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June 04, 2011



Good point on Dr. Song. I'm loving the inference that Doctor is his name. That could extend to all renegade Time Lords: they're not trading their names for descriptors to travel through time - by traveling through time and interfering with cultures across the cosmos, their names become descriptors.

Marilynn Byerly

The only thing the Doctor can do to stop the Silence who not only make you forget them but can also implant a hypnotic suggestion for future behavior in their victims is to kill them on sight which negates the Silence's two strengths.

The recorded alien in the moon landing tape says exactly that. Humanity's only chance is to kill on sight.

Gabriel Mckee

I'm not so convinced that that was the only solution to the problem of the Silence. The Doctor has always excelled at finding impossible solutions, and at defeating his enemies without killing them. Does this mean I didn't think it was an ingenious solution? No. Does this mean I didn't like the episode? Of course not. But I certainly don't think we're expected to conclude that it was the right thing to do just because the Doctor did it. We now know he has had to make rules to keep himself in line. I think we've started to see him breaking those rules... and I'm very interested to see where that leads.

Jenn V.

I finally watched this episode for the third time last night and am ready to start processing. As soon as River Song's identity was confirmed (as soon as the word "Melody" was uttered, I was finally for real sure), I started having flashbacks to every River episode ever, and it made me too sad to even think for a while. I'm still wrapping my head around that one. I can't decide whether to go back and watch every River episode ever, or to never watch "Silence in the Library" again.

Ahem. On the other hand, I'm having a discussion with a friend (who is having an existential crisis, or perhaps catharsis, or perhaps epiphany) about what it takes to be a good man and/or a just man. I'm using the Doctor as a jumping off point, because while the Doctor doesn't think of himself as a good man (or even a man, probably) I think that he is. 11 has shown us that being a (hu)man is something that one can choose to be, no matter how plastic or Dalek-made one starts. On the other hand, 11 seems to much quicker to eliminate a threat, and I think it's interesting to show how that is rebounding on him so violently. 11 seems to still have that small, soft place for things that are the last of their kind...but doesn't fear wiping out legions & species all at a whack.

I have reams more to say on the topic of 11 & Justice, but I've wandered all over this comment, and I'll just leave it at that. I was very surprised at the title of "Let's Kill Hitler," for another half dozen reasons, so I'm sure I'll have more to say about Doctor Who in the future.

Chris Todd

The Doctor did not commit genocide. Rather he used the video to make sure that the Silence could not continue to go about their business, confident that anyone seeing them would just react with surprise and promptly forget. This was his way of forcing them to run (or be killed.) The video saying we should shoot them on sight, by the way, was the opinion of a member of the Silence. Evidently, they have no problem seeing themselves as a deadly threat to humanity.

marc m

First off, great blog and blog post...the read was suggested to me by one of your regular readers :)

With the benefit of hindsight now, a few thoughts...

1) See this (hopefully the link translates):

Moffet had that line - about the word Doctor for healer....15 years before he wrote that episode. I am in AWE.

2) The Doctor has killed someone.

Of course, this amplifies to the "when people ask you if it is a good idea to try and get to me through the people I love" explosion. What exactly happens when he doesn't follow his rules? Divine punishment? He changes? He knows that he will change? Have we yet seen the result of getting angry and the Doctor saying, "I'm angry, that's new...I don't know what will happen now..."

He killed the Amy ganger in The Almost People. Strangely, while he says after being angry he doesn't know what will happen, and he utters that same phrase someplace earlier (I can't remember when, now)...there is never mention of the fact that he kills the ganger, only the "Given what we now know I'll try and do this as humanely as possible."

3) Also, the having rules thing...later on doesn't seem as much a "moral imperative" as a set of guidelines that he uses to teach River. He needs to write a book "How to Be a Time Lord". Seriously, though. While this might not make them any less of a moral imperative (I suppose all teachings are a moral imperative at heart), not all of the rules he speaks in Let's Kill Hitler are moral issues (a la "never knowingly be serious. Rule 27. You might want to write these down.".

So, was Let's Kill Hitler the day that we find out why there are so many rules? I think so. But, maybe there's more to come.

Thanks for provoking more thought. To me, this episode is quite the pinnacle.

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