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Brendan said on May 5th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I was actually more bothered that he seemed to completely abandon searching for that little girl once the Silence were dealt with.

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Salieri said on May 5th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Or did he? Perhaps he already worked out what she is, and he’s waiting for her to re-emerge.

Or perhaps he thought if she was strong enough to break through the spacesuit, she could easily fend for herself until he located her again.

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Salieri said on May 5th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

No, wait, make that definitely. Just checked up on iPlayer.

River: “We should find her.”

Doctor: “Yes, I know. But how? Anyway, I have the strangest feeling she’s going to find us.”

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Brandon said on May 5th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Keep in mind that, presumably, the Silence are present throughout space and time, and certainly haven’t been restricting themselves to controlling humans. They’re controlling EVERYONE.

The doctor didn’t even remotely commit genocide here, he simply armed humanity. The number of Silent deaths will be negligible compared to the cosmic Silent population.

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WilsonR15 said on May 5th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

“Time isn’t straight-line. It’s all… bumpy-wumpy. There’s loads of boring stuff. Like Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. But now and then there are Saturdays. Big temporal tipping points when anything’s impossible. The TARDIS can’t resist them. Like a moth to a flame. She loves a party […]”

The Doctor doesn’t go looking for the girl because by this point the Doctor knows that important stuff, like comsic temporal stuff, either finds him, or he accidently finds it.

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Brendan said on May 5th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

We don’t know that for sure, Brandon. We know relatively little about the Silence, and the same is true for the Doctor. We don’t know where they came from, how many of them their are out there, or what their goals are. That also bugs me a bit. They’re undeniably sinister, but the Doctor arranged to kill an awful lot of them without really knowing what their deal is.

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Salieri said on May 5th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Again, I thought perhaps the Doctor knows the Silence are too passive and hive-like to be the ones running the show – sooner or later he’ll have to deal with whatever is controlling them. This is just pest-controlling the worker ants, now he’s got to concentrate on finding the Queen.

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The biggest fault to my mind is the fact that it’s now the Silence that is the cause for all of mankind’s achievements. The show was telling us that from the very beginning of prehistory, The Silence has been influencing human development, getting them to their first fledgling steps into space. So is all that human spirit that the Doctor is so fond of really the subconscious influence of another species? Kind of devalues what humanity is all about, which is precisely contrary to what Doctor Who stories are all about.

But maybe I’m confused. I thought the Silence was getting humanity to become astronauts so they could use that technology, but if they are already space-faring race, why do they need to do so? Why did they need Amy’s daughter, and why did they need the astronaut suit for her?

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William Kendall said on May 5th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

At the risk of infuriating Doctor Who fans, I’ve never watched the show… and have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

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MrGale said on May 5th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

It wasnt a holocaust, because the Silence are apparently capable of travelling from place to place somehow.. and even if they lost that, they can hide where people aren’t. He’s in a tough place and decides its better to “arm” humanity so to speak, with the ability (even though they dont realise it) to see and strike back. Makes sense.

If it was still the RTD era, the Doctor would have found a magic switch that sent all the Silence away forever (then they would come back anyway for a later episode.) But no, this is an actual solution.

This is the first blow against the silence, saving earth from a secret slavery. And the war and bigger story to come.

Also, loving this Moffatt era Who, getting better and better and beautiful plotting.

And yeah, it implies that humanity have been subtley influenced by them forever. But you dont know how much of that is evil bluster, so I dont think that is plausible enough. In the shows timey wimey, anything goes if it works and anything can be rewritten continuity.

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No offense, John, but this is a little weaksauce.

The immorality of the Doctors actions doesn’t stem from him needing to warn humanity about the Silence and from him encouraging us to kill the hell out of them if they come at us.

The immorality comes from the fact that he’s essentially drafting humanity and not telling us. Moreover, he’s brainwashing us in the bargain. There will be no conscientious objectors in THIS war, nosireebob, you will ALL have a little voice in your head telling you to kill, kill, kill. And you don’t need to know about it, either, that’d just be MESSY. Much better if you just get on with it.

It’s a violation, basically.

It also completely removes the possibility of redemption and rapprochement. It IS in character for the Doctor to be fairly brutal towards various space and time douchebags out to destroy or devour humanity.

