When the Doctor Needs a Doctor

Kill the Moon has certainly spurred a lot of discussion/argument amongst fandom.  Whether you like/love the episode, respect it, or perhaps even loathe it, the decision by the Doctor to leave (or trust) Clara to make the right decision, even at the cost of being told-off at the end of the story, does tend to represent the most ‘un-Doctorish’ behavior yet from a Doctor who has been every bit as un-user friendly as had been promised.

This got us to thinking about other stories throughout 50+ years where the Doctor was about as ‘un-Doctorish’ as in Kill the Moon.  We won’t claim this list is even remotely comprehensive, as these are subjective judgments anyway, but these were the stories where the Doctor could use a Doctor himself.  Also, for these purposes, we’re consciously staying away from doppelganger stories.  We talked about them here.

  • An Unearthly Child  Hard to claim any initial story would be un-Doctorish, but this first Doctor certainly had an edge.  Quite the anti-hero.
  • The Edge of Destruction  A continuation from An Unearthly Child really, but anytime the Doctor borders on the murderous it seems alarming and out of context.
  • The Power of the Daleks  The first post-regeneration story was a jolt for both cast and public alike.  Troughton was such a change from Hartnell anyone could be forgiven for saying he was not the Doctor, at least until episode 6.
  • The Seeds of Doom  This was Tom Baker perhaps at his most alien.  And violent.  A great story on the whole but this also feels a bit like a story from some another series.
  • The Invasion of Time  A deliberate feint for four of the six episodes as the Doctor was decidedly out-of character trying to deceive the Vardans.
  • Mindwarp  Manipulated evidence from the ‘Trial of a Timelord’ didn’t show the Doctor exactly at his best.
  • Human Nature / The Family of Blood  The Doctor was locked away in a watch whilst human John Smith blundered through life and love.
  • The Waters of Mars  The last Time Lord might have been victorious, but is was also out-of-character.  He was also regretful about it in The End of Time Pt I.

We suspect that as in The Waters of Mars the Capaldi Doctor will have reached a ‘low point’ in Kill the Moon and will begin a redemptive journey in ‘Mummy on the Orient Express.’

At least we hope so.