The Impossible Pacifist (Live)

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama recently wrote:

Whether we will be able to achieve world peace or not, we have no choice but to work towards that goal. If our minds are dominated by anger, we will lose the best part of human intelligence – wisdom, the ability to decide between right and wrong. Anger is one of the most serious problems facing the world today.

In the aftermath of Series 10, as we look back upon the arc of the Twelfth Doctor from “Deep Breath” curmudgeon and callousness to the pleas with the Master/Missy for kindness in “The Doctor Falls”, it reminds us that in the pursuit of a peaceful world (or Universe), there are times when even the most altruistic individual feels the pressures of maintaining pacifism in the face of compounding unrest and anger.

It got us wondering: Science fiction has historically proven that truly pacifist characters will either meet an unfortunate end, or have to set aside their ideology in dire moments in order to achieve their altruistic ends. With the War Doctor and other examples of our own beloved Time Lord following suit, is it even viable to have a truly non-confrontational character in the genre?

With continued thanks to the staff of (Re)Generation Who 4, we share our panel discussion on the idea of the Doctor as a pacifist character, how suitably the title fits, and whether there are striations in the representation or fulfillment of that descriptor across the decades of the program. Graciously joined by Charles Martin, Kathleen Schowalter, Don Klees, and Heather McHale, we also draw upon some terrific audience contribution to the conversation about science fiction, altruism, and morality.

EXTRA: How difficult could the question “Which Hogwarts house would the Doctor be sorted into” really be? Well…

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