But he ALWAYS LEAVES AN OUT. One of his hands always has an olive branch in it even when the other hand is slippery with blood up to the elbow. He will feel really stupid if a heretofore unknown solution for peaceful coexistence presents itself and he’s programmed the lot of us to ignore it, and the Doctor ALWAYS hopes that a heretofore unknown solution for peaceful coexistence will present itself.

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protocoach said on May 5th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Shortly before he died and regenerated, the 8th Doctor committed genocide against both the Time Lords and the Daleks, and the human version of the 10th Doctor then proceeded to commit genocide against the Daleks again (first time didn’t take) in “Journey’s End.” And as you pointed out, there are all the various times in the past series (which I am nowhere near as knowledgeable about) where he did the exact same kind of stuff. This isn’t new to Moffat, it wasn’t absent from RTD, and it’s perfectly in line with the Doctor’s history.

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ladypeyton said on May 5th, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Murc, I’m pretty sure you can’t hypnotize, or even post hypnotic suggest someone into doing something that they would never do.

The most that a post hypnotic suggestion would do would be to help someone decide if the Silents were a threat and act more quickly. It won’t turn non-killers into killers.

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@murc – given the revelation of silence living behind the scenes and manipulating humanity for centuries / all of history, i’m not convinced there could be any option for peaceful coexistence. that barely felt possible with the lizardmen last season.

if the silence are trapped here, (and access in 1969 to bricks of neutron star? core material implies otherwise), that doesn’t justify letting them manipulate their hosts. he may have drafted humans into the war. but he didn’t start it, the silence aren’t playing fair either, and they’re hardly defenseless.

that said, he /did/ give the silence an out. he told them exactly what he was doing, /as he was doing it/. if most or all of the silence living on earth are now killed by human hands, that’s because the silence have chosen to stay, chosen /not/ to leave or hide.

“leaving is good. never coming is better.”

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@Murc: Given what happened to Joy in “The Impossible Astronaut”, I think I’d much rather have a little voice in my head telling me to kill. Because it seems like the alternative is being incinerated. For fun. Casually, like swatting a fly. She wasn’t even in the way; the Silent could have told her to leave the room, and she would have walked right out and forgotten everything she’d seen. No, it killed because it enjoyed killing.

“You should kill us all on sight.” It’s nice to find an alien monster that’s at least honest. :)

As for “HE ALWAYS LEAVES AN OUT”…he does for the Silurians, perhaps. He always had a soft spot for them. But the Daleks? He tried to kill them in their womb, tricked their creator into obliterating their homeworld, infected them with a memetic virus that caused them to slaughter each other, and finally threw the last survivors of the race he personally obliterated into Hell. Literally. Olive branches seemed to be in short supply during all that.

I love the Doctor. I love the series. But the idea that he uses violence only as a weapon of last resort is a fan myth that sprung up around a select reading of a very small subset of stories. (Mostly “The Silurians” and “Warriors of the Deep”, really.)

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Jonathan Miller said on May 5th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Danny said: “The biggest fault to my mind is the fact that it’s now the Silence that is the cause for all of mankind’s achievements. The show was telling us that from the very beginning of prehistory, The Silence has been influencing human development, getting them to their first fledgling steps into space. So is all that human spirit that the Doctor is so fond of really the subconscious influence of another species? Kind of devalues what humanity is all about, which is precisely contrary to what Doctor Who stories are all about.”

Replace “the Silence” with “The Fendahl,” “Scaroth,” “Fenric,” etc., etc., etc….all aliens who have supposedly influenced/caused human development and achievements. This is not the first time Doctor Who has drawn water from the same well. And it probably won’t be the last.

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Jacob hasn’t hated everything that’s happened the last four years. He was more than happy to spend dozens of pages drooling over seasons 3 and 4. He’s just hated the show since Moffat took over.

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I’m just impressed that you actually manage to read Jacob’s recaps. I stopped when he went from writing recaps to fanfiction. It was really bad for BSG.

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Pantsless Pete said on May 5th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

I have begun to realise I really loathe River Song and have to stop myself cringing everytime she’s on screen.

That said, I’m going to agree Jonathan Miller up there. The idea the Doctor never kills is a bit of a modenr fandom thing. He generally doesn’t shoot people but he’s been quite happy to kill anyone who’s been a problem in the past, unless the show has decided to make a thing of it.

