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[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
I’ve been watching Farscape for a while now (up to season 4). What always gets me is how competent Crichton is. I know he’s the hero and thus if he were a useless git it wouldn’t be so interesting watching him fail endlessly, but still his competence burns from time to time. That’s in line with most SciFi: the human comes on board or lands on the planet, has a bit of culture shock and then teaches the aliens a valuable lesson about life/morals/individualism/capitalism/other things which only humans really understand. And that always annoys me a bit as I am not sure even if I had a totally screwed up society I’d be all happy with some bloke coming in from outside and saying ‘oh if you only let people be freeee to consume/have sex/sell things/paint/dance the conga/vote in an electoral system that looks just like ours you’d all be so much better. I bet I’d sacrifice him to my god and go back to living in my repressive society.



That’s, I think, the difference with Who. The point of this is that humans really are sort of useless. Not entirely so, but they know as much about the big picture as your dog knows about making you dinner. It knows there is dinner (or food) but not really what the hell else is involved. And the Doctor spends a lot of time pointing that out, which I feel is often a valuable lesson.

The companions have to be sort of incompetent to really work in this scheme. It’s annoying if they’re completely so and whinge all the time but other than that their uselessness generally works well for the story. Besides the Doctor needs to have someone to save from the enemy of the week aside and companions are good for that, because despite their uselessness you are fond of them (unless they’re Adric or Mel) and don’t want them to get eaten by Sontarans. Also they ask valuable questions for the audience, like ‘what’s a Sontaran’ so the Doctor can show off help them gain important knowledge. Because you never know when you’ll need to know this stuff.

And this brings me to Rose. I like her, but she is often quite useless. Less useless than many companions but she still needs the Doctor to sort things out in the end. And that’s the way it should be. Some of what sells me on Rose is that Billie Piper is a surprisingly good actress who convinces me of stuff that otherwise I wouldn’t be that thrilled by. And they don’t her the character whine: whining is death to love for a character. Rose may be about to die (yet again) but it doesn’t seem to bother her that much. You may think this may be because she is really as thick as a brick, but still it is much appreciated. And they thwack her on the wrist from time to time. Her one really major mistake – saving her father in Father’s Day – is punished by getting the world eaten. And the Doctor.

The competence factor is also why I don’t think Jack would actually work that well as a longterm companion. He knows too much stuff. And knowing stuff (unless you’re the Doctor) doesn’t work that well on this show. Je me souviens Adric, the little fecking knowitall. Come to think of it, the only one that really worked for was Romana and she was still figured as someone who needed the Doctor to point out things because she had led a sheltered life. Or something, because I am not really sure what a sheltered Gallifryean life would look like.

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