Doctor Who: Let’s Kill Craig

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I'm not a huge "Doctor Who" fan, but I can say I agree with this analysis, but it's not a problem with just "Doctor Who" but with a lot of fantasy in general... that sappy things are tossed in that make no real sense, especially when it comes down to the love of a single parent for a child or that of a couple of soul mates standing against some universal threat or whatever. Even though it wasn't the first source to have this problem (by a long shot) I tend to think of it as "The Harry Potter Complex", where the same basic thing happened, the big "answer" to why Voldemort failed to kill him and wound up taking himself out was that Harry's mother loved him and it added power to her spells at a crucial moment... which is the same basic "WTF" occurance as we're seeing here given that Voldemort was pretty much on a massive slaughtering rampage, and what happened there (him killing a whole family) was not unusual other than this specific backlash. It's like saying noone else's mother loved their murdered children or died trying to save them.....

At any rate with "Doctor Who" at least they have the abillity to fix things to some extent given the time travel elements of the show. There might have been something going on there that we weren't otherwise seeing that could be inserted into the show to be clever. Say down the road with a differant Doctor they could pull Craig's actor out as a special guest star, show an alternate take of the whole scene where the logical thing happens, but reveal that at some other point The Doctor has an oppertunity to intervene there in some sneaky way, sabotaged the process, but the Doctor at that point wouldn't have known... or whatever. I doubt the writers really care that much, given that it was doubtlessly just a filler episode to help pad out a season.

Yeah, I was kind of irritated. At the beginning of the episode the Doctor refuses to let Craig get involved because it's dangerous and we's trying to turn over a new leaf so he stops ruining peoples lives - something he seems to have cone pretty consistently. Sure, he repeatedly saves the world but in Let's Kill Hitler The Doctor had to face projections of his last few companions from Rose to Amy and felt bad about all of them - except young Amy, before he ruined everything.

It's like there was a tipping point there, the episode balanced on a point where The Doctor basically explained this to Craig because (as we find out later) he plans to go meet his fate at Lake Silencio and needs to stop being a hero and getting invovled because he's not going to be around much longer. If The Doctor had learned ANYTHING from the rest of the season he would've persisted and sent Craig packing.

Then he blackslides, learns nothing, nearly gets Craig killed and JUST when you think Craig being converted to a Cyberman might have drilled through The Doctor's thick skull, Love ex Machina saves the day and the Cybermen are defeated. Again.

Cody Holden:
Eleven Doctors in, and NOW we're going to start hating episodes because of plot holes? Come on dude, wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff. These probably aren't even that version of the Cybermen anyhow. There have been many different versions of every recurring Big Bad in Who, and during every appearance the rules have changed ever so slightly.

I couldn't agree more!

Susan Arendt... Shhhhhhh!!

(Insert comment here)

Nonono! Shhhhhh!!!

My favorite part of the episode, by far! (grins)

Well firstly, as you pointed out, it would have been a disturbing mood shift for this episode, and secondly I think it would have worked if it hadn't been so corny.

This isn't the first time the power of love has been used to save someone, but on the other hand I would rate this worse than Victory of the Daleks, but for the greater opposition to narrative flow, not because it feels like a cop out.

Also, I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that the Doctor destroys families is a current theme, considering in the two cases mentioned the Doctor's harm has been at least equalled by the positive things he has done for those same families.

Kermi:
Yeah, I was kind of irritated. At the beginning of the episode the Doctor refuses to let Craig get involved because it's dangerous and we's trying to turn over a new leaf so he stops ruining peoples lives - something he seems to have cone pretty consistently. Sure, he repeatedly saves the world but in Let's Kill Hitler The Doctor had to face projections of his last few companions from Rose to Amy and felt bad about all of them - except young Amy, before he ruined everything.

It's like there was a tipping point there, the episode balanced on a point where The Doctor basically explained this to Craig because (as we find out later) he plans to go meet his fate at Lake Silencio and needs to stop being a hero and getting invovled because he's not going to be around much longer. If The Doctor had learned ANYTHING from the rest of the season he would've persisted and sent Craig packing.

Then he blackslides, learns nothing, nearly gets Craig killed and JUST when you think Craig being converted to a Cyberman might have drilled through The Doctor's thick skull, Love ex Machina saves the day and the Cybermen are defeated. Again.

Except thats not what it was about.

The point of this episode wasn't that the doctor needs to stop involving bystanders and ruining their lives. Its about how he feels responsible for it.
This was also the point in The God Complex.