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Yeah, I think the rather crucial point here is that the Silence literally can’t interact with humanity without oppressing them–violating them, really–so the “kill on sight” thing (which, again, the Silence literally did to themselves) is more of a countermeasure than anything else.

By an astounding coincidence, I just wrote a blog post about this very subject: http://phantasmicblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/lot-of-important-stuff-just-happened-in.html (essentially, we’re on the same page).

By the way, I don’t think you can simply say “the Silence get the credit for everything we’ve ever done”. The Silence make suggestions, and humanity works its ass off implementing them. “Create a space program so that we can have a space suit” is pretty vague, and I think the immense amounts of work and ingenuity that went in to actually DOING this deserve far more credit than planting a post-hypnotic suggestion. (Also, I’m pretty sure lots of people would have LIKED to go to the moon before the Silence ordered us to–I think they just provided the collective will to do so.)

…And I will never, ever understand people who think the Russell T. Davies seasons are better than the Moffat seasons.

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Tenken347 said on May 5th, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Also, the Doctor does offer the Silence an out. When he busted in to save Amy, he told them all that they should surrender unconditionally. This was well before he sent the trigger for the broadcast. They had the chance to escape, but of course they didn’t take it because they didn’t recognize the threat.

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The Doctor’s probably watched the Apollo 11 footage before. He couldn’t have come up with a non-violent solution — he’s already programmed himself to kill the Silence.

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“The Doctor’s probably watched the Apollo 11 footage before. He couldn’t have come up with a non-violent solution — he’s already programmed himself to kill the Silence.”

Pretty much what I was thinking, especially since The Doctor was trapped during the Moon landing era for awhile back in an episode Moffat wrote too (Blink) and likely would have seen the footage.

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Jacob’s television analyses are a good summary of internet fandom in general: occasionally insightful, but 90% of it is self-important bullshit.

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Well, I tried to look up the Doctor Who review, but before I could, I saw a Smallville review giving it a “B”.

And then the gag reflex kicked in.

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Salieri said on May 6th, 2011 at 3:47 am

Oh, I saw Jacob’s review – I just love the sense of lip-curled entitlement you get in his description that “This is not the show you’re watching any more”.

Apart from the lack of grammatical sense, it’s horribly amusing to read an American review of the new series where the reviewer is stupefied and dumbfounded that everything has changed since the series they started with. This show has kind-of, sort-of, been going on since a period in which living people could still recall what it was like to live in the Edwardian age. Staying successful without change is pretty much – well – impossible.

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Like a wise man wrote, “You can think and you can fight, but the world’s always movin’, and if you wanna stay ahead you gotta dance.”

Moffett knows that pretty well, it seems.

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Zenrage said on May 6th, 2011 at 3:58 am

I think the big thing is that this latest episode, while not entirely out of the Doctor’s scope, was just a little out of character for him.

The doctor doesn’t usually get ruthless unless the villains he’s facing are equally ruthless. He’ll usually try to talk the invaders out of a particular action before bringing down the hammer on them. He’ll even try and reason with Daleks and that’s like trying to convince paint not to dry (and just as much fun to watch). He didn’t give The Silence the same option and I think that’s what pushed this episode outside of the Doctor’s Modus Operandi and stuck in the minds of so many Who fans.

Now the question becomes, could the Doctor have given The Silence the same treatment since he could not face them like he could other races? Since the Silence erase themselves from a person’s memory when someone looks away, could The Doctor have actually come up with a speech that would seem reasonable or partially threatening. This could have been especially difficult even for The Doctor and might explain why he went into “kill them all” mode right off the bat.

Now the other part is what are the motives behind the Silence and are they all on the same side? It appears to me that the Silent Amy met in the bathroom did everything in its power to make Amy want to remember and start a fight against them. There may be members of the Silent who don’t like what the rest of their race is doing to the humans and attempted to recruit the Doctor to help them.

OR it could be that the Silence is actually trying to guide mankind to a better place and the one in the bathroom was trying to destroy mankind and tricked the Doctor and the others into assisting a terrorist operation against a relatively peaceful species.

