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April 2012

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#1 Super-Who-Lokian Moments

I've been thinking back and forth a bit about what to chose for my first entry, and in the end decided to go with Doctor Who because there's just so much about this show that I fell in love with. It made me cry on a regular basis, it made me grin like a mad woman and, considerably often, it made me question why people are so stupid. But that's a story for another day.

Season one, episode 6, Dalek

(excuse the bad video quality....)

This - for me - has been on of the moments where you really get to see the Doctor for all that he is. He encounters a Dalek again for the first time after the big battle that (should have) destroyed all the Daleks, but also left him the last of his race and without a planet to go home to. 
The scene sets in a bit late actually, because the first moments after he realises that he is facing a Dalek show the Doctor in a state of utter panic. He tries to get out of the looked room while an equally agitated Dalek is set on killing him. His weaponry however, fails the Dalek and thus he cannot harm his nemesis.

When I saw this scene for the first time, it broke my heart  a bit. The Daleks are pittyable creatues with all their emotions removed and only hatred left to them. But so is the Doctor, with his knowledge of 900 years through time and space, with all the emotions inside him, with all his ability to forgive and to love and to open up towards others. Whenever you watch him, you always feel like he's trying to make amends.   Amy, in a much much later episode once says to him that there he goes, wanting to be forgiven. Which is indeed what he is forever looking for. Forgiveness. Which he cannot reach, because even if the entire universe would absolve him for his acts, he himself could never do that. That's his burden.

Facing the Dalek and hearing the accusation "You destroyed us?" brings this truth home. It gets under his skin, it cracks the surface that makes the Doctor appear as the happy fool - genius that he often is, or decides to appear to be for his own sake. For a second, it turns him inside out and brings home the enormity of the decision he took when he destroyed the Daleks and the Time Lords. But it also shows his dilemma, for he is still convinced that this sacrifice had to be made. He'd do it again.
"I had no choice."

As terrible as the Daleks might appear, as much as the Doctor cannot understand how you'd willingly sacrifice the ability to feel, he cannot loath them as much as he likes. They are bound to strongly to his own fate and in a way,they have made him who he is. And in this very moment, the one single Dalek is pretty much the same as he must have been after the end of the Time Lords. Alone. Without a home. Without equals. With no place to go and no purpose. 

The Doctors attempts to scold, to mock and to be gleeful about the terrible fate of the Dalek crumbles at the very moment that the similarity hits home. 

Despite all his genius, all his might and despite the fact that the whole of time and space seems to be in his hand, the Doctor is vulnerable and flawed. Which is exactly why I love him so much.