RE: [torchwood] Abandonment of Jack
- Hi Carole,
I think the answer is exactly what Captain Jack said it was: prejudice.
See, this is how I see it: The Doctor, being a timelord, can sense the
planets rotating and is aware of the whole of time and space. He has some
sort of "telepathic" powers, tuned into the universe, and being a Timelord,
has a strong sense of order, and maybe also a sense of superiority.
Timelords are, from our POV, basically gods after all. Jack, however, is a
large blot on the universe, an area where the rules of time and space are
being broken, and even a Timelord can do nothing about it. He cannot be
"fixed" and made right with the universe. So despite his feelings of
fondness for Jack, the Doctor also feels a strong sense of revulsion.
I believe this is RTD drawing on his own experiences as a gay man, and
seeing the common scenario of friends and family reacting badly to their
friend or relative "coming out". If you're a parent who has always regarded
homosexuality as something disgusting and perverse, how do you feel if your
son or daughter "comes out" to you as gay? There are a lot of ambivalent
feelings: love for the child, aversion to their sexual identity etc. When I
came out to some of my friends, many of them avoided me, one for over a
year, trying to get their heads round it (my mum just pretends it's not
happening, LOL). A lot of our friends were Evangelical Christians, so found
it particularly difficult. I was surprised when all of a sudden, shortly
before our Civil Partnership celebration, these absent friends suddenly came
round and seemed OK about it. So when I saw the story of the Doctor and
Jack, it immediately made sense to me.
Jack's forgiveness of the Doctor also made perfect sense. When they first
met, Captain Jack the conman probably thought he was a little superior to
this weird geeky guy with a sonic screwdriver, but gradually he began to
admire and then love the Doctor. I do think it was a romantic love on Jack's
part but I think it evolved. By this point, Jack worships the ground the
Doctor walks on. The Doctor could do anything to Jack, and Jack would still
love him. But also, taking the analogy of gay's coming out, I suspect Jack
has some understanding of the Doctor's POV. He may not be a Timelord, but
Jack has discovered for himself how much immortality sucks, and feels
himself that he is "wrong". This too resonates with the experience of the
gay community - they call it "internalised homophobia", and its when a gay
person themselves feels bad about being gay. If you feel bad about your
identity, you are more forgiving of others prejudice of that identity.
Especially if you're in love with them.
However, I don't think the Doctor's prejudiced reaction was entirely
emotional and unthinking (or uncaring). On some level, the Doctor knew that
becoming immortal would have a huge impact on Jack, and it was something
Jack had to work out for himself. If he was around the Doctor all the time,
he was, to a large extent, shielded from the impact. Sending him back 150
years might seem harsh, but to an immortal, 150 years isn't all that long.
The Doctor knows that for himself, being 900 years old. Sometimes, "If you
love them you have to let them go" as the saying goes. After all, Jack's
original plan was to find out from the Doctor how to die - he had to find a
use for his immortality in order to come to terms with it. And I do believe
the Doctor loves Jack - his reaction when they were reunited in "Utopia" was
instinctive and overjoyed. He didn't fake that hug and it was most
definitely mutual. So massively ambivalent feelings there.
I hope I'm not reading stuff into this, but being a huge fan of RTDs work
for many years, I know that like most writers, he and his writing team draw
hugely on their own experiences, and the experiences of prejudice from
loved-ones and "internalised homophobia" are issues which RTD has written
about and spoken about many times over his career.
"A life lived in fear is a life half lived" - from Strictly Ballroom
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf
Of Carole Maddern
Sent: 01 April 2008 10:24
Subject: Re: [torchwood] Abandonment of Jack
Yes, this has really been bugging me too! I can't understand why Jack is so
generous to the Doctor who seems to have treated him so badly, as if it was
HIS fault Rose brought him back...150 years waiting is a harsh punishment.
I've been having an ongoing row with my 10 year old daughter, asking her
(she's a huge Dr fan) 'WHY did the Doctor try to leave Jack behind when he
finally caught hold of the Tardis? I'd love it if anyone has a reasonable
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, pfyre <pfyre@...> wrote:
> At 08:16 PM 3/31/2008, psatinshein, annotated:
> >I am a frequent reader, and watcher, but a reluctant writer here -
> >guess I am more of a lurker, but I have a question about "from outto
> >of the rain". Jack mentioned that he "worked" for a group
> >investigating the night travelers. I understand that he worked in
> >another travelling show as "the man who couldn't die". I wonder if
> >we know the "group" he was working for? I know that he worked with
> >the Dr., but since I have not seen all the DW episodes, I am
> >thinking that maybe I have missed something.
> >Any help would be appreciated!
> my guess is that he's referring to Torchwood - as it would be in
> existence at that time since the queen had already established it
> protect the earth from alien influence and most especially theDoctor
> - my vote is that the group was an early version of Torchwood OneIf he was with Torchwood way back in the beginning wouldn't he have
> Precious and rare all Love is, gender matters not.
been aware of the old man in the eppy were that were send back in
time and he met his namesake? The guy who let the monster thru the
rift? He was torchwood.