Another thing that may come into play is the seemingly involuntary nature of the mental erasure a evidenced by the crew’s inability to remember and holographic image of a Silent. This may mean that even the members of The Silence are subject to this mnemonic isolation.

Unfortunately these may be questions that the Doctor may never get the answers to since he can’t remember anything about them when he isn’t looking at them either.

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Robert said on May 6th, 2011 at 6:48 am

Yeah, one thing that the Doctor has always been very down on is aliens taking over the Earth. Aliens who *succeeded* at doing exactly that *and got away with it for thousands of years* are pretty much guaranteed to get on his bad side.

It’s telling that he describes what he’s doing as “starting a revolution” — he’s empowering humanity to overthrow its alien oppressors the only way they can. The Silence made it clear that they weren’t going to leave or stop, and their automatic mindwipe and hypnotic suggestions mean no one can debate them into leaving or negotiate an agreement with them. What’s left, except to arm their victims against them?

And hey, all The Silence has to do to survive as a species is to never, ever walk into the same room as a human. The humans aren’t going to chase them down and murder them all in their beds…it’s just not going to be safe to share a planet with them and tell them what to do anymore. Maybe it’ll encourage The Silence to actually develop their own technology instead of sponging off the ingenuity of other species, and live on their own worlds instead of quietly conquering someone else’s.

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@Dan and Jase: I think you have to argue “wibbly wobbly timey wimey” here; if the Apollo 11 footage had always been doctored (as it were) and the Doctor was merely fulfilling his part in History’s Plan, we’d know because River would have left the warehouse in Florida a smoldering charnel house. :) Since the Doctor and his companions didn’t kill the Silence on sight until after the Doctor pulled his trick, it altered history at that moment.

(Which, now that I think about it, explains why River Song went all River Tam on the Silence and why even the Doctor was waving his sonic screwdriver around like it was a weapon: They were every bit as influenced as everyone else. Hmm.)

@Zenrage: I must admit, I find myself a bit perplexed as to why people are questioning the motives of the Silence. They want to destroy the universe, people! They already succeeded once and the Doctor rebuilt it from the ground up, and people are still saying to themselves, “Hmm…is the Doctor really justified in genocide against what could be a very nice bunch of aliens?” What part of “destroying the universe” is not clear, here? :)

And no, the Silence are not affected by their own erasure effect. Anything that has its own perception filter (Prisoner Zero, the fish-vampire people) has been shown to be immune to the perception filter that the Silence possess (“The Pandorica will open, and silence will fall,” “We fled from the Silence”) which means that by extension, the Silence must be able to remember each other.

Oh, and for the record, since I’ve seen it elsewhere, a Weeping Angel/Silent fight would be anti-climactic. The second the Silent looked away…the Angel would still be looking at the Silent, and hence able to send it back in time. Afterward, of course, it’d wonder why it felt so full…

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One thing that the new Doctor Who series has been consistent about is that the Doctor has a Reputation.

In Silence in the Library (I think), the Doctor tells the entity there, “I’m the Doctor. We’re in a library; look it up.” As soon as the entity does, it backs away. There are numerous examples of other villains reacting to the Doctor in abject, even irrational, fear. It wouldn’t surprise me if similar scenes in the old series; I’ve never seen it, so I can’t say.

Honestly, there really isn’t much that we have seen the Doctor do that would warrant that sort of reaction. What we see is mostly the Doctor being rather a goof.

That means that there is likely a lot of stuff that we honestly haven’t seen about the Doctor. Yes, he prefers non-violence. Yes, he will always attempt to talk the bad guys out of doing the bad things they’re planning. When push comes to shove, though, the Doctor will follow his conscience, his own moral compass, and he will do whatever he thinks is necessary to prevent the bad guys from doing what he considers bad — up to and including genocide.

We see the Doctor as a quirky, even delightful character, charming and intelligent and delightful. As such, we tend to also view him as “a nice guy,” even as somewhat innocuous.

In fact, if you look at the totality of the Doctor’s actions, he’s something of a monster. The closest similar sort of character I could compare him to is Galactus.

Or perhaps it would be better to think of him as the immune system for spacetime. If there’s some sort of “infection,” that is, someone doing something bad enough to be a problem, Existence sends in the Doctor to administer a cure. In that sense, the Doctor is beyond our concepts of morality.

