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Cupid's Got a Death Ray!

(PG; Superhero) Agent K tries to relax after rebooting the universe and stopping a General Zaq attack. Why do these vacations never work out? Collaboration with special guest artist Line Olsson!

Doctor Who: Handles’ RevengeComments about this page

By David Marshall November 9th, 2014 Categories: Post |

Public display of beheaded enemies is more Vlad the Impaler than rebel Time Lord.

This is my reaction to Steven Moffat’s “swaggering bully” version of the Doctor. Handles is a beheaded Cyberman, reduced to a pet. Strax is an emasculated Sontaran commander. My fellow Whovians wouldn’t think these humiliations were so cute if his Vlad the Impaler tactics were reversed.

Let’s start with “Stepin Fetchit” Strax. Once a highly-respected commander of the Sontaran Empire, he serves as a nurse (“When a Good Man Goes to War“) and butler (most of Season 7, “Name of the Doctor“). Voluntarily joining the Doctor’s pet collection — result of “The Battle of Moffat’s Run” — makes his conversion even more offensive. Once a decorated war criminal, now a buffoon.

Handles is even worse, a murderous cyborg reduced to household pet in “Time of the Doctor“. As the Doctor’s powerless confidant, he serves and banters with his master like Tony Stark’s JARVIS. Considering how the he subjugated Handles for at least 1,000 years, the Doctor’s grief seems delusional at best.

These portrayals reminded me of abducted African slaves. They smiled and obeyed, but those unaffected by Stockholm Syndrome hid their rage. They drempt about — and plotted against — their oppressors every waking moment. This illustration is Field Captive’s Rage.

Polluting a kid’s sci-fi show with slave rebellion politics is probably a mistake, but Doctor Who has a pretty smart adult demographic. Does it work for you?

— Dave M!, fighting the power.

Talk Back! Most recent of (2)

You Trolled Me Good

Cybermat47 | Posted on January 4th, 2015 at 11:47 pm   

I find it ironic that you find Strax’s ‘conversion’ to Butler to be offensive, when you call him a War Criminal with no evidence that he ever killed anyone other than opposing soldiers. It’s also kind of ironic that you say that the Doctor ‘subjugated’ handles, when, if anything, he liberated him. The Cybermen carved up his flesh, destroyed his individuality, and sent him to do the same to countless others. The Doctor reverses this process as much as he can. And saying that there’s a similarity here to African slaves is frankly offensive to those slaves. I mean, Strax and Handles are treated as friends by the Doctor, while many African slaves were beaten, raped, killed, seperated from their families, and forced to live in horrific conditions.

Unless this post is a joke (which is the most sane explanation), in which case, bravo sir, you trolled me good.

re: You Trolled Me Good

David Marshall | Posted on January 6th, 2015 at 11:26 pm   

Wow! I couldn’t post such an evocative drawing without expecting some disagreement, so thanks for letting it all out! As a Sontaran, Strax lives for all aspects of war…including collateral damage. Even in “Deep Breath”, he gleefully threatens to melt the Doctor with acid. Perhaps our disconnect is my connecting this show to real-world history. Your interpretation of getting beheaded as liberation is beyond my understanding. And slavery was more than just beatings and rape; it was about lack of choice and freedom. Given his body and freedom, Handles might make a very different decision.

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