Doctor Who

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: F | 4 USERS: C+
YOU GRADE IT
Starwhales Should Be Afraid Of Their People

Video screen guy goes, "You are here because you want to know the truth about this Starship, and I am talking to you because you're entitled to know. When this presentation has finished, you will have a choice. You may either Protest or Forget. If you choose to Protest, understand this: If just 1% of the population of this ship do likewise, the program will be discontinued, with consequences for you all. If you choose to accept the situation -- 'and we hope that you will -- then press the Forget button. All the information I am about to give you will be erased from your memory. You will continue to enjoy the safety and amenities of Starship UK, unburdened by the knowledge of what has been done to save you."

Which is lovely, and not that far off -- in reality or showtime -- from the ugliness perpetrated in "The Long Game." The difference being that, in this case, it doesn't mean a whole lot and in that story it was the key to everything. What he's saying has already been said, and better, by the Doctor earlier in the episode. And since we're begging the question -- the healing of Albion, literally -- there should be some payoff, I mean, this is the legitimate and fundamental truth of government. You walk away from Omelas or you don't. But this fundamental concept of being an aware and adult human becomes -- like so much of the beautiful and meaningful concepts in this episode -- one more awesome fuckin' idea. Omelas is equal to Smilers and Winders and Smile-Winders and STARWHALE!s and Abdication and Liz 10 and everything else.

We do choose to Forget. And kids watching this episode, they deserve to see a story where there's a Big Red Button (remember?) labeled FORGET, so that ten years from now they'll think, Ah, just like that wonderful story with the Smilers and Winders. I should always choose PROTEST rather than FORGET. But this episode itself is so shitty, and fans of this show are so ridiculously hidebound and needy, that the message gets lost. A person who chooses PROTEST in terms of this shitty episode? They need to be silenced, attacked, hated, vilified; their foster home history and sexual trauma and Amazon Wishlist all need to be revisited, real-life shit needs to be attacked, just to silence anybody that says, "Occasionally this fictional franchise doesn't meet the high bar, or the low one." It's more important to go along with the crowd -- within the tiny, silly, self-selected, virginal, hateful crew -- than it is to have thoughts or opinions that run counter to the voice of LINDA. No wonder this episode was so divisive! Drink the sand, or don't drink at all.

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Doctor Who

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