Just my two pence.

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dirge93 said on May 6th, 2011 at 11:34 am

@Lamar: “We see the Doctor as a quirky, even delightful character, charming and intelligent and delightful. As such, we tend to also view him as “a nice guy,” even as somewhat innocuous.

In fact, if you look at the totality of the Doctor’s actions, he’s something of a monster.”

That is a wonderful and straightforward way of summing him up. He’s a good guy, a fun guy, but he’ll not hesitate to remove beings like the Daleks from history if he thinks he has a chance to do so. And the tenth Doctor could seem almost… petty at times. Whether it was trapping an alien family that pissed him off in their own private hells for all eternity (occasionally visiting to gloat), or spreading a meme to destroy an elected official’s career. If he’s mad at you, he’s anything but a nice guy.

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Cespinarve said on May 6th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Yeah, as a poster above notes, and as I had sadly forgotten, this isn’t the first run in the the Silence/ents that the Doctor has had, remember when they BLEW UP THE TARDIS? AND ENDED THE UNIVERSE?

Yeah, no, they’ve already fired some pretty damaging salvos, I think the Doctor was reacting more to that then “How dare they initiate a space program for vague purposes!” Crap… tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

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As an aside, I thought Wednesday’s episode of South Park made very inventive (and notably not pointlessly disgusting, as the show’s prone to do) use of the Daleks.

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Since the Doctor and his companions didn’t kill the Silence on sight until after the Doctor pulled his trick, it altered history at that moment.

Except that The Doctor, at the very least, had already seen the original video. He’d already been hit with the Kill On Sight Order and looked away to make it stick.

(There’s a great reason they’re called The Silence – because everything they say becomes a compelling suggestion, they need to spend most of their time shutting the fuck up to avoid chaos.)

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It’s funny how many of the justifications revolve around inventing episodes we haven’t seen (the Doctor committed tons of genocide when he wasn’t on the air!) or information we weren’t given (the doctor saw the video before so he isn’t to blame for his actions… in making the video!) or rules the show didn’t articulate (if posthypnotic suggestions work they way I say they work then it isn’t _really_ genocide).

When fans are working this hard to excuse a show, then the show’s done something pretty damn wrong.

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Jacob of TWoP, jeez. That guy disappears so far up his own ass… When a recap of BSG or (even worse) True Blood reaches 40 pages, it’s time to apply some judicious editing.

The major problem of his criticism is that he decides in his own head that he knows what the show is about better than anyone (up to and including the creators), and if something violates this then it becomes the Worst Thing Ever.

(Which, yeah, could describe most internet critics. But at least they’re shorter.)

Plus, he’s willing to overlook extraordinary moral culpability for his pet characters (e.g., Cylons and vampires who both have slaughtered countless humans) but gets all snitty if characters show prejudice against those characters. Hey, buddy — there’s a good reason people are racist against vampires!

He’s a large reason I stopped reading TWoP.

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Zifnab said on May 6th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

In fact, if you look at the totality of the Doctor’s actions, he’s something of a monster.”

More like a monster hunter. He’s no more terrible than Van Hellsing for plowing a foot of fresh cut pine into some poor elderly gentleman’s chest, or Dr. Peter Venkman for locking anthropomorphic ectoplasm in a nuclear reactor for all time.

I mean, are you really going to set “Would you kill a bunch of Daleks?” as the litmus test for humanity? That’s like chewing out Captain America for punching a Nazi.

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Haven’t seen these episodes, so I can’t say whether they’re in line with the Doctor’s usual morality, but I would like to point out the line established by the first season of the revival. He gives an alien refugee that plans to conquer Earth the option to leave or get a faceful of liquid death (it takes the death option), he lets a greedy socialite get torn apart by her own surgical obsession while he and a roomful of people stand and watch (no option for redemption offered), blew up a riftful of conquering aliens (once they revealed they’d been playing the refugee angle for pity), ordered a missile launched against a building in the middle of a crowded city in order to take out some conquering aliens, went practically rabid at the prospect of a living Dalek, blew up an alien who was controlling humanity via the news (I don’t recall him offering it a chance to surrender while it tried to kill him), calmly had dinner with a woman he was going to escort to her execution (and would have, without the least pang of guilt, if the TARDIS hadn’t supplied an alternative), and built a bomb that would fry the brains of every Dalek near it (which he only refused to use because it would also kill every human on Earth).

