By Will Barber Taylor
Time and time again he saves us; the man of mystery, the traveller of space and time, the hero of a million worlds; The Doctor. A man whose values are ones we should aspire to and hope to follow in his footsteps. Hang on a tick though. Is The Doctor really the paragon of virtue he has sometimes been painted as? Errr, no, not really. To be honest he is a bit of a hypocrite.
While he spends a lot of time saving people The Doctor does also spend an awful lot of time criticising us humans. For example in Doctor Who and The Silurians the Third Doctor compares The Brigadier’s wilful destruction of a colony of Silurians to genocide. Yet, only one regeneration later he manages to commit six. Wait, what?!
While many new “Whovians” may know about The Doctor supposed killing of all the Daleks/Time Lord in the Time War (which kind of did/didn’t happen depending on what you think of Day of The Doctor) his lesser crimes are unknown or referred to. In The Pyramids of Mars The Doctor destroyed Sutekh the last of the Osirans; then he killed Eldrad, the last of the Kastarians, in The Hand of Fear. In Image of the Fendahl he killed the last of the Fendahl. In City of Death he bumped off the last of the Jagaroth. Next he bumps off The Nimons in The Horns of Nimon before rounding off his era by killing The Last of The Great Vampires in State of Decay. Oh and not to mention the spin off audio Doctor Who and The Pescatons in which he doesn’t just bump off the last member of a race but an entire race in one fell swoop. This is the same man who in The Doctor’s Daughter claims that genocide can only happen “over my dead body”.
You could argue that The Doctor had to do these things but that doesn’t condone them. This is ironically something that The Doctor actually does in the tie in novel The Eight Doctors. A memory stricken Eighth Doctor travels back in time to meet his previous incarnations to remember more about his life. During one such trip to his Sixth self he outright says that the Sixth Doctor was all right to wipe out an entire race because of the “artificial nature of the Vervoids’ creation”.
Moving on from The Doctor’s double standards concerning genocide (extra ones that can be added to the list beside the ones previously mentioned include The creatures in Colony in Space, the Gastropods in The Twin Dilemma, The Gelf in The Unquiet Dead, The Racnoss in The Runaway Bride, The Saturnyns in Vampires in Venice and these are just the ones I thought off the top of my head) let’s have a look at the murder he commits. That’s right kids everyone’s favourite Saturday prime time hero not only commits genocide but also small time murders! Hurray!
Like with The Doctor’s genocidical activities his outright murders lie in a generally grey area. Some are darker than others. A good example that occurs in recent memory is when The Doc kills Solomon in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. The Doctor’s justification of this is that because Solomon committed genocide it is all right to kill him or rather “let him die” because of the actions he has committed; surely then by this logic The Doctor should have been killed for willfully killing The Time Lords/Daleks? His argument that he had no other choice doesn’t somehow make it all right.
A much more savage killing by The Doctor occurs in The Brain of Morbius in which The Doctor gasses Solon so that he can get Morbius to leave the chamber and defeat him. While the poisonous gas makes Morbius merely annoyed it outright kills Solon. The Doctor never really comments on this or seems sorry for his actions; he just does it because it is the easiest route of escape.
The Doctor is in conclusion a hypocritical individual a man who applies one set of morals to a certain group of people while applying another set to himself. The character has often been displayed, in recent times at least, as a wandering god, a force for good. Is it not true though that absolute power corrupts? The Doctor really does have almost absolute power being able to resurrect himself when he needs to and has the ability to go to any point in time and space. If The Doctor has absolute power does that mean he is corrupt? To a degree it does but only as corrupt as someone in his position could be. The Doctor has never conquered a planet or enslaved a people, he has generally always tried to do his best and save people. He may be a hypocrite but to some degree we are all hypocrites and that flaw in our system is one of the things that makes us human.