Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rebuttal to "9 Reasons Doctor Who Is A Terrible Timelord"

SOURCE: 9 Reasons Doctor Who Is A Terrible Timelord

9. Fails to Use his All-Powerful Sonic Screwdriver In Every Goddamn Situation

Despite being used a lot, the Sonic Screwdriver ISN'T all powerful. How do we know this? I quote from the episode Invasion of Time and the words of Sir Thomas Baker.

"Not even the sonic screwdriver can get me out of this one."

Here, we see a clear, in-show reference to the fact that the Sonic Screwdriver is NOT all-powerful, but is quite powerful. And the bit where he blasted apart a Cyberman with it once? Drained the batteries to do THAT.

Besides, from a writer's perspective, it's a lot easier for them AND more logical to have a magic wand that works most of the time than for The Doctor to have pockets full of random useful devices that only get used occasionally.

8. Only Hangs Out In the 20th and 21st Centuries on Earth

The image of the Jon Pertwee Doctor is what kills me here. Why did he hang around on Earth in the 20th century? Well, the fact that he had been exiled to Earth by the Time Lords and his mind wiped of the knowledge of how to get the TARDIS to work didn't give him much choice in the matter. Once he earned enough brownie points saving the Earth to have that knowledge restored, he was back to jumping other planets like the other Doctors.

As for why all the various Doctors kept coming back to Earth... well, it was established that The Doctor likes humans - in general - much better than the other Time Lords and that the turn of the 20th century heading into the 21st IS his favorite period of Earth history. And given the number of attempted alien invasions that occurred during this time period, well... small wonder he'd wish to focus on protecting that point, even during the times he was exiled there and didn't have a choice in the matter.

7. Often Has a Difficult Time Fighting Semi-Mobile Trash Cans

Semi-Mobile Trash-Cans with one-shot death-rays. That's a bit more than "Hitler with a gun". And Davros to Doctor Who, much like The Joker, is a dangerous enemy because of his intellect and insanity - not because he can beat The Doctor up. And The Cybermen... okay, the gold allergy was crap. That's why it wasn't brought back in the new Series with the new Cybermen.

But when you get right down to it, aren't MOST Science-Fiction/Fantasy villains since WWII Hitler with a gun/sword?

6. Is A Death Magnet, Yet Still Travels to Highly Populated Areas

Completely unsubstantiated. With two exceptions (and one of them mainly a technicality), The Doctor has never had a companion die while under his care. Given how many companion's he's had in all his 900+ years, that's actually a good record. As for him causing people to die around him... well, ignoring all the years he couldn't steer the TARDIS and it was a crap-shoot when and where he'd wind up, the fact that he tends to visit interesting (re:dangerous) points in time and space certainly doesn't help matters. And very rarely is his arrival the cause of whatever disaster occurs and his actions usually wind up reducing causalities.

Case in point: Voyage of The Damned. The Doctor accidentally crashes into a stellar freighter, plays at being James Bond while flirting with one of the waitresses and winds up in the middle of a replay of The Titanic/Poseidon Adventure. While most of the people around him DO get killed in the course of the journey, The Doctor's actions to stop the ship from crashing into Buckingham Palace and releases who knows how much fallout across England.

5. Is Totally Sexist Regarding His Traveling Companions

Ignoring that this is more the product of the BBC giving the Dads watching the show a little Parental Bonus and the BBC further trying to avoid any suggestion of hanky-panky in the TARDIS (Peter Davidson has gone on record as of saying he wasn't allowed to hug his female sidekicks by Executive Order)... well, I think it sort of makes sense given that The Doctor started his journey with his granddaughter that - psychologically - he keeps adopting various young women as surrogates.

4. His TARDIS Is Literally Made of Trash

Given that his home world was blown up and the Time Stream altered in a way that he can never go back there... it DOES in fact make sense that The Doctor's TARDIS - in the new series, at least - should be somewhat cobbled together and jerry-rigged. And even before The Time War, he spent most of his life as a traveler as a renegade Time Lord who was either outcast, exiled, on-the-run or just plain avoiding The Time Lord command. So he really couldn't go back and ask the people who were trying to kill/control/force into a position of responsibility to give him the 50,000 KM tune-up.