This is not a nice guy. This is not a guy who balks at killing when it’s needed. This is a guy you don’t cross if you like seeing what’s on TV tomorrow.

(Yes, I skipped Father’s Day and The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.)

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@Burke: You really should watch “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” – probably my favorite Eccleston episodes. :)

I’m on the fence about what the Doctor was supposed to do about the Silence, myself. On the one hand, he can be absolutely ruthless, especially with regards to the Dalek race. On the other, he seems to be ruthless only where he has a pretty good idea that he absolutely has to be.

Look at “Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks”, for instance. Once he realizes that the Dalek/Human hybrid has good, human traits, he seems quite willing to work with him, and pained when the other Daleks kill the hybrid. This might be because he simply doesn’t want to see needless death, but I honestly think it is also because he doesn’t want to kill, and the hybrid might have represented a future in which the Daleks were no longer his sworn enemy.

That’s my two cents, anyway.

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I would’ve read the Television Without Pity review of Doctor Who, but it was NINETEEN PAGES LONG. Who needs nineteen pages for a recap of any one TV episode? There didn’t seem to be any literary-style criticism, what’s taking up all that space? Admittedly, I may have just missed it, as I only read the first two pages and then the last page.

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What happens to the Silence’s corpses. Like, people will kill them, then turn away, and forget they killed them. Every house in the world will be filled with alien carcasses, rotting.

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I kind of agree on either side. The Doctor may have turned us all into weapons (as Davros says), but it’s not like he hasn’t gone this far before against a whole species.

That said, just because The Silents are to be killed on site, doesn’t mean that they’ll all be wiped out. They’re intelligent enough to get the hell outta dodge once word gets out. And the ones that are in areas that people didn’t see the broadcast would be safe for the time being.

On Confidential for this episode, Moffat has said The Silents are going to play a big role this season, so we haven’t seen the last of them.

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Fred Davis said on May 6th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

What we see is mostly the Doctor being rather a goof.

Except for that time he genocided the raknoss, who were mostly children at that point. The Doctor has literally drown the babies of an entire race beneath the Thames, and wiped out the Time Lords and accidentally killed Pliny the Elder by setting off a volcano.

Oh, and there was his treatment of the Family of Blood, where he came up with elaborate, overly prosaic, and outright horrible prisons for each of them.

Every house in the world will be filled with alien carcasses, rotting.

Actually the corpses would eventually decay to the point where the Silence effect would cease to work, at which point the question would be “oh, how did the cat get that through the catflap?”

And you thought that the cat was just bringing you a present…

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@Marc: Um…just because you haven’t seen them doesn’t mean I made them up or something. I don’t want to say that you can’t participate in the discussion until you’ve seen the whole series or something, but it might be a good idea to do some research before accusing people of “inventing episodes”. The show’s been around for going on fifty years, y’know.

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a six foot tall present in a suit?

Are we assuming it’s somehow based on their physical appearence? A hologram had the same effect, so maybe once the skin had sloughed off it’d be okay.

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@Quixim

a six foot tall present in a suit?

That would have to be a big goddamn cat to bring that in, eh? =D

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@marc – no “invented” genocide is needed. eccleston flatly states when he finds the last dalek that the daleks and the time lords burned at the emd of the time war. specifically; “i watched it happen! i /made/ it happen!”. he annihilated /his own people/ alongside the daleks to end a war that would have destroyed the universe, then when rassilon tried to break gallifrey out of the phantom zone, he trapped them all in there /again/ because they had become genocidal tyrants.

with the silence evidently responsible for last season’s big bang, not to mention being puppet masters to /all of humanity/, as well as having sent entire species fleeing in terror last season (implying that earth is hardly their only enslaved planet), yeah, they rate as a dalek / rassilon level threat.

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gnosis said on May 6th, 2011 at 8:41 pm

@Burke, I don’t think you should exclude “The Doctor Dances” from your argument. I haven’t seen the episode in ages, but as I recall the Doctor is absolutely fucking thrilled at the end of it that he can resolve the problem without violence/killing, which indicates this is not his usual method of conflict resolution.

