To me they look like Moffat is making a point, and he wouldn’t be the first showrunner to pick a point and make it over and over again. Just look. The point is: emotion is a good thing.
If you pay attention, you’ll catch him also making the point that it’s not good to let emotions run amok. I should probably make a list, but one immediate example is the Doctor’s fury in A Good Man Goes to War, what Vastra has to say about it and where it leads.
Moffat comes from a culture where people stuff their feelings and praise intellect. I come from a culture where, arguably, the reverse is the case. I think Moffat’s trying to show how these extremes are not good, that we need to value our aspects and balance them.
One of the things I just adore about Matt Smith is that when he’s not being the Doctor – or any other character – he’s being Matt Smith. Here’s someone who is just so completely himself, I can’t help but love it. Whenever I see him in interviews and clips from cons and stuff, he wins me over on his own delightful merits. That’s brilliant!
Aside: as an image junkie, I don’t like it when people take promotional pictures for various actors and stick them into story settings to pass them off as whatever character they played in that setting. Here’s an example pertinent to Matt:
This is not Matt playing the Doctor. This is Matt doing whatever he was doing at the time – I don’t even know if he’s in a character here or doing a modeling shot or what. It’s not about costume or makeup; otherwise we wouldn’t be able to recognize the Doctor when he’s wearing something else. It’s about acting.
Acting isn’t about saying words and doing actions. It’s about being someone else for awhile, and there’s a whole ball of stuff involved in that. Mannerisms, hangups, psychological stuff. A test of a really good actor, to me, is to take a picture of someone in character and someone out. The pictures should be different. If they’re not, they’re doing it wrong.
Wow, my aside took over the whole post. Back to the point, what made me think about Matt Smith being himself is this Q&A from MCM’s London Comic Con:
In one of the specials recently aired on BBC America, someone mentioned that if the Doctor asked him where they should go, he would not have an answer, not knowing what’s available. On the menu, as it were. I’ve noticed myself that the Doctor asks it of each new companion but they don’t ever have an answer. I may not know what exists to choose from, but I know what I’d ask for. Here’s my list of possibilities, so far:
I want to meet the kindest people and the silliest people and the most artistic people.
I want to see what hydrogen breathers do for sports and recreation.
I want to see the biggest waterfall ever. Doesn’t necessarily have to be water.
I want to watch the most beautiful peace in the universe being forged at the end of bitter war.
I want to meet people made of crystal.
I want to learn a handcraft developed by people who have fewer fingers than I do.
I want to visit a restaurant staffed by non-human chefs who nevertheless have expert knowledge on what we can and cannot eat, whose alien frame of reference will introduce me to flavors I cannot at all imagine, without poisoning me.
I want to safely witness a supernova.
I want to visit free-floating colonies in space, some human and some not and some with mixtures of races.
I want to meditate with sentient trees.
I want to see the insides of hollow planets.
I want to follow a flock of migratory deep-space lifeforms.
I want to teach rock-paper-scissors to alien children.
I want to teach the chicken dance to giant spiders.
I want to learn religious ceremonies of people whose concept of religion might be impossible for an ape like me to grasp.
I want to meet every kind of people that people might be.
I can’t imagine everything, but I can imagine a start. As long as there’s a start, one thing leads to another. As Bilbo Baggins once said, it’s a dangerous business, going out your front door. He warns that the door leads to the path, the path to the gate, the gate to the road, and on and on. I have always felt that to be true, which is why I never settle down, but only pause for a bit, in a place for a time. It goes on and on.
Imagine it. All of time and space. All you need is a start.
So one of my comments for Blogtor Who Commentaries was bleeped on the podcast. The bleeped word was “wank”. This caused me some disquiet. I’m not upset at Sandy and Cameron, not at all. I’m a little upset at me. Maybe.
I don’t mind being a bit rude, but I do mind being more than just a teensy bit offensive. I don’t really want to cross the bleep barrier. And it’s really weird when you belong to a language/culture group that goes around appropriating other people’s words and using them willy-nilly, as my language/culture group does.
When I was homeschooling my boys once upon a time, one exercise we did was giant post-its on the walls of the dining room whereupon we categorized types of offensive speech. Blasphemy was there. Profanity was there. Racial slurs, rude words, and other expressions that will get your ass kicked.
I don’t think “wank” or “wanker” were on any of the lists, but I still think in these categories. On my mental post-its, these words are slightly higher than “crap” and “ass” but a bit below “douchebag” on the “rude words” list. I have to now wonder if they belong on the “profanity” list, along with the f-bomb. By the way the f-bomb is one of my favorite words in the universe, but you’re not likely to catch it here, because of what list it’s on and what other lists I’d like this site to be on.
In context, this word was originally chosen by another person to convey the idea that some emotional content in Doctor Who is there simply to gratify the parts of the human brain that want it, not to necessarily further the plot or theme or whatever aspect of a TV show one would describe as its value. The idea is that some emotional content is gratuitous. The “monsters and wank” rating is supposed to serve as a warning for people who hold similar opinions or otherwise are allergic to too much touchy-feely.
Is “wank” rude or is it profane? Should this rating be called something else? If so, what? I thought about calling it “monsters and crap” but while that maintains the worthlessness concept, it loses the desirable gratuitous stimulation aspect, and that’s sort of key.
River: Hello Sweetie.
The Doctor: What have you done?!
River: Well I think I just drained my weapons systems.
The Doctor: But this is fixed! This is a fixed point in time!
River: Time is not the boss of me. Rule 408.
I want to ask Chameleon Circuit if they’re going to do one called “Time is Not The Boss of Me”. Or maybe “The Rules”.
Human echo of an ancient race.
Corkscrew hair. Mischief face.
Psychopath on the grip end of a gun.
Kiss of poison, kiss of dreams.
Sometimes handcuffs, tears or screams.
Burning eyes and you just watch us run.
What does it do to a boy to watch a girl give her life,
When she knows his deepest secret, when she might be his wife?