3. He Refuses to Do Laundry

Okay, this is a funny thing to think about, admittedly. But given how huge the TARDIS is and some of the other things they've shown inside there, there is - as they say - almost certainly a laundry room. At the very least, we know there is also a HUGE closet with all manner of time-appropriate/planet appropriate clothing. So who is to say that The Tenth Doctor DOESN'T have seven or eight of the same brown pin-stripped suit and a dozen or so white shirts?

Why do we never see him do laundry? Same reason we never see people hunt for parking places in movies and there's ALWAYS an opening right in front of where they need to go - because it would be boring to watch them drive around.

2. Turns Into An Attention Whore Every Time He Regenerates

I have it on good authority from my mother that all men get like this when they're sick. :)

Seriously, given that regeneration only occurs after a physically (and in some cases, emotionally) traumatic event and often triggers a change in personality as well as physical appearance... small wonder that The Doctor winds up a little wonky for a few hours.

1. Has Not Checked Up On His Granddaughter for Centuries

Well, this gets into a lot of fan-wanking, but the prevailing theory is that something happened to Susan during The Time War, which removed any need for The Doctor to keep checking up on her. Hence why The Doctor said he was the last of his kind and why we never saw him go to visit her on the show.

Of course Susan also could have been killed during the time period she decided to stay in... 2164, during which The Daleks were attempting to invade Earth. Yeah, there's no danger there. Especially given that the man she fell in love with was a fighter in the human resistance.

Of course if you want to get REALLY technical, the time-line regarding Earth and The Daleks has been messed with so much there's a chance The Future she was living in never happened now.

And if you want to go outside the continuity of the show, well... I haven't read all of The Doctor Who novels, but it appears - according to Wikipedia at least - that she appeared in more than a few original stories. Perhaps one of these depicts The Doctor making a visit to check up on her. And it is assumed that The Doctor has many "un-televised adventures" which are referred to, but never seen (i.e. how did The Tenth Doctor become an enemy of the state during Elizabethan times?) so odds are he HAS visited his granddaughter - we just never saw it because it was a rather dull story where nothing exciting happened and nobody died.


  1. enemy of the state
    Hmmm... someone missed an episode of Doctor Who. In Tooth And Claw we found out exactly how the Doctor became an enemy of the state.

  2. Re: enemy of the state
    Hmmm... someone either failed Reading Comprehension or skipped a few British History classes.
    Tooth and Claw took place in Victorian Times, Not Elizabethan.
    I was referring to the end of The Shakespeare Code, where Queen Elizabeth (not Queen Victoria) enters The Globe, recognizes the Doctor as her "sworn enemy" and declares, "Off with his head!" The Doctor is surprised at her outburst since he says he has not yet met the Queen, but comments that he is looking forward to finding out what he will do to offend her as he and Martha escape into the TARDIS.

  3. Nine REAL Reasons Dr. Who is a Terrible Time Lord
    1. Never sings the Time Lord Anthem, not even on Time Lord Holidays.
    2. Traded his Official Time Lord Decoder Ring for a pack of Juicy Fruit.
    3. Never updates his profile for the Time Lord FaceBook page.
    4. Checked out "Green Eggs & Ham" from the Time Lord Library and then lost it somewhere in the Mesozoic era and refuses to pay to replace it.
    5. Told everyone that the Time Lord President's favorite movie is First Kid when everyone knows that its "Jingle All The Way".
    6. Refuses to attend Time Lord Singles Mixers.
    7. Once spent a pleasant afternoon having tea with Eddie Izzard. Who as everyone knows is the greatest enemy of the Time Lords. No its not the Daleks. Its Izzard. EVEYONE knows that.
    8. Was banned from the Time Lord Forums after calling all the mods "stupid, stupid smelly jerks".
    9. Enjoys the occasional bannana. Which is, of course, not Time Lord kosher.

  4. Re: Nine REAL Reasons Dr. Who is a Terrible Time Lord