And yeah jacob’s recaps got to be a bit too much for me on twop. It’s funny that when he recapped stuff like American Idol and the Apprentice I loved it because he was adding subtext where there was almost none, but for the scifi stuff, yeah, it just got waaaaaay too deep/self-indulgent.

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Fred Davis said on May 6th, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Gnosis – Or it’s evidence that a man who’s somewhat shellshocked by the time war, who’s solved every other episode up to this point by kicking things in the head or making them go boom, is delighted that this time, even if it turns out to only be this time, everyone gets to live!

OT I just went and got myself a sandwich even though I don’t really want one right now. Can’t be arsed to go put it back now, guess I’ll just put it down by my mouse… not that you care, just felt it was important to mention it. n/m. ANYHOO…

a six foot tall present in a suit?

Cats have a tendency to leave the unidentifiable bits of something scattered across the house they live in – until you mentioned the issue of clearing up the bodies of the Silence I had assumed they were the parts of some normal terrestrial prey species that it had caught, rather than something we’d killed.

Are we assuming it’s somehow based on their physical appearence? A hologram had the same effect, so maybe once the skin had sloughed off it’d be okay.

Well even if it’s all due to a psychic Somebody Else’s Problem Field like the one the tardis has, at some point in the degredation the effect would cease, unless it’s some weird radiation that clings to even the atoms that make them up, but if that was the case then bits of Silences that died of natural or accidental causes would be floating all about the atmosphere, and everyone would occasionally find themselves losing little bits of time as Silence particulates float through their line of sight, dance on a breeze, and then go out of sight.

Huh, I can’t find the sandwich anywhere I look now. And it’s really late, I kinda needed to get to sleep like a few hours ago but for some reason felt compelled to keep typing anyway like an idiot. Not that that’s on topic or anythingihaveamirror so it cant ho out of sight now, triong to touchtypeonehaded its candle jack cande jack is

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Not to distract from the serious talk, but you guys should see this comic on this very subject:

http://i.imgur.com/GVbXM.jpg

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Just looked up the TWOP reviews because of what you all have said, and at first I thought you were being too harsh. After all, he’s given an A or B to nearly everything. Then I read some of his review of 6.1 and holy Rassilon, that guy’s an asshole.

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Salieri said on May 7th, 2011 at 10:44 am

Of course, the Silent survivors might just be nice/organised enough to tidy up their fallen comrade’s remains when Earth’s populations are asleep…

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@Andre: I’ve seen them, and very much enjoy them. I left them out because they weren’t examples of the Doctor killing the crap out of the monster of the week. But as gnosis points out, the Doctor is thrilled at the end of “Dances” when he doesn’t end the day atop a pile of corpses for once. It seems to suggest even he knows how often he kills.

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@Burke: Oh, my bad! When you said you skipped them, I thought you meant that you’d never watched them.

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The way I see it, he didn’t quite trigger a jihad… after all, no one is going to actively hunt The Silence. I’d say it’s more like he forced them into retreat. Yes, there will certainly be deaths, which is tragic in its own right. But by and large, I’d guess that the majority of Silence will simply flee into hiding. After all, they saw the broadcast too. They know perfectly well that they better get the Hell out of Dodge.

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@Andre: No problem, I realized after your comment that I’d been unclear.

And you have a point with Manhattan/Evolution; the Doctor certainly doesn’t like to kill, and would much prefer to solve his various problems without resorting to violence… but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to do it when it’s necessary, which it so often apparently is. That is perhaps his curse and his tragedy.

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Nice commentary there. A couple of points.

I never thought of the Doctor as humane or–what’s the opposite of ruthless? Ruthful? He has a soft spot for humanity (and, often, creatures in need) and tends to favor peace, but he’s always been able to summon his inner badass.

Concerning the suggestion itself; it’s established in the current Doctor Who-niverse (see: The Christmas Invasion and the first real, full appearance of the tenth doctor) that hypnosis only works up to a point. The Sycorax, remember, used A-pos blood to control human beings and threatened to send everyone under their control leaping from rooftops; the first thing Doctor Ten did was press the button, breaking the spell, because “You can hypnotize people into clucking like a chicken and walking like a chicken but you can’t hypnotize them to death.”