Now what's changed is that in this episode Craig explains to the doctor that he wouldn't want to have it any other way than to be involved. I.E.

Its NOT the doctors call what other people do. THAT is his god complex, not that he tries to save everyone.

The point of the episode isn't a learning experience for the doctor where he needs to go

"Yes I am responsible for the suffering of all my companions - i must protect them by staying away"

Its the polar opposite. Its the realization that he should stop treating his companions like children, they sign up (largely) by their own volition. He is not God and its NOT his call what others decide to do.

After all, remember Martha Jones? Or Sarah Jane? They went on to fight intergalactic forces -without- the doctor, out of their own volition. Martha became a part of UNIT and almost blew up the earth once.

They are responsible adults, they do what they want.

Putting Craig in this episode was brilliant, BECAUSE he comes over as a bumbling idiot (in that "who's the baby in this episode anywho" sense), except hes not, he knows exactly what could happen to him if the Doctor is around. And the Doctor needs to accept that its not his fault if he can't save everyone. And most of all

BELIEVE in his companions. TRUST them like an adult.

Craig knows exactly that even if the Doctor is The Oncoming Storm, it is always safest at the -center- of it, its his call to join him.

Actually:

After he basically rebooted the whole universe from the contents of a little box, i wonder why we do not see the after effects of that.

Surely such an event does not simply pass by without leaving some problems behind.

I mean, the Doctors Ride basically fcked up all of creation when it went kabloee. No extra planar society raising an eyebrow to that? no?

Or the Timelords Notion of "oh hey, lets murder time and win!" which still is very much intact inside that time bubble that is keeping all those happenings nicely bottled up?

I think the question whether the doctor is a saviour or a menace has been answered already - remember this is not the first time he brought someone into a dangerzone. Every Companion so far ended up in their troubles because of the doctor (and some paid dearly for it - and yes i call living forever a hefty price to pay), that concept simply is nothing new for the show and just sacrificing a doofus while said doofus' kid is crying in the background just to hammer home the point that the doctor acts irresponsible? no. No thank you. I do not need that. And i do not think the audience needs that.

Why are you ignoring the complete counter to your argument anyway?

How often was humanity, and the rest of creation, spared some horrible fate simply BECAUSE the doctor acted like he did? Stumbling into a some plot of doom not because he went looking but because his tardis and the actions of his companions led him onto the case?

Martha Jones not being in unit because of what happened in doomsday? No doctor stopping the sontarans.
Without the doctor taking rose with him on a journey through time we would not have had Jack. Without jack no local Torchwood ready to stop the sontarans when the doctor would simply not be there.

When a lone dalek dragged the creator of the daleks out of the time war, and said creator prepared his reality bomb, it was donna, again a companion dragged through some very bad moments that saved the day. Oh and jack, who kept the doctors hand, because jack had a reason to since he was made immortal and desperately needed an answer to his question, hence him keeping the hand as a doctor detector.

So the question whether the doctor is a saviour or a destroyer is mood - he is both. Like a river he means life for some, and death for others. But its not intentional in the form of him throwing people into the maws of the next best monster just to see if he can save them in time.

So rather than spending air time on an already answered question (and i'm not even taking into account the old series, largely due to it being unavailable to me at affordable rates ^^) time should be spend on answering some more important ones?

Who blew the tardis?
When will we see the irregularities which must have popped up rearing their heads?
Remember when the doctor got, well, fckn shot near a lake? And died. And apparently got his corpse "vadered" (incinerated)?

A little bit more important i think. And more interesting.

Cody Holden:
Eleven Doctors in, and NOW we're going to start hating episodes because of plot holes? Come on dude, wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff. These probably aren't even that version of the Cybermen anyhow. There have been many different versions of every recurring Big Bad in Who, and during every appearance the rules have changed ever so slightly.

You do realise that "first article" doesn't automatically mean "first complaint," right? Also, saying "time is funny like that" to explain away bad writing is a pretty weak argument.

Craig should have died, not because of his character but because the running theme in this half-series has been the consequences of the Doctors actions. By having companions he exposes people to danger, when saving people its usually him that gets them into danger.

The Doctor has to save people but sometimes he doesn't always manage it. His need to be a good guy that people can visibly see saving them, then leave before people can celebrate what he has done. This builds the legend of the Doctor as a man who arrives from nowhere, saves everyone then leaves without another word.

As the Doctor speeds towards his own finale the message that he can't always prevent death could have hit him like a sledgehammer if they'd killed Craig, the relationship between the Doctor and his companions would have been exposed as the Doctor knowingly putting friends in danger so he can satisfy his god-complex.

