The Doctor Inadvertently Explains the Need for Socialism

This is for all the Dr. Who fans out there. It was posted by male feminist and internet campaigner against Alt Right bigotry, Kevin Logan. It’s a clip from last Saturday’s episode. The Doctor and his new companion, Bill, travel back in time to Victorian London, where they find that an evil lord has been keeping a sea monster chained up under the Thames. The monster also lowers the temperature in winter so that the Thames freezes over. This allows Londoners to hold frost fairs on the ice of the river itself, which the lord encourages. Once on the ice, the smaller fish aiding the monster luring human victims away from the crowd, where they are then eaten by the monster. After passing through the creature, their remains are then harvested by the lord and his team, to be used as fuel for Britain’s burgeoning industrial revolution.

Bill and the Doctor are determined to end this, but are seized by the lord and his men. The evil aristo has absolutely no moral scruples about killing people to aid British industry. He helps Britain move forward. As for alternative forms of fuel, like coal, he points out that men die in mines.

The Doctor then makes this speech, where he makes the point that the needs of the many outweigh those of the privileged, aristocratic few, and that the true measure of progress for a civilisation isn’t in its industry, but how it treats its people.

It’s not a party political speech, but it does capture the essence of the Socialist ethos. And it is acutely relevant, given that the Tories are bent on grinding us all into desperate poverty, just for the enrichment of themselves and the corporate elite.

The speech also fits in with the concern the revived show has always had with protecting the marginalised. Apart from promoting the acceptance of gays as normal members of society, the series has also made pointed comments about the marginalisation and exploitation of asylum seekers and the homeless. In the final episode of the first of the news series, Christopher Ecclestone’s Doctor is told by the Dalek Emperor that the Daleks that are surrounding and threatening Earth have been engineered from humans. They are what has become of the poor and desperate, who tried to find a better life, only to be transformed into the emotionless killing machines.

Similarly, when David Tennant’s Doctor encountered the new cybermen on a parallel Earth, they were being manufactured from the homeless of this alternative London. The evil scientist’s henchmen lured them in with offers of food, before removing their free will with radio receivers that controlled their minds, and then mutilating them into the emotionless cyborgs.

And I’ve no doubt you can find similar examples in the earlier, classic episodes of Doctor Who as well. There isn’t any explicit party politics in Dr. Who, but he consistently stands up for the weak, exploited, threatened and marginalised against the powerful, whether alien invaders or ruthless corporations.

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7 Responses to “The Doctor Inadvertently Explains the Need for Socialism”

  1. vondreassen Says:

    Didn’t the barbie doll herself say much the same in her acceptance speech ?

  2. vondreassen Says:

    thought that was obvious…since it seems OK to insult Jeremy’s appearance….

    • Beastrabban Says:

      Ah, sorry, I get you now. It’s just that while May is stiff and artificial, like plastic, doll-like beauty is the last thing I associate with her.

  3. katythenightowl Says:

    As I watched that same episode, I thought to myself about how close to the ideals of socialism it sounded – or how humane, anyway – and having been an avid Doctor Who fan since William Hartnell’s time, I’ve seen those same sort of issues crop up from time to time, too – let’s hope the message spreads far and wide with this new generation of watchers, hey? 🙂

  4. gillyflowerblog Says:

    Yes I’ve watched the good doctor since the early days. In the McCoy years, I remember that the Happiness patrol and paradise towers was a direct attack on Thatcherism and the brave new world. Then there was Green Death in the pertwee years, to name a few.

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