Which is more an argument for self-preservation, I realize, but he didn’t say “You can’t hypnotize them to suicide.” He said “To death,” and there are certain theories with regard to hypnosis and psychology that no matter how open one is to hypnotic suggestions (and that’s a trait that differs among people, too), people can’t be hypnotized into doing something they are deeply opposed to. So for example, one couldn’t be compelled to kill someone else unless one really actually wanted to kill someone else and had a certain capacity for murder.

That’s probably parsing this way too deeply, but I would hypothesize that there’s a substantial portion of the population resistant to the suggestion because “You can’t be hypnotized to death.”

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Candlejack said on May 9th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

So, Will, you’re saying that every person who follows the suggestion and attacks a Silent really, deeply, just wants to kill somebody who looks different? I mean, nobody can remember enough about the Silents to have any personal grudge against them, so to be okay with killing them, you’d have to be okay with killing anybody who looks kind of scary.

I’m not saying people in the real world aren’t like that; but doesn’t Doctor Who usually have a more elevated take on humanity?

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@John Seavey
“Oh, and for the record, since I’ve seen it elsewhere, a Weeping Angel/Silent fight would be anti-climactic. The second the Silent looked away…the Angel would still be looking at the Silent, and hence able to send it back in time. Afterward, of course, it’d wonder why it felt so full…”

Or the Silent could just walk behind the Angel whilst it was frozen.

Of course then the Angel wouldn’t be able to remember being observed so then… ARGH, icecreamheadache

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That wasn’t what I was saying at all, Candlejack, and I wasn’t talking about appearance, just hypnotic suggestion and the idea that one–in general, according to most theories of hypnosis I’ve heard–one can’t be hypnotized into, for example, committing a crime.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I saw the episode, but I seem to remember it ended on that shot of a Silent in the hallway outside the oval office, and one of the Secret Service men seeing it, implying the Silent was in danger. But of course, a Secret Service agent would kill a threat; that’s what they’re trained to do.

But no, I wasn’t saying it had anything to do with appearance. I was just noting that hypnosis is an inexact science (if it is one at all), and the threat of the suggestion might do more to drive the Silence away than the suggestion itself. Personally, I’d hypothesize that most people wouldn’t follow the suggestion, but I would also hypothesize that some would. For those who would be a threat to the Silence, I think it would be less about the appearance of the Silence (whether “different” or “kind of scary”); I’d wager it would be those like the Secret Service agent. Maybe soldiers in the armed services.

Not everyone has to follow the suggestion to be a threat. Really, just the potential that someone *might* follow the suggestion might be threat enough to keep the Silence out of sight.

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Candlejack said on May 10th, 2011 at 3:33 am

Fair enough, although I’m unconvinced that “People who have always been inclined to shoot you will now definitely shoot you” is much of a threat. *shrug*

(Now that I’m thinking of it, I’m a little curious why Secret Service agents don’t shoot aliens intruders walking around the White House on sight already. I’m really not much of a Who fan, but I don’t recall as how aliens on Earth have ever been up to much good–with the exception of the Doctor himself, of course.)

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Afterthought/speculation: The Silence caused the World Trade Center crashes in order to arrange for counterprogramming against the Doctor’s rebroadcast of Steve’s flub

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Scavenger said on May 11th, 2011 at 3:12 am

My thought is, using that comic http://i.imgur.com/GVbXM.jpg for names….what if Steve was just a huge jerk. The Silence by and large are just gardners and caretakers…they, not elves, fix the cobler’s shoes…stuff like that…..and Steve is just this asshole who screws with people.

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‘Silence will fall’ was said by the Big Bad at the end of last season. I’m assuming that is now ‘Silents Will Fall’ so I’m kinda assuming that if the being who blew up the Tardis said it, it can’t be a good thing. Maybe The Silents were doing evil, awful things to keep something worse in check…

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Liesmith said on May 16th, 2011 at 11:15 am

The thing that most people seem to be overlooking is that this *isn’t* genocide if the Silence doesn’t want it to be.

Humans were directed to kill the Silence “on sight”. What’s to stop members of the Silence from just throwing on oversized burkas and conversing like any other alien?

If their presence on Earth is eradicated, it’s only because they themselves chose not to set aside their crown.

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