Dr who saving the environment? Whether or not you are a Dr Who fan or into Sci Fi at all, it is hard not to see the parallells. After all, ‘explore new worlds and new forms of life’, often because Planet Earth has become decimnated and is now ‘unliveable’. Sound familiar/like the environmental castastrophe at its worst case scenario? this is actually from ‘star trek’
In this episode the population of Planet UK is living on a floating scenario, in ‘levels’ – basically skyscrapers. The ‘planet’ is travelling through space with the aid of and on the back of a giant whale-type creature.
1. In order to cope with a expanding population, would we be willing to live in a skyscaper?
2. Is it, any circumstances, morally accetable to use an animal for human endeavour (essentially, ‘vivisection’)?
What do you think?
Dr Who Offical Website http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw
The Guardian’s response: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2010/apr/10/doctor-who-the-beast-below
“Is that how it works, Doctor, you don’t interfere with affairs of peoples or planets unless there’s children crying?”
Amy Pond’s maiden voyage is, on the surface at least, one for the kids. It’s all broad flourishes charged with the childlike wonder of seeing outer space for the first time. And the sight of a spaceship in a far future full of London Underground logos and modern-day school uniforms is the sort of thing that gets fans past puberty into wailing paroxysms of “No! The 29th century just isn’t like that!” (Granted, that might just be me.)
The Beast Below looks for all the world like a RTD story: a Technicolor morality play light on intricate plotting and heavy on modern moral parallels. But Moffat still conjures some magical ideas and takes the characters exactly where they need to go – rather than simply going in the Starship UK and putting the bad thing right, relationships are tested and solidified by differing reactions to what’s going on in there. With echoes of Donna Noble’s “Sometimes I think you need someone to stop you,” it’s only Amy who works out that once again (and this is becoming a Moffat trope) nobody has to die. Amy’s not nearly as badass this week – although you wouldn’t be, would you?
The anti-vivisection message does seem to get lost somewhere along the way – the ship’s inhabitants seem to get off with little more than a ticking off and a promise never to be so beastly ever again. But manatees are just inherently funny. Four out of five, we’re saying.
“You don’t ever decide what I need to know!”
The rage with which the Doctor reacts to a mistake that Amy doesn’t even remember making comes as a timely reminder of the weight of responsibility he carries, and that his instincts aren’t necessarily human, or even humane – something that definitely got lost toward the end of the Tennant era. (Tennant would also have given the poor girl a chance to get dressed – and he was supposed to be the all-hands Doctor.)
Neither does the Doctor fully understand things, or even himself, right away. The whole story hinges on Amy recognising in the starwhale, as in the Doctor, “something old and that kind, and alone”. It looks like that’s how the relationship between the Doctor and Amy is going to play out – which is just as well, seeing that as well as having those space-manatee qualities, this Doctor also thinks its sensible to pickpocket little girls in corridors for clues.