Day of the Moon(6x02)
“Oh, and this is my friend, River. Nice hair, clever, has own gun, and unlike me, she really doesn’t mind shooting people. I shouldn’t like that. Kind of do.”
So, this quote has been bothering me for a very long time, and I want to write it all out of…
The Doctor uses violence when necessary, and he will have other people perform violent acts if needs be, as he does here.
How does the face that he doesn’t use guns make him a better person? How does it even matter? He still has to use violence a good portion of the time to destroy his enemies, so he doesn’t use a gun himself, and your point? He will still destroy you using violence if he has to.
Notice the hypocrisy there?
He won’t use guns, but he will use violence, because that makes so much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.
In the Sontaran two-parter his hypocrisy is addressed because he berates the soldiers for carrying guns, but then, as per his plan, he goes to the Sontaran ship to destroy them and sacrifice himself, but the point is: he still intends to destroy them. No, he doesn’t use a gun, but he intends to go up there and destroy a threat to Earth.
The Doctor’s Daughter shows just how hypocritical he is when it comes to this:
In Army of Ghosts he and Rose have this exchange:
Rose: Doctor, they’ve got guns.
Doctor: And I don’t. And that makes me the better person, don’t you think? They can shoot me dead, but the moral high ground is mine.
and then you go forward to The Doctor’s Daughter where Jenny even questions and states how hypocritical he is when it comes to this
Doctor: There was a war.
Jenny: Like this one?
He laughs at the absurdity of the comparison.
Doctor: Bigger. Much bigger.
Jenny: And you fought? And killed?
Doctor (darkly): Yes.
Jenny: Then how are we different?
The Doctor has no moral high ground when it comes to not using guns or violence. He was a soldier, he fought and he killed during the Time War. He tries to move away from it, he tries to be peaceful, scaring the Sycorax away from Earth and threatening the Atraxi into never coming back, but in the end did he have to use means of violcence those two times?
He fought the Sycorax soldier and killed him because there are no second chances, and in the case of the Atraxi he scared them off by having them watch what he was capable of.
Moral high ground he has? Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Back onto the subject of The Doctor’s Daughter, what does Jenny do for most of the episode?
She carries a gun because in her mind that’s the right thing to do and it’s what she’s supposed to do, because that’s what a soldier does: they fight, and they kill their enemies.
Notice something familiar there?
They fight: Daleks (Daleks, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of Daleks, Journey’s End), Cybermen(Age of Steel), The Family (Family of Blood)Sontarans (The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky)
They kill: Daleks (DiM/EoD, Journey’s End), Cybermen (Age of Steel), Sontarans (The Poison Sky)
And those are just some examples off of the top of my head.
The Doctor that kills the Daleks in Journey’s End is not necessarily Ten, but it’s his clone who is right back at the start of it all, kind of the same place he was at in Dalek but a bit more advanced.
The Doctor doesn’t kill the Family, oh no, he gives them exactly what they wanted. He gives them immortality in the cruelest of ways, he makes them suffer while they’re living forever.
See the hypocrisy of it all yet?
And let’s just talk about the times where he is totally fine with people carrying guns, or he at least doesn’t whine about them onscreen -
But first, for the sake of argument, here’s a few people who carried guns in ClassicWho, two of which were his best friends:
And now NewWho (not counting River)
All three of which were in The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End.
Hell, Rose comes running to him with her big gun strapped to her.
Jack and Mickey then proceed to take out Daleks for the rest of the episode.
Not once does he tell them not to, in fact he’s perfectly fine with it, just not his duplicate destroying all of them like he did.
Oh, he was also perfectly fine using the gun in End of Time, just felt the need to point that out. He didn’t take it at first, but when it came down to it he sure as hell was willing to use it. Whether it was on The Master or Rassilon, he was still going to use it on one of them before he shot the machine.
Now what does he do in DotM?
Let’s see: there’s a threat to Earth and he intends to have them destroyed.
