Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why I don't think the Doctor killed the Robot Controller

 There has been much debate over whether the 12th Doctor pushed the Robot Controller, from the series 8 episode Deep Breath, to his death or not and why. Social media was on fire with people complaining how dark and demented The Doctor now seemed. I don't think he was murdered at all. I think the Doctor talked to him and saw he was in pain and helped him do what needed to be done. The Doctor isn't beyond using deadly force, I am in no way saying that. I'm saying that in this instance he didn't have to. I'll explain why.

 The Doctor has killed before. Throughout classic Who he shot Cybermen, destroyed Daleks etc etc. But more often than not it was his companions, such as Leela, that did the dirty work, or he would set his foes up to destroy themselves. When he returned in his 9th incarnation he was weary of killing because of his time spent fighting in the time war as The War Doctor.
 He refused to sacrifice the earth and kill the Daleks, but again along came a companion, Rose, to do the dirty work. Throughout the series the writers have tried to stay in the premise that The Doctor is a pacifist. He mostly is until he literally has no option left but to kill.

 His history is not the question here in this case. The question is did he push the Robot Controller to his death? I don't think so. First we see The Doctor leave Clara with the Robot Controller willingly. Here his is darker than his previous incarnations in NuWho. Why would he put her in danger like this? What is he becoming? But she was never really in danger. He trusted she would talk her way into finding out the plans that the Robot Controller had. He leaves her, disguises himself as a robot using a flesh mask, and brings her back after she attempts to hold her breathe and get away. He is right there with her and deep down she knew it. He reveals himself and says "Hello, hello - rubbish robots from the dawn of time, thank-you for all the gratuitous information. Five foot one and crying - you never stood a chance."
  He nods to Clara as if saying sorry to scare you and then goes on to threaten to blow up the whole room. Clara then refers to him suddenly abandoning her to which The Doctor replies, "Sorry. Well, no, I'm not, you're brilliant on adrenalin." This Doctor shows he is more openly manipulative than 9 through 11.

 The Doctor then goes back on his threat to blow the room and leaves the companions to fight the other robots. He gambles that the gang will stay alive long enough for him to find a solution and follows the RC up into the cafe. There he pours a drink saying "I've got a horrible feeling I'm going to have to kill you. I thought you might appreciate a drink first. I know I would." Again with the threats, but also no follow through. He lets the craft launch then sits and tests the RC asking "What do you think of the view?" He replies "I do not think of it." Correcting his speech patterns The Doctor points out that the RC is barely a droid anymore.
 "There's more human in you than machine. So tell me what you think of the view." He isn't so much stating the fact of it as much as he is testing the RC's reaction here. When the RC goes to the window and replies that it is beautiful the Doctor literally jumps at the chance to argue knowing now that he has a chance to save his friends and stop the RC's plans.

The RC asks "How could you kill me?" And then The Doctor knows, he is certain that this more than machine man wants to die. He clings to the idea of a promise land and is tired of this world. He is almost asking outright for The Doctor to do it for him.The Doctor further presses forward talking as much to himself as to the RC and says "You are a broom. Question: if you take a broom and replace the handle, and then later replace the brush - and you do it over and over again - is it still the same broom. Answer: no, of course it isn't. You have replaced every piece of yourself, mechanical and organic, time and time again - there's not a trace of the original you left." The RC goes on to say "It cannot end." The Doctor replies "It has to. You know it does."

 He is now actively trying to talk the RC into suicide. He opens the doors saying "And there’s only one way out." The RC says "Self-destruction is against my basic programming." The Doctor replies " Murder is against mine." They struggle and are at a stalemate. RC says "You are stronger than you look." The Doctor replies, "I'm hoping you are too...this is over, are you capable of admitting that?" The RC relents and asks "But do you have it in you to murder me?" The RC wants to die. The Doctor replies "Those people down there. They are never small to me. Don't make assumptions about how far I will go to protect them, because I've already come a very long way. And unlike you I don't expect to reach the promised land."

 The RC extinguishes his fire-arm, effectively and visibly giving up. Then The Doctor closes in "You realize of course, one of us is lying about his basic programming." And here is where you can see that The Doctor has won. He has convinced the RC to let go and die. There is a visible pause from the RC. He answers with a voice which breaks with actual emotion and answers simply "Yes."

 If you watch the video below closely you can see it. The writers want you to think he coldly killed the RC, they want you to see how dark and dower the new Doctor is, but it is a lie. I think the Doctor realized the RC was in pain and wanted release. I don't think he murdered him, I would consider it more of a mercy if he did in fact push him. This Doctor weighs his odds, rolls the dice, and acts accordingly to manipulate the odds into his favor. I don't think he is a cold blooded murder at all. What he did can be considered an act of kindness and mercy, because the RC wanted to die and could not do it himself. What do you think?

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