Look, I love Doctor Who. On a scale from one to ten, it’s a high twenty-seven to me. And I love every actor deeply, if I’m being honest (even Colin Baker). But we have to be honest here, the Doctor’s an asshole.
Now, I know people will be shouting “but he saves humanity on a daily basis!” I know that. But he is an absolute asshole.
He’s an asshole when we first meet him. I know that’s intentional, and William Hartnell does it well, but even when he’s kinda mellowed out, he’s still doing asshole-ish things. For example, when Dodo (who basically gets alien syphilis in the novels based on the show) joins the show, the only real reason the Doctor lets her join is because she looks vaguely like his granddaughter. In fact, the same thing happened with him and Vicki. He also dumps his granddaughter, leaving her with someone who she loves, but he has no guarantee that Susan or her boyfriend will continue the relationship. He’s basically stranding his own flesh and blood on earth without a thought towards any consequences.
A running thing in the show is that, without the Doctor, the universe would be obliterated. But all he does is interfere. I mean, at the end of the day it’s easy to just say “X and Y wouldn’t have happened if the Doctor didn’t do Z,” but take The Unquiet Dead for example–and by “for example,” I mean spoilers, because they’ll be here. If the Doctor doesn’t interfere with anything, then the housemaid doesn’t know much more about the Gelth and doesn’t die. I know it’d still mean dead bodies walking around, and that sooner or later she’d still end up helping them into the world, but it’d be slowed down. There would be no compassionate man in a leather jacket helping them; they’d be second guessing.
Each Doctor has something about them that, to me, makes them a jerk:
- First Doctor: Almost kills someone, is a bit racist in one episode (Feast of Steven–missing forever, if you’re interested).
- Second Doctor: Dude, seriously, stop it with the recorder (I do love him a lot, but seriously, that freaking recorder.
- Third Doctor: May I remind you he ate a whole plate of sandwiches in one sitting without offering any to his companion?
- Fourth Doctor: Any minute he’ll snap and kill us all.
- Fifth Doctor: He let Adric and Tegan on board for Christ’s sake.
- Sixth Doctor: Let’s not go there.
- Seventh Doctor: A tramp on Adderall who forcefully brings his friend back to a house she was terrified of as a child to watch some random stuff happen with some caveman butler or something. I don’t know; Ghost Light’s confusing.
- Eighth Doctor: White bread.
- The War Doctor: He was going to kill kids, to be fair.
- Ninth Doctor: Thought he’d killed kids. In an aborted storyline, it was revealed that he’d engineered Rose’s life so that she’d be the perfect companion, which is pretty much a dick move.
- The Tenth Doctor: Ghostbusters reference, leading on Martha (kinda), screaming “oh yes” every two seconds.
- Eleventh Doctor: Ehh.
- Twelfth Doctor: Kinda meant to be one.
I love them all, but there will never be a time when the Doctor isn’t an asshole. He kills so many people, indirectly or directly, and then goes on about how he’s going to save humanity when he’s killed a lot of it.
- In Edge of Destruction, he accuses Ian and Barbara of sabotaging the ship–impossible, considering they’re boring teachers from a boring school (currently starring in random episode of this current season–the school, not them).
- In Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, he more or less murders someone, EVEN IF he’s an asshole too.
- The whole of Waters of Mars.
- Again, what’s up with eating a whole plate of sandwiches?
- He makes his friends watch him die and burn.
- He doesn’t bother calling in advance, preferring to just barge into people’s houses and demand they join him against the fish people of Karzasus or whatever.
- A whole plate of sandwiches.
- Like, an entire platter. Twenty-six sandwiches. All gone.
Still, he can find comfort in knowing that he wasn’t as big an asshole as Adric.
Article by contributor Tim Lobello.
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