, but from the fans as well. We learned that this new Doctor was full of doubts and fears and was as unpredictable as he was undependable. He was discovering as much about himself or possibly more than the view was. But the question was brought up: Are you capable of murder? It was a question left unanswered. Although there was a murder and the Doctor WAS present. It still left us wandering. After his speech about the 'pudding heads' and how he would protect them no matter what, It still begs the question. Is the Doctor actually capable of murder to protect?
Episode Two: INTO THE DALEK was a strong second episode and brought us a question early on from the very lips of the Doctor. In fact, it may be the defining question of the season: Am I a good man? Clara looked both stunned and scared to answer. She simply gave an 'I don't know' and brushed it off. What we learned about the Doctor in this episode was that he, like the universe around him, is full of beauty and divinity. We also learned that there was hope for the Dalek race. Learning that to continue to fight life by exterminating was futile because life would always return, the Daleks may yet begin to make moral decisions. The only problem? The Doctor, although full of beauty, is also, like the universe, riddled with hatred. Seeing this hatred passed on to the 'good Dalek' AND being called a GOOD DALEK by a Dalek, the Doctor was left reeling from this moral defeat. It left us wondering if he really WAS a good man. Our doubts (as well as the Doctor's) eased off a bit when Clara gave him kudos for trying, but you could tell it didn't dispel his fear.
Episode Three: Robot of Sherwood was supposedly one of 'those' episodes of Doctor Who; a fluff piece. It was anything BUT. It continued with the theme of the Doctor's legend that preceeded him wherever he went. Let's face it. For the past near decade, Davies and Moffat have sold us on the Doctor who was part Jesus, part Mother Teresa and part Superman. The Doctor is questioning this. And, coming face to face with Clara's childhood hero, Robin Hood, he is beset with the task of deconstructing the 'fairy tale' and showing Robin Hood as a fake although he stands right in front of them both. This isn't about Robin Hood. This is about the Doctor. He doubts the superhero he sees in Clara's eyes when she talks about him. It's the same glint that sparkles forth when she goes on about Robin Hood. So, disprove Robin Hood, prove he isn't the hero she thinks he is. We end up with middle ground. Two men (Robin and the Doctor) who aren't perfect heroes, but will still attempt to do great things and inspire those around them to continue on in the good works.
This episode ended in the question, 'When did you stop believing?'. This is the question of questions. Was it after the regeneration? I don't think so. I think his doubt started much farther back than anyone can remember. I think this doubt and fear per meat him. It is part of who he is and what he does. To understand who the Doctor is, we must go back to the beginning of this fear. We must understand his self doubt.
Episode Four: Listen! Was a dark and sordid journey thorough the personal history of all the players in this season. It touched Clara, Danny Pink and even the Doctor himself. It also delved into the most powerful fear that we all have; what's under the bed? The Doctor begins to realize that maybe we are never really alone. That, when we feel compelled to talk when we're by ourselves, maybe we aren't. His question is puzzling. What if we are never truly alone? He, then, goes to great lengths to chase down the origins of the fear of the thing under the bed. He even has me convinced that we are about to meet a new monster to add to army of awesome creatures that the Doctor comes in contact with. It is only toward the end that we find that we are trapped on the runaway train of the Doctor's most basest fears. The final scene send us to the bedside of the Doctor himself as a young boy. He doesn't want to be a soldier and, according to his father, won't become a time lord if he doesn't stop crying. It is one of those poignant moments when Clara becomes the monster under the bed when she instinctively grabs the young Doctor's foot. There wasn't a monster after all. As with the other episodes, it was simply the creature of the Doctor's own creation: Fear and Doubt.
What's weird is the way that this new Doctor drags Clara and her future through each and every experiment that IS his life. First his regeneration. Then, into the Dalek. Even her fantasy trip turns into a lesson of the Doctor's insecurities and doubts. And, now, we find, as Clara put it, that the Doctor is simply afraid of the dark. And, as he stated in INTO THE DALEK, he was going to take her INTO DARKNESS. This is where he's headed. He's going to the dark recesses of who he is and he needs her to be his guide; his teacher. We tend to forget that Clara is inexplicably wound in the very fabric of who the Doctor is thanks to the trip to Trenzelore. So everything about her, her past, present and future is embedded into who the Doctor is and where he's going. This is why obviously she ends up embracing a relationship with Danny Pink.
Episode Five:Time Heist put the Doctor and Clara in what seemed to be a life and death situation with a menace named THE ARCHITECT. There were two questions of the episode. The first was brought up by the Johnny Neumonic type, Psi.
"Is that why you call yourself the Doctor? The emotional detachment?"
This brings up the seeming uncaring attitude of the Doctor. He has an almost clinical approach to those around him. But, as his answer conveys, it has to do with what is needed for the situation. And what is usually needed is a cold and calculated manner. The 'hugs' can come later.
"When you see the Architect, will you kill him for me?"
He gives an answer for the first question of can you commit murder. He says he can't promise that. Not sure whether that means he can't or just not sure he will be able. But, as the episode progresses, we find, of course that the Doctor is the Architect. This and the fact that the Doctor's self revelation that he "hates the Architect' (delivered with a smile on his face) leads into a theme of self loathing that has permeated the season. That and his incessant jealousy of Clara and her love life or any life outside the one she has with him.
Episode Six: The Caretaker makes me grin a bit after the crack that the Doctor made about Clara being his Carer so he doesn't have to. Anyway, this episode is all about the Doctor, Clara and Danny Pink colliding into a massive accident that has been waiting to happen for all season. Clara is lying to both of them; hiding their existence from the other. The Doctor is angry jealous until he thinks she's dating a man that looks and acts strangely enough like Doctor 11, Matt Smith. Once the threesome meets, there's fire blazing between the Doctor and Danny. Neither really likes the other and shows it in the stiffest of terms. It reminded me of a Father scrutinizing a young courtier of his only daughter. As long as the boy looks and acts like him, everything is great. Once 'dad' finds out the boy's a soldier, the 'battle's' on!
He's afraid of losing his little girl or worst yet of having her marry the wrong man. This is typical growing pains. But maybe the growing pains are ours. Much like we expreinced this strange new Doctor through Clara's fearful eyes, now we see the painful final act of Clara Oswald. We have to let her go just as the Doctor must. This seems to be all a part of the tragic dance we do from companion to companion. We've finally gotten used to the old, angry Doctor and now the companion too must change.
OH, there is SOOOO much I could go into to. The future of the Pink/Clara love story. The continuous connection to robots, androids or the such. The identity of the woman of Paradise, Missy. But the discovery of who the Doctor really is deep inside is the central story and the next episode looks pleasantly strange indeed.
Until next time, Whovians, don't fear the thing under your bed, most times its the things inside us we should fear the most.
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