In the episode 'The Family of Blood' once John Smith has become the Doctor again he is asked if anyone would have died if he hadn't chosen the school in 1913 and he replies with 'No' we see that people die around him and he can't prevent this despite insisting on getting involved. In 'The Waters of Mars' the Doctor breaks set events to save people and when they realise he has tampered with time he merely declares himself Time Lord Victorious, undisputed master of time and control over its events.

Craig dying would have illustrated to the Doctor that his meddling in peoples lives can lead to their deaths, while he walks back to his TARDIS and the cycle begins again.

By the way, my captcha was: doctor's omitery. Its a sign

JaceValm:
Craig should have died, not because of his character but because the running theme in this half-series has been the consequences of the Doctors actions. By having companions he exposes people to danger, when saving people its usually him that gets them into danger.

The Doctor has to save people but sometimes he doesn't always manage it. His need to be a good guy that people can visibly see saving them, then leave before people can celebrate what he has done. This builds the legend of the Doctor as a man who arrives from nowhere, saves everyone then leaves without another word.

As the Doctor speeds towards his own finale the message that he can't always prevent death could have hit him like a sledgehammer if they'd killed Craig, the relationship between the Doctor and his companions would have been exposed as the Doctor knowingly putting friends in danger so he can satisfy his god-complex.

In the episode 'The Family of Blood' once John Smith has become the Doctor again he is asked if anyone would have died if he hadn't chosen the school in 1913 and he replies with 'No' we see that people die around him and he can't prevent this despite insisting on getting involved. In 'The Waters of Mars' the Doctor breaks set events to save people and when they realise he has tampered with time he merely declares himself Time Lord Victorious, undisputed master of time and control over its events.

Craig dying would have illustrated to the Doctor that his meddling in peoples lives can lead to their deaths, while he walks back to his TARDIS and the cycle begins again.

By the way, my captcha was: doctor's omitery. Its a sign

]

Except the situation would of been much worse in this case if the Doctor hadn't gotten involed. The Cybermen may of been able to gain enough reasons to beomce a threat to the world at large. And since Torchwood is borderline useless/in some alternate, Doctorless world, lots of people would of died. Hell, the events of The God Complex weren't the Doctor's fault. Except for Amy. But he saved one person, which is one more than if he hadn't been there.

Also since the Doctor lucked out with the defective conversion, Craig would of died. So, you know, he could see was putting people in danger.

chaosyoshimage:
Yay, a Doctor Who column, I'm a noob to the series (Started with the Eleventh Doctor), and you wrote that great article about how comics where important to you growing up right? Awesome!

Indeed, I did. Here you go: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_295/8676-Gifted-Youngster

:)

Susan Arendt:

chaosyoshimage:
Yay, a Doctor Who column, I'm a noob to the series (Started with the Eleventh Doctor), and you wrote that great article about how comics where important to you growing up right? Awesome!

Indeed, I did. Here you go: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_295/8676-Gifted-Youngster

:)

I loved that one, I was the same way as a kid. I'm sure that's not saying much since I'm commenting on a Doctor Who article on a video game forum, so obviously I'm a bit of a "nerd", lol. But, X-Men comics really helped get through that whole "I'm way different than everyone else here" period of life. Which is technically still going, but you know what I mean...

Logan Westbrook:

Cody Holden:
Eleven Doctors in, and NOW we're going to start hating episodes because of plot holes? Come on dude, wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff. These probably aren't even that version of the Cybermen anyhow. There have been many different versions of every recurring Big Bad in Who, and during every appearance the rules have changed ever so slightly.

You do realise that "first article" doesn't automatically mean "first complaint," right? Also, saying "time is funny like that" to explain away bad writing is a pretty weak argument.

A) It was a negative critique, for reasons I didn't agree with. Not a complaint. I acknowledge that.

B) It's a show that's been around for a half-century and passed between something like a dozen writers in that time. Inconsistencies are going to happen. At least they admit it. Besides, "time is funny like that" starts to become a necessity when your show is about a time traveler who floats from place to place deliberately disrupting major negative events in history. If not, every other episode would end up being a recolor of the episode where paradox monsters want Rose Tyler's dad dead.

(...What happened to the paradox monsters, anyhow?)

The no emotion, it's against people's will kind of makes the Cybermen really dull villains. If they were were people it would be oh it's bad to kill them but once you take away emotions and wrap them in metal, oh well kill all you want now with no moral struggle for the characters killing off Cybermen.

