Things the Doctor Doesn’t Do: Like Guns
Things Moffat Made the Doctor Do: Like Guns
“I have never liked weapons at any time; however, they're handy little things” - The Doctor
Seriously that’s the quote that should be remembered and Moffat’s Doctor still follows that line of thinking.
Ten was a hypocrite and his hate on for guns seemed more like a way to appear morally superior to everyone else. He was like “oh I’m better than that…..but watch me drown all these spider babies”
(Ten being a hypocritical mess is actually why I like him)
Just to expand a little (because I get super defensive when it comes to Ten).
Pretty much every Doctor has resisted the use of weapons and pretty much every Doctor has had to use them at some point. This is different from a belligerent condemnation of weapons point blank. I like to think of it like Batman. Batman never uses guns (yes I know there are exceptions, especially in the early days, but please that’s not the point here), but that doesn’t mean he won’t kick the ever-loving crap out of you and in all probability kill you if you deserve it. Three is strikingly similar, though he never killed anyone… on purpose. Three also did use weapons when the situation called for it, usually simultaneously explicating how reluctant he is to do so.
I don’t find this hypocritical so much as the Doctor adjusts, he does have the ability to put the reality of a situation before ideals which is a very valuable characteristic (especially in a leader). It’s not that he has ‘flexible morals’ which is a term often used to imply someone has no morals, but much more that he is pragmatic. Many pragmatists have a very strict moral code or set of ideals, but they will always do what is needed to get the job done first.
Now, some Doctors are more idealistic than others. Nine, for example, refuses to commit genocide of the Daleks (again) and instead decides to leave the universe to fend for itself (until Rose intervenes etc, etc.). Eight, too, sometimes falters on these moral stumbling blocks, especially when it’s a numbers game, ex. can you justify killing 1 million people if you’re saving a billion more? Some of the Doctors would push the button in that eventuality, Seven and Five spring to mind. Others would balk more at the quandary of having to admit that 1 life = 1 life and that what goes into that life or comes out of it is of no consequence. Some Doctors violently oppose that thinking, like Six, and would rather let a billion people die than claim that because 1 million is a smaller number their lives are not worth saving.
Now we come to Ten and his seeming cycle of indecision, rage, guilt, and indecision again.
Ten is, truly, at heart, an idealist like Nine. He is still deeply scarred by the Time War but now he has enough distance from it that he can really analyze his motives and actions and he spends a WHOLE HELLUVA LOT of his time in miserable introspection. Why? Because he is just a little bit conceited on the one hand and believes that he has to be held to a higher standard because his actions are just SO much more important than anyone else’s. Admittedly, this is a flaw. But on the other hand, he did actually commit genocide (to his then knowledge) and as the last of a race that DEFINED itself by ruling the fucking universe because they were better than everybody he feels he probably ought to do the best he can to shore up loose ends and take care of what remains.
The thing is, because he’s the last and feels he needs to be ultra-responsible, he puts himself in situations where his ideals are compromised. He ends up in situations where there is no answer BUT to use force. And, because he’s put so much pressure on himself to be gooder than good, this causes the Everest of guilt to come tumbling down on his fragile psyche. And then we have an entire episode about aftermath of him trying to put himself back together again (seriously, it always happens). He struggles so because he sees the hypocrisy of his actions, which only drives him more stringently against violence, but every time he comes up against it, he fails to hold to those ideals, again and again and he never seems to learn that he just has to give up and accept it.
The thing is, if he accepts it, what does that mean about the Time War? Does that mean his actions were justified? Does that mean that genocide is okay “in the right circumstances”? And these are questions that he is not equipped to deal with. So instead of dealing with them, he continues to pile on the guilt, to make a home out of it, and continues to throw himself on his bed of spikes, trying to atone for crimes he has not yet committed. I mean that figuratively, just to be clear.
Now, Eleven HAS seemed to learn the lesson of acceptance. Certainly he isn’t nearly so introspective as Ten so if he is struggling, we never see it on screen. Moffat made that decision, which is arguably a good change, it’s at least needed after the heavy emotional battle that Ten lugged with him everywhere he went.
I think I do miss the visible resistance to weapons though. I like that deep introspection, which is why I love Doctors like Eight and Ten who specialize in introspection. (ALL of the audios are introspection and you know it) But that’s a personal opinion.
TL;DR the Doctor isn’t hypocritical, he’s pragmatic. And sometimes he can’t deal with that.