So he threatens River on them, because if things go bad and they don’t have a chance to get out of there someone is going to need to kill them so they can get out alive. And River has only used a gun twice to kill, besides destroying his hats, on a Dalek that “killed” him and the 8-9 Silence that were in that room. And the only other time was when the astronaut suit was controlling her movements and she had no choice but to shoot the Doctor, but that wasn’t voluntary so it doesn’t actually count.
River carries a gun because she knows that the situation may call for needing a getaway, she only carries if for protection, and the destruction of his hats, but she doesn’t go off shooting people unless it’s been decided that it’s completely necessary because of the threat level. And a Dalek that has just killed the Doctor and a room full of Silence that have been manipulating human history, and who also experimented on her as a child and forced her into the astronaut suit, are a pretty big threat level.
That’s not a far cry from something Ten would have done, he probably wouldn’t have so blatantly said “She has a gun, don’t make give her the order” but he wouldn’t have objected in the end.
You also have the fact that Eleven has moved on from the Time War, I know what a concept it’s not like he never changes, because he can’t be stuck on repeat like he was with Ten. He’s closed the door on that chapter in his life, if it pops up he deals with it, but he doesn’t really have the need to stay in that state of mind forever. And if he did, it would just get repetitive and boring, the fact that he’s moved on has been refreshing.
But you see that it still lingers, in The Doctor’s Wife he was so thrilled that there was a possibility that there could still be other Time Lord’s out there because he wants to be forgiven for it all.
So there is no reason that this scene is OOC, in fact, it’s really in character. He uses violence to get his way, he’s done it plenty of times before.
This is where I start:
I have to disagree, actually. The point is not that the Doctor doesn’t use violence; he does. The point is that being turned on by River using a gun is out of character. I am not arguing that the Doctor is a better person because he tries not use a gun or violence. That scene in DotM was not just referring to River using a gun against the silence, it was about her using a gun in general. The Doctor only uses violence when he’s tried every other way, so the Doctor enjoying River’s gun usage is out of character.
Furthermore, though we see the Doctor use a gun/violence in s1-s4, he is clearly suffering as he does so, often ready to sacrifice his own life in addition to those he has to kill. The manner in which he says that he likes River using a gun is far different from the way he acts in the face of guns in previous seasons.
See, I wasn’t trying to argue that the Doctor can’t be a hypocrite because he can be. But through the Doctor’s own mind, guns are off limits. It may not be very smart, given that he does use violence when necessary, but guns have been embedded in his mind as the symbol of such violence. And the “I never would” line in TDD really solidifies that he believes not using guns is going to make him a better person, not that it actually does.
I would even say that his genocide of the Silence is somewhat OCC, not because he kills them, but the manner in which he does so. Almost every time we see the Doctor kill, we get a sense of his suffering in doing so. With the Sycorax you mention, he kills the leader because it was going to kill him. He spares the rest and yells at Harriet Jones for committing genocide.
I don’t want to address every thing you mentioned because that would take a long time, but I do want to address The End of Time. You say that he was “perfectly fine using the gun in End of Time, just felt the need to point that out. He didn’t take it at first, but when it came down to it he sure as hell was willing to use it.” Well, the point there is that he didn’t use the gun; RTD was able to keep him in character by using another means than killing. That moment is the epitome who the Doctor (specifically Ten) is; he is willing to use violence if he has to, but he suffers in doing so, and he will find any other way.
So, basically… it’s not that River uses a gun that I find strange. It’s not that the Doctor has to use violence. It’s the manner in which he does so. He is clearly more whimsical and, as I mentioned, even turned on there than any other time he sees a gun. The Doctor is a hypocrite. It isn’t about seeing things as the audience does, it’s about seeing things as he does and how he could react. Because, in his mind, guns are this symbol that he has created in his mind that equals all the wrong he’s ever done, all the genocide he’s committed, all the people who have died in his name. It’s not OCC for him to kill, but it is OCC for him to have pleasure in others doing it.