It seems like Cybermen could be so much scarier and more interesting characters if they dropped this silly thing of dull emotionless things and made them into characters. If someone embraced being a Cyberman because they were giving up their crippled body for a chance to walk again then you've got a moral sticky bit if the Doctor tries to stop those Cybermen from converting other crippled people into Cybermen.

Or as bad as the Nazis were with their super human program imagine if a radical group like that could convert themselves into Cybermen. A Nazi super solider was bad enough of a nightmare but Cybermen Nazis would be far worse.

It's time for the Cyberman to be something different and interesting rather that feeling like wow the Borg from Star Trek did this same no emotional upgrading humans so much better.

Susan Arendt:

My point exactly! I'm really quite fond of Craig, and seeing him get welded into that helmet hit me very hard...and then poof, suddenly all was well, hoorah! It was lame storytelling, plain and simple. The potential for a very emotional moment was there, and they squandered it.

I kind of liked the gold thing, but I don't think it would work in New Who, which spends so much time on Earth. Out in the 'verse, gold isn't all that commonplace, but are you really going to be afraid of the Cybermen when a quick trip to the pawn shop gets you all the ammo you need?

The oppotunity was there to explore so mny themes here let me list a few and how they would hve enhanced the series as a whole

The Dotor Can't save everyone all the time; Craigs reason for wanting to help the doctor is "He always wins" but as we have seen he CAN'T always win. As a character having him lose, and lose HARD would have been perfect

The Doctor is responsible; The cybermen were small-fry when he got there and he led a new father and his baby acticely into danger for his "last hoorah". He would have caused this which leads me onto my next point;

Destroyer of wolrds, destroyer of lives; The doctor moves is massive stokes on a grand scale with wreckless abandon. The little people and sometimes who civilisations of the little people get screwed over in his wake. Fixing things, especially time, can leave more damage than if he hadn't.

You always hurt the ones you love; He took on Craig as a kind of temporary companion, it could have brought home that the doctor really i just servicing his Ego and looking clever whilst he gets people killed. Thats why he dropped Amy off and that why his addiction to fullfilling his Ego SHOULD have got Craig killed.

Doubt; it could have cemented in the doctor's mind, and to some extent the viewers mind, that maybe the doctor NEEDS to die. Agaijnst the backdrop of someone klling his mas a menace the fact that he seems incapable of really being a menace is just wrong, if they had shown him as a dangerous lunatic hopping through time getting relatable fathers killed than it would have made the finale both more impactful and something amazing. Slightly ambiguous. If you seed the idea that the doctor is a danger and then really re-enforce it, after years of swashbucking you could change the perception of him overnight and made him an infinately more complex character.

Susan Arendt:

My point exactly! I'm really quite fond of Craig, and seeing him get welded into that helmet hit me very hard...and then poof, suddenly all was well, hoorah! It was lame storytelling, plain and simple. The potential for a very emotional moment was there, and they squandered it.

My girlfriend and I both thought the same thing. It would have been extremely effective for Craig to have been painfully and irreversibly converted a la the Cybus system. The cybermen are one of the few villains in the new series that actually strike me as properly nasty in what they do to people in that their victims are left in agony but essentially rendered unable to express terror.

Having a nice everyman painfully flayed and butchered would have actually driven home how dangerous tagging along with the Doctor is supposed to be, every monster gets almost laughed off so it's easy to forget that in theory any one of them could kill the entire cast.

Basically either don't go there or go there properly, don't chicken out halfway through. if you don't want a character cyber-converted then hey that's fine, but either convert them or don't. Don't put them in the converter and whip them back out 100% fine, it makes the cybermen look ineffectual. If they were that set on making him use his willpower to resist then have him being dragged towards the converter, hear the crying and maybe topple a cyberman over by fighting back and getting one with a duff leg (spare parts) then smashing shit up. He never actually had to be semi converted to be put in danger for the drama.

EDIT: incidentally they shouldn't have connected him to the network until all his conversion was complete, it's just common sense, like turning the amp off before you plug a guitar in.

Frozen Donkey Wheel2:

The thing about the episode that bugs me is that a fairly major plot point(the ship was derelict and underground, not in orbit) was given away in DAMN PREVIEW.

It's not as bad as the """dramatic reveal""" in season 1's 'Dalek'; a dramatic reveal ruined by two fucking weeks of adverts and even if you missed them you had the TITLE OF THE FUCKING EPISODE!

Wasn't going to happen.

Shouldn't have happened.

What may seem to be a placeholder is almost certainly the pivotal point that turns the Doctor from his self-destructive urge to come back.

Even in the few parts of next week's episode we see Churchill (and probably others) sacrificing themselves for him. The Doctor think that he kills people, but really they sacrifice themselves to save him.

Just like Adric in Earthshock.

Craig shouldn't have died.

(Faith being used as an energy source? God Complex,Sound of Drums, The Lodger, The Silver Nemesis)

Also: Behind the scenes Matthew Waterhouse is one of the only companions to ever die because he was ... involved ... with some of the crew. That ended badly, and why he got the Chef sending off.

James Corden was never going to die.

It's a pity that Daisy Haggard was so woefully underused though.

Edit: I know some people are going to disagree with me, but let's at least leave it until the finale where the call-backs will be in play?

Edit2: Yes, there could have been more tension/detail put in, but that's the problem of the 45 minute show rather than the 2/4 episodes.

Ser Imp:
It is INCREDIBLY cheesy to have this ONE person be able to completely reject the process purely through the power of love.

Cheesier than Dervla Kirwan's Whore taking mental command of the Cybermen in The Next Doctor by the power of hate?

Generic Gamer:

It's not as bad as the """dramatic reveal""" in season 1's 'Dalek'; a dramatic reveal ruined by two fucking weeks of adverts and even if you missed them you had the TITLE OF THE FUCKING EPISODE!

Moffat's said that he has no control of the previews and gets miffed with them himself.

Edit3: There's going to be a send-off to Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in the last episode.

Splendid fellow

Cody Holden:

(...What happened to the paradox monsters, anyhow?)

Universe reset. Davies and Moffat agreed that each of their creations would remain theirs, hence the tears in reality storyline to reset them into two differing universes. Captain Jack, being of both writers - may be allowed through.

To all the "Let's Kill Craig" filmers:

The scene starts with the Cyber Helmet fusing over Craig's face.

All the Doctor can do is look on in horror due to the Cyberman's crushing grip.

Craig awakes - now a Cyber-Commander - and reaches up to his face. He realises there's no way back, and then he hears Alfie cry. He pays it no attention as his emotions are gone/wiped.

The Doctor looks up, now convinced that everyone he ever meets up with will die. He knows that Craig's only saviour now is the Angel of Death that he has become.

Across the world, millions of children see the Doctor's twin hearts break, as he raises the sonic screwdriver to kill Craig.

Craig looks up, and in the remaining vestiges of his mind he knows that Sophie was right - He can't be trusted with Alfie on his own - after everything, he's failed her and his child.

I'll take the cheese thanks.

I think that killing Craig isn't a necessary addition, though it would have been interesting. Instead, I'd suggest that the timing of his descent into Cyber form and rise back from the dead wasn't very convincing and could have been improved greatly.

There could have been a better moment for him to have an emotionally cathartic circuitry overload, such as before the mask was put on his face and soldered on (that can't have been harmless to his face, let's be honest, except due to space-wizards of course).

Another way to do it is to have him recover much later than that, say, after a long, drawn out time as a Cyberman his emotions overwhelm his chips and he stays as the Cyber-father of sorts, with the Doctor restoring parts of his body using whatever applied phlebotinum he happens to have in the TARDIS and all that medical skill.

This restoration of humanity in a Cyberman has been done to great effect before, if more tragically: remember the words: "I served my queen and country"? THAT is how it should've been done again.

I think those of us who are more mature viewers will find the current Matt Smith series in general not dark or creepy enough for our liking, since the happy-go-lucky man-in-a-box adventure feel is just going to stay. It appeals to the broadest audience, and let's face it, for the BBC that's considered a good thing.

With any luck, a new writer and a new Doctor later on will freshen it up and bring back some of the more intriguing darknesses that we saw during Tennant's reign as the Time Lord.

Until then, I'm sure that this column will have plenty to object to.

I agree with this article that having him die would lead into the season finale really well; the whole idea that he's this warrior and people die around him; that a lot of people consider him a menace etc... As the overall plot goes, it would have been perfect...

...But remember your audience (this IS supposed to be a kids show or at least family friendly). Can you seriously imagine watching this lovable character be brutally killed, leaving his kid to a single mother and becoming some monster? That would be nothing less than traumatizing. As much as I feel they should have gone tragic for the plot, I think they made the right decision as far as the audience is concerned. This episode was supposed to be a filler that lead up to the more serious final episode.

So, would it have worked better, yes. Would they have gotten a few deserved complaint letters from parents of traumatized children, yea.

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