So, I got this feeling like we touched on this issue from Saturday’s episode of Dr. Who. So. spoilers for the last couple of episodes are about to take place. After the jump.
So, in this episode, the Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves in the American old west…a town called Mercy to be on the nose. It appears the townspeople are trapped by a hulking cyborg with a gun for a hand. He is demanding the Alien Doctor. It turns out the town is harboring a fugitive alien who has helped the town a great deal using his advanced technology.
At one point, the Doctor discovers this other Alien Doctor is…well, a scientist who has committed incredibly awful acts in the name of stopping war. So, he is, essentially a war criminal. The Doctor decides the simplest solution is the best. Toss the Alien Doctor out to the hands of the Cyborg Gunslinger. It seems remarkably un-Doctor like. He has hit a breaking point. It kind of picks up on something from the previous episode that bothered a lot of people (allowing Solomon to die, rather than make any attempt to save him).
Amy angrily steps forward to tell the Doctor he is wrong, there has to be another, and better, way. Exasperated the Doctor declares not this time. He is tired of finding mercy for those undeserving…let the Alien Doctor face his fate.
Amy retorts by declaring that this is the problem when the Doctor travels alone. He becomes disconnected from people. From life. He grows…cold. And a Doctor like that is scary….dangerous. And I cannot help but feel like we have addressed this before. It was kind of the culminating point of the David Tenant specials…specifically the Waters of Mars . When the Doctor goes about his day to day along, he becomes a scary, discoonected, ego-maniacal…well…bastard.
I guess it makes sense, and I suspect they are building towards a big finale for Amy and Rory…plus a set up for his new companion. And the show has always hinted at a darker side of the Doctor Existing, even before the 2005 return. I suppose it was the rather direct way the dialogue was done. It was all very “This Is A Dramatic and Important Point We the Doctor and Companions” tone. It was a bit ham fisted.
I did enjoy the episode overall, though. The mis-direction of the opening with the reveal at the end was nice. And the Alien Doctor’s actions kind of echoed the sacrifice of Clara in Asylum of the Daleks.
I liked the imagery the Alien Doctor gives of his peoples’ afterlife. It is a belief you must climb a mountain. The trick of it is, you must carry all the souls of the people you have wronged with you. “Now do you see why I fear death? Imagine the weight I will carry.” says the Alien Doctor. Granted, this idea is kind of full of holes…such as…well, most folks have been wronged by more than one person, and the person who was wronged probably wronged people…so it seems like a pretty endless cycle…