lol this fandom will do logical backflips to justify twelve repeatedly calling clara ugly/fat/etc but danny has one poorly-worded line that boils down to “if you keep lying to me i will have to break up with you” and people decide they hate him forever and he’s abusive
(Honestly at this point I’m seeing more “Oh the fandom is freaking out so much about what Danny said” than “Oh Danny is so abusive”. I don’t think we’re actually doing the backflips as much as people are thinking….)
I spend a lot of time in the Doctor Who tag. I’m not hallucinating. Danny’s been called all manner of things since “The Caretaker” aired — manipulative, abusive, useless, “another Mickey” even though literally all he has in common with Mickey is that they are both black, people have freaked out that he “yelled at Twelve in his home” like Twelve didn’t spend the entire fucking episode harassing Danny at work for no reason.
Meanwhile all season long there’s been various posts trying to explain away why Twelve is justified in things like his totally irrational and inexplicable hatred of soldiers (which incidentally has been directed most notably at two black people, well done there, everyone) and multiple people have even argued that him insulting Clara is meant to be ~empowering~~~ because supposedly it tells girls you can still have value even if you’re ugly. You know, you just have to put up with your supposed BFF reminding you how ugly you are every five minutes.
I’m enjoying Capaldi’s Doctor on a lot of levels (the ones Capaldi has more sway over, really)…but yeah, it feels kind of like Moffat’s responding to the criticism of Eleven constantly swaggering in and forcing kisses on unwilling women by going in the “Ew, girls are grooooossss and ugly!” direction. We’ve swung from one stereotype of immaturity when dealing with the opposite sex to the other major immaturity stereotype.
I’m also baffled by The Doctor’s utter hatred of soldiers, when he’s worked with soldiers oh so often. He also just came to terms, in the anniversary episode, with his own warrior past. I mean, The Doctor’s always had kind of a snide, looking-down-his-nose impression of soldiers…but he’s always kind of had that with everyone. He has a very large ego. But even while he was telling people not to salute and insulting militaristic ways, he was very good friends with a lot of soldiers.
I really enjoyed The Caretaker specifically because of Danny calling out the bullshit. Not only did he see the dark aspects of The Doctor and not sugarcoat them, but the whole demanding not to be lied to thing? That’s not abusive. None of us should ever stay with people who are lying to us, especially consistently. Lying is not a healthy basis for a relationship.
We, as viewers, understanding the extraordinary lives of companions, can rationalize and understand Clara’s decision to keep these secrets from Danny. But now look at it from a different perspective: you’ve just found out your significant other has been leading a double life, and lying through their teeth to you about it the whole time. In real life, relationships don’t tend to survive (at least healthily survive) big, fat, ongoing lies like that. That Danny’s staying with her at all is showing an amazing amount of dedication to trying to make the relationship work, and a good amount of understanding that this was an extraordinary situation. But asking to never be lied to again? That makes sense. That’s healthy.
Again, think on it…if your significant other had been keeping a whole other life from you for as long as you’d known each other, wouldn’t you tell them to not do it again? Especially if they’re lying about their own well-being? If they can’t talk to you about that, then the relationship has issues. And ultimately, in a relationship, secrets like that are detrimental to both parties. Relationships are about trust, and intimacy, and realizing that nothing you do affects only you.
Clara was trying to be the adventurous superhero and the mild-mannered teacher, and keep those lives separate. There’s nothing wrong with that, when she’s on her own. But when she invites someone else into her life, and only deigns to show him half of that life, while a huge and major aspect of her life and personality remains a closely-held secret…that’s selfish, and not even remotely healthy in a relationship with someone she claims to love. Just casually dating? Not really that interested? Okay, then you’d keep your secret side. I could see that. But she said she loves him. At that point, the secrets (especially the big ones) only drive a wedge between them. And while still having some secrets is fine and dandy, outright lying is a relationship killer, whether you’re The Doctor’s companion or not.