February 21, 2024

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Doctor Who “The Faceless Ones Part 5”

The Second Doctor. "The Faceless Ones," Episode FIve

Well, Jamie’s luck can only last so long, but I had some thoughts on the Doctor this time around.

OK, so, Jamie is fine at the start of the episode, at least as far as he can tell.  His getting sick at the right time meant he didn’t eat any of the airline food, and that was step one of shrinking the passengers and storing them away.  Jamie manages to hide at first, overhearing the aliens that the Doctor has eventually dubbed the Chameleons say humans are only about as smart as animals back home.  Jamie looks shocked, but this is Jamie.  One of the running ideas for this era is Jamie isn’t really all that bright.  Yeah, that may be due to the fact that he’s from a few centuries earlier than all the other characters and as a result just doesn’t know as much, but it’s true.

And it occurred to me that, well, this Doctor never treats him that way that I can recall.  He may be a little paternalistic with his companions, but there’s a kindness at his core that I don’t think too many other incarnations of the Doctor ever really get around to.  They don’t necessarily treat their companions poorly, regeneration-caused confusion aside, but a number of them do talk down to their companions from time to time.  Arrogance is a common trait in the Doctor, and whether it’s the Doctor’s simply assuming what he’s doing is obvious or just outright insulting people, he is often not that good to his companions, and that’s assuming he doesn’t outright ignore what they’re saying for one reason or another.  Yes, some Doctors can be very nice, but many of them are not.

Which makes it all the more remarkable, as I think about it, that the Second Doctor was never even the slightest bit rude to Jamie despite the fact Jamie isn’t supposed to be that bright, and the Doctor’s arrogance often comes from his feeling that he is smarter than everyone else in the room.  Yes, it’s often true, but that doesn’t make it any less remarkable that the Doctor never once treats Jamie poorly for all that.

I think it struck me as more obvious when, in this episode, the Chameleon that took the place of Inspector Crossland, the leader of the Chameleons who calls himself the Director, states he is far more clever than the Doctor and can beat him.

Dude, you are not more clever than the Doctor.  He’s so unassuming, and he’s already figured out how they replace people, even seeing what happens if you fiddle with the control on the unconscious human…it reduces the Chameleon to water apparently.  So, the Chameleon’s device that is integral to their whatever it is they are doing will kill the Chameleon if fiddled with the wrong way?  That seems like a foolish side effect.  Besides, it does give the Doctor a way to sneak up to the satellite by simply pretending to be a Chameleon.  Sure, it doesn’t work, but he did it all the same with the human nurse as a sidekick.  Plus, he even has the airport commandant helping him, so the Doctor is on top of things.  What do the Chameleons have?

They replaced Jamie and know everything he knows?  That should be more of a warning than anything else.

They have the Doctor and his nurse friend surrounded?  Nah, he probably just has them right where he wants them.

These guys are toast and don’t even know it yet.