Doctor Who: Handle's Revenge
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 confidan, 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