Welcome to Day 15 of my 47-day series about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present). I’ve come up with 47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program. Each day (or as often as I can actually write these–so far so good!) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.
Why 47? It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who? It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only? Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff? Because really, I write enough snark.
Today is Day #15, and around and around goes the Random Number Generator, and without any false starts this time (the first time in a while), we get number 20, which means the topic of the day is this:
“Most Awesome Victory”
One of the things that the modern Doctor Who series has brought is lots of powerful moments of winning for the Doctor. The monsters are fierce and the circumstances bleak, but it’s a thrill to see the ways the Doctor pulls victory out from the darkness. Generally, these moments have been the strongest when coming from the pen of Steven Moffat, who is not everyone’s cup of tea but for my thinking is certainly the cleverest of Doctor Who writers, and thus he often shows us the cleverest Doctor.
Like many things on this list, you could easily put Moffat’s The Day of the Doctor into this entry, as the joint effort of all the Doctors to save Gallifrey certainly must rank as one of the most significant things he’s ever accomplished, at least from the perspective of the character (and also, the fan).
But my favorite is another Moffat entry, one that came a couple of years earlier…
The Doctor defeats the Silence in The Day of the Moon
Certainly, the Doctor’s conflict with the Silence in 1969 earth ranks as one where the monsters were fierce and the circumstances bleak. The Silence held the earth in their grip and it seemed no one could stop them, since no one could actually remember them once they were not looking. How was the Doctor going to set his favorite planet free?
With the help of Neil Armstrong’s boot, he announces to his friends at the start of the episode, and over the course of things we find out just what he was talking about. The Doctor manages to get a recording of the Silence, who give hypnotic commands into people’s minds by speaking to them, announcing that humans should kill them on sight. Then he inserts that visual into midst of one of the most watched pieces of video ever: the Apollo 11 moon landing. Instantly, the hypnotic suggestion takes effect and humans around the world rise up to the planet back from their oppressors.
“And that’s one whacking great kick up the backside for the Silence!”
The Doctor follows this pronouncement up with a victory speech delivered in inimitable Matt Smith style:
You just raised an army against yourself and now, for a thousand generation, you’re going to be ordering them to destroy you every day. How fast can you run? Because today’s the day the human race throw you off their planet. They won’t even know they’re doing it. I think, quite possibly, the word you’re looking for right now…is “oops.”
Of course, its all fiction, because there never were any Silence and the video of the moon landing doesn’t include any such recording. Or does it? How would we know?
Click